The emotional and psychological impact of a car accident should never be taken lightly. These are traumas that can follow you for a long time if not forever. Although the emphasis is usually on physical injuries because those are the ones that are the most straightforward to diagnose and treat, the mental effects of an accident are just as crippling and debilitating. In a flash, you may find yourself losing interest in life and in the activities you used to enjoy before the accident. Here are some ways to help you heal from the inside.
What Feelings Does Emotional Distress After a Car Accident Evoke?
Everyone is different but there may be a pattern when it comes to trauma associated with a crash. Here is a short list of what this incident may have you experiencing:
- Bouts of anger
- Mood swings
- Crying fits
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in life
These symptoms or a combination of a few of them might be so severe as to make it impossible for the victim to even get out of bed. Others may fear another accident so badly that they refuse to get back in a car, in a panic at the mere thought of what might happen. Or maybe they fear going over the same spot where the accident took place and having to relive the horrendous moment.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Due to Car Accidents
Although the possibilities of experiencing emotional trauma are endless, one of the most striking after-effects for victims of a collision is PTSD. You might have heard about this condition when talking about soldiers returning from the front or seen it in war-related movies. However, it often strikes much closer to home. When it comes to car accidents, victims may experience PTSD as a combination of anxiety and fear of driving again.
The most common expressions of PTSD include:
- Frightening nightmares
- Flashbacks of the incident
- Recurring, uncontrollable memories of the collision
- Avoidance of any action that might remind them of the accident such as getting in a car, driving, or passing by the area where the accident occurred
- Withdrawal from social contact
Victims of accident-related PTSD often need psychological therapies for a prolonged time. Others will require prescription medications or other aids to help them return to the life they knew before. Both of these options may quickly result in unbearable out-of-pocket expenses for the person suffering from PTSD.
Recovering From the Trauma Associated with a Car Accident
There is no straight line when it comes to dealing with the emotional and psychological consequences of a car accident. To some, it may be something they can leave behind and forget about. To others, it may be something that follows them every day, not allowing them to move forward and interfering with many routines. If you are part of the last group, here are some ideas to achieve a recovery from these intrusive feelings.
Seek Professional Help
There is no reason for you to be an expert at dealing with emotional trauma but there are professionals who can help you in this regard. Meeting with an experienced therapist means you will have someone who will not only listen to what you are experiencing but will offer you support and guidance to move forward and start to heal.
Limit Your Media Exposure
If your accident made it to the news, it might be impossible to avoid seeing those frightening images repeated to you time and again. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the images that portray your accident. What’s more, you may want to avoid local news for a while until you feel stronger since even though your accident may no longer be in the news, others certainly will.
Find a Support Group
Finding like-minded people, and sharing with them your experiences and feelings, is tremendously therapeutic. You will find yourself in a supportive environment in which you will be able to share your feelings and thoughts without the fear of being judged.
Avoid the temptation of staying in bed all day. Moving will help with the healing process and inflammation. Also, exercise releases endorphins that are known for having mood-boosting effects. Improving your mood and sense of well-being will go a long way towards your full emotional recovery.
Take Care of Yourself
You may want to spend a day pampering yourself. Maybe get a new haircut and hair color, book a massage, or spend a day at a spa. Also, focus on your diet and on eating healthy food, get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs, and take time to meditate. After all, your emotional health is just as important as your physical state. Investing the necessary time in your emotional recovery will pay off by having you be stronger and better able to deal with the legal side of your case.
Retain Legal Representation
Being in a car accident and sustaining injuries is quite traumatic. At that time, you may feel a wide range of emotions coursing through your body, from shock to disbelief, from anger to pain. You understand that your life will change because your focus will now have to be on your recovery. Something proactive you may wish to consider when suffering from emotional trauma after an accident is to reach out to a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer to help you with the legal side of your claim.
Although this is not exactly something that will help you heal from the emotions whirling through your mind, it will be a way to help you seek compensation that may allow you to have the funds needed to pursue your recovery. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and gather all available evidence to build a strong case for your defense. They will also be able to help you place a value on your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.