Home Mental Health & Well-Being How Medical Malpractice Can Affect the Mental Health of Victims

How Medical Malpractice Can Affect the Mental Health of Victims

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Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury that occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide treatment that meets the expected standard of care. Not diagnosing a medical condition also falls into the category of medical malpractice.

As we all know, the physical injuries of medical malpractice are well documented. But, understanding its effects on the mental health of victims is equally important.

The victims of medical malpractice may experience severe psychological effects. If you find yourself in the same situation, it is important to consult one of the personal injury attorneys in Ohio. They offer the assistance a victim needs to prove a healthcare professional’s negligence and seek fair compensation.

Emotional distress and trauma

Most victims undergo emotional distress and trauma after a medical malpractice incident. Victims of medical malpractice may experience extreme sadness, frustration, anger, and other intense emotions. They may feel violated and cheated as their trust in the doctor crumbles. When medical negligence leads to severe injury, disability, or the loss of a loved one, it may have a huge impact on emotional health.

Development or deterioration of mental health conditions

After a medical malpractice incident, most victims may develop new mental health conditions or their existing conditions might worsen. The trauma, stress, and disruption caused by negligence can exacerbate or trigger conditions such as adjustment disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. In this case, patients may experience:

  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Flashbacks of the incident

The impact on mental health can be devastating and requires specialized mental health treatment and support.

Impact on self-esteem and body image

Generally, a person affected by medical negligence may experience disfigurement, physical injuries, and scarring. All these conditions may impact the victim’s body image and self-esteem. Victims may suffer from:

  • Feelings of embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Self-consciousness

These conditions often lead to isolation and social withdrawal and affect the victim’s quality of life. Supportive interventions, such as therapy or counseling, can help victims overcome these mental health conditions and regain self-confidence.

Impact on social support and relationships

Family members and loved ones may also feel emotional strain and distress when they witness the struggle and suffering of the victim. The mental health of the victim may impact relationships, which can also contribute to feelings of loneliness, guilt, and resentment. Comprehensive support for both victims and their families is essential for the healing process and to improve social connections.

Financial burden and stress

After a medical malpractice incident, most victims and their families may experience huge economic difficulties. They may also have to deal with physical injuries. The common expenses a victim will face include:

  • Costs incurred to treat the medical injury
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of income
  • Long-term healthcare

Generally, financial issues may lead to other mental conditions like depression and anxiety. The victim must get in touch with a lawyer to seek financial support for their recovery.

Wrapping up

Medical negligence can have a long-lasting impact on the victim and their family members. Medical malpractice incidents cause disabilities, physical injuries, or even death, but they also affect the mental health of the victim. A personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice law will work for the victim to recover compensation.


Jeffrey Grant, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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