Losing a limb is never an easy process. It can be physically painful and leave a patient with many questions and doubts. It can be scary and make you wonder who you are and what your life will become. While a prosthesis can help amputees physically, there are still many psychological, emotional, and even spiritual hurdles one must overcome.
Here at Georgia Prosthetics, we aim to be more than just a supplier of prosthetics. Our team is dedicated to listening to you, to understanding your needs and answering your questions, and to helping you heal, both physically and emotionally. Here are some tips for overcoming the confidence issues that can often accompany amputation and receiving a prosthesis.
Surround yourself with encouraging people
It’s important to surround yourself with close family and friends who will both encourage you and challenge you. The most helpful types of people are those who respond with empathy, but also maintain high levels of expectation. In other words, you don’t want people who do everything for you and treat you as if you’re not capable, as this will only prolong recovery time.
Each individual is different, and it’s important for your family and friends to recognize where you are and what you really need to recover and gain self-confidence.
We also recognize that, for whatever reasons, not everyone has a great support group in their lives. Family could live in another state or simply not be very helpful, and friends may be busy or not available. If this is your situation, then we’d encourage you to join a local support group for amputees. You’ll find a group of people who have experienced many of the same emotions and challenges as you, and you’ll also find an encouraging and empowering atmosphere
Remember you’re still who you are
After losing a limb, it can feel like you’ve lost an important part of yourself. While a prosthesis can be very helpful, it doesn’t always fill the hole. You look different and life will never never be the same. But remember, having a prosthesis does not need to define you.
Your identity is about far more than looks, so remember the things that make you a unique person. Your history, your family, your beliefs, the things you’ve done, the people you’ve loved – these things cannot be lost unless you allow them to be.
Get back to doing what you love
One of the best ways to develop confidence is to get back to doing what you love. People need to be productive to feel satisfied, and a good prosthesis can enable you to do just about anything. You can still go to work, clean the house, go skiing, ride your motorcycle, run marathons, and more.
While going back to work and play may seem unthinkable, you should know that doing so will speed up your physical and emotional recovery time. Ellen Winchell (PhD) put it this way, “The benefits of socializing, vigorous exercise and simple fun are innumerable. Involvement in recreational activities can enhance one’s sense of competency by shifting the focus of disability to capability.”
We take great pride at Georgia Prosthetics in helping people return to doing the things they love. Your amputation doesn’t need to hold you back, and actually experiencing this will help you gain confidence more quickly.
Remember, there is no formula for coping with an amputation
We hope these tips have been helpful, but remember that each person overcomes amputation differently. Things like your personality, social environment, and previous life experiences will affect the way you cope with a prosthesis.
One important thing to remember is that your prosthetist is more than just a supplier of your prosthesis. Here at Georgia Prosthetics, we’ve worked with countless patients with all types of personalities, backgrounds, and struggles. We treat each person as an individual and are always ready to listen and help you process what your new life. If you’re struggling with confidence, then please let us know and we will help as best we can.
If you’re in the Atlanta area and looking for help with your new or old prosthesis, then contact us today at Georgia Prosthetics. We’d love to meet you and we can’t wait to help you get back to doing the things you love.