Resentment surrounding a workplace injury


The concept of self as victim and the deducted perception that someone else must always be at fault and PAY, gives rise to the feeling of resentment that can -often- greatly obscure or even inhibit or prevent the injured worker’s recovery process.

The retaliatory drive that is quite common in injured workers is often not difficult to fully comprehend, especially at the beginning.

However, seeking of revenge/justice/restitution is also a central component in our totally buggered and extremely adversarial workcover system, where any injured worker quickly learns they are considered all fraudsters until proven innocent (and still!) and need to fight for any scrap, be it legitimate medical and like services or weekly pay or monetary compensation in a highly hostile, humiliating and dehumanasing environment.

Resentment surrounding a workplace injury

But, if an injured worker perceives that someone must emotionally and/or financially suffer as a result of their limiting, painful, traumatising and/or disabling experience(s), chances are that the injured worker will maintain this level of resentment until such time “resolution” can occur, and – sadly many times this “sought resolution” will never occur.

Resentment can maintain the injured worker’s disability/impairment and its presentation for extended periods. In other words, resentment can really make you sick! And sicker and sicker….

The psycho-physiological aspects of continual anger and frustration and the need to portray oneself as a victim, i.e. for financial compensation does little to promote healthy resolution of the limitations/injuries (i.e. physical and/or mental) which the injured worker confronts, and may have to confront for the rest of their live.

Several of the perceptions that may need to be addressed, by seeing a psychologist, include:

  1. a. Do you feel that someone is to blame for the problems you now have?
  2. b. Are there periods during most days when you think of little else but your resentment of person(s) involved in the problems you now confront?
  3. c. Do you believe that you cannot resolve this situation until someone compensates you for what you have experienced?
  4. d. Would your problem be easier to manage if you were assured that someone else paid or suffered for the problem?

If you answered yes and any of the above “answers” apply to you, think again, at the end of the day, no amount of money, and no amount of suffering of the “guilty person” will “fix” your injury, or the way you have been (ill)treated by the system (workcover, IMEs, employer etc) – read more: Workcover, three common delusions

Far too often, the injured worker is seen as a passive-dependent organism. Injured worker complaints (whether physical and/or emotional/psychological) are seen as mere factors which should readily yield to diagnostic studies/test.  Many symptoms are only perceived as ‘events’ in which response to medical treatment can be reliably predicted without recourse to psychological understanding of the factors which impact the context and the aftermath of a I(more serious) workplace injury or illness.

In reality however, the early detection of these emotional/ psychological factors can shorten the timeframe of disability, and when limitation comprises a permanent or partial disability, the separation and early action upon these psychological factors can help ensure that physiological or physical treatment is maximally effective even when it cannot be completely restorative.

Ultimately, our goal is to insure that maximum recover occurs and that our complaints do not fester.”[ “F.E.S.T.E.R” – Which could be: Fear, Education, Secondary gain, Threat, Expectancy and – yep- Resentment.]

The question remains as to whether our society, and, more importantly our workcover system, fosters this resentment or, as would be the preference, seeks to assist the individual in resolving it.


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Revised ay 2014