When people think of a car collision, they usually associate it with severe physical injuries, but the concern usually stays within that area. But these accidents can do more than cause physical injuries. Often, the people involved in an accident may also find that their mental health has been suffering, too. These symptoms need to be taken seriously and treated just as a broken bone or concussion would.
How Can an Accident Affect Your Mental Health?
Car accidents are shocking and traumatic experiences. It’s not uncommon for you to continue experiencing that shock in the following days or weeks after the crash. But while it’s normal to be shaken, sometimes the accident can cause more damage than you realize. Typically, you may experience the following mental responses and symptoms after a car accident:
- Flashbacks. You may find that you’re replaying the accident over and over again in your head. Sometimes the memories may come back involuntarily, like if you see or hear something and it brings you right back to the memory of the accident.
- Fear. There’s a chance you’ll be afraid to get back in a car after the accident. This fear may be typical for a few days, but persistent fear could be a sign of something more serious.
- Guilt. Some people may feel guilt after an accident, whether it’s because they caused it, survived it, or that they were part of it at all.
But if these symptoms persist, they may be signs of something else that may require professional help.
- Anxiety/Depression. You can develop anxiety or depression. Anxiety has symptoms of excessive worry, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and restlessness. Depression presents as feeling hopeless or losing interest in things you previously enjoyed, and your sleep patterns and appetite may change.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Always feeling uneasy or scared, having trouble sleeping, feeling angry or irritable, having no control over having ongoing memories of the accident, and not being able to return to driving or even get in a vehicle could indicate you’re suffering from PTSD.
Maintain Your Mental Health After an Auto Wreck
It’s vital that you take care of yourself, including your mental health. Following these tips can help you make sure you’re helping your mental health.
- Time. The days or even weeks after a car accident can be a difficult time. But you’re allowed to give yourself time to recover. You may feel anxious after the wreck, but it’s normal.
- Get Help. If you feel that your issues are persisting or getting worse, you have options. You could speak with a trusted friend or family member about your experience. Consider seeking professional help. Talking about it with a trained professional may help you say what you need to say but they can also recommend actionable techniques to help you deal with your trauma.
- Take a Break. All your energy doesn’t need to be focused on how you’re going to get back to normal. You may need to learn that you’re going to have a new normal. Try giving yourself a break and doing a hobby that you like or participating in something that makes you happy.
- Stay Healthy. Your overall health is related to one another. A couple of things you can do is to eat well and stay hydrated, and also exercise if you’re able. When you’re giving your body healthy fuel and getting regular exercise, you will have strong foundations to help you maintain your mental health.
Bey & Associates Is Here for You
We understand how terrifying car accidents can be and how they affect people. You need time and support to recover. Part of your recovery could be affording medical expenses or missing work. Our lawyers are ready to stand by your side and protect your rights if your accident was caused by reckless or negligent actions or behaviors. We’ll make sure you get the compensation you deserve so you don’t have to worry about finances or how you’re going to pay bills on time.
When you have peace of mind, you can focus on what you need to do to get better. Call us today and schedule a free consultation.