Many people who were involved a serious car accident or witnessed a tragic collision, can experience feelings of stress and anxiety after the event. It is not uncommon for people to develop irrational fears or have distressing thoughts associated with the crash. There are ways to help you cope if you are having mental and emotional challenges due to a car accident. The power of therapy can help you through this time.
What are the Mental, Emotional & Behavioral Symptoms After a Car Accident?
Some people may experience mental, behavioral and/or emotional symptoms after seeing, or being in a car crash. Examples of these symptoms can include any or a combination of the following:
- Flashbacks of the accident
- Dreaming about the accident
- Feeling distressed when reminded of event
- Feeling as if in a constant daze
- Feelings of guilt
- Emotional outbursts
- Increased irritability
- Sleeping more than usual
- Losing or gaining weight
- Chronic fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
- Feeling on edge or agitated
Is it Normal to Feel Nervous Getting Back Into a Car After a Crash?
It is normal to experience some level of anxiety when getting back into a vehicle after a car accident. However, if the anxiety does not allow you to get into the car at all or you now have new fears associated with driving (including being a passenger), you should seek help from a therapist. Some people need help getting into a car again after witnessing or enduring a traumatizing accident. Talk openly about these feelings with your therapist so they can guide you towards healing and working through your fears.
What Can I Do to Take Care of Myself?
In addition to therapy, there are ways you can practice self-care at home. By spending time outdoors, journaling, art, meditation, eating healthy and exercising, it can help you get through this difficult process a little bit easier. Try to avoid using drugs or alcohol in excess, as these may help diminish difficult feelings but only for a short period of time. Any uncomfortable feelings will likely reappear once the effects of drugs fade away.
When Should I Seek Help?
Seeking help from a mental health professional right after a car accident may be a good idea, even if your level of stress is tolerable. Even minor fears can develop further and hinder your ability to go about your regular daily life. If you start to feel concerned about your symptoms, or friends and family are expressing concerns about your wellbeing, then it is likely time to consult with a therapist.
Should I Feel Nervous About Seeing a Therapist?
Apprehension about seeing a therapist can be normal, as during therapy you may have to talk about the car accident and uncomfortable feelings. However, your therapist aims to help you find healing and peace. They are not there to judge, minimize your feelings or make matters worse. Their intent is to guide you on the path of healing from the fears, and getting back to living a life of joy and reward. In the event that you need legal support or any other form of personal injury assistance, reach out to personal injury lawyer Lakeland, FL and locals.
Thank you to David and Philpot Personal Injury Law for providing insight on the power of therapy after a car accident.