How to Deal With Post-Traumatic Stress After a Car Accident
When we think of car accident survivors, we most often think of the physical injuries they suffer. There's no doubt that they can face cuts, bruises, and even broken bones.
What many of us fail to recognize, however, is that victims can also suffer from emotional trauma. Even minor accidents can lead to feelings of intense stress, guilt, etc.
These feelings can cause anxiety and make it hard to go about our daily lives. And, because victims often don't know how to overcome this trauma, they suffer in silence.
If you are dealing with post-traumatic stress after a car accident, this guide is for you. We go over the best tips for coping with what happened and facilitating your recovery.
Seek Financial Compensation
In many cases, victims seek help immediately following their accident. Unfortunately, some victims fail to hire an attorney right away. They might fail to recognize the urgency of the situation, their insurance company may discourage them from hiring legal help, etc.
As the law office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers notes, it's always best to contact a lawyer immediately. Doing so will give you the best chance when it comes to receiving compensation.
However, if you've put it off, it might not be too late. You may still be eligible to file a claim as long as the accident falls within your state's statute of limitations.
Getting financial compensation certainly won't cure your emotional trauma. However, it can ensure you have the resources you need on your path to recovery.
Take It Slow
After a car accident, it's normal to feel nervous to drive. You might experience sweating, chest palpitations, and other symptoms of anxiety.
So, don't let anyone pressure you to get behind the wheel right away. You should surround yourself with a support system that will help you take things slow.
There isn't one solution that works for everyone, so consider what will make you feel most comfortable. Some victims feel safer taking public transportation or sticking to the passenger seat. Others might want to stay off the road altogether for a bit. If you're in this situation, see if you can make the necessary accommodations by talking with your family, friends, employer, doctor, etc.
Take Defensive Driving Courses
You may feel uncomfortable behind the wheel even months after your accident. Fortunately, you can take action to boost your confidence behind the wheel.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by taking defensive driving courses. These courses teach you how to reduce your risks and implement safe practices on the road. Even if the accident wasn't your fault, defensive driving can make you feel more prepared.
Talk to a Therapist
A therapist is a perfect way to work through your emotions after any traumatic event. By talking to an expert, you can learn how to deal with your newfound driving anxiety to make your life more manageable.
By going to a therapist, you also have the opportunity to address feelings other than anxiety. For instance, you might be dealing with guilt if someone else was hurt in the accident.
Find a Support Group
Even if you have a solid support system by your side, they may not fully understand what you're going for. So, consider finding a support group in your area. Check at your local community center or online. By attending, you'll be able to form connections and find comfort in the fact that you're not alone.
Physical injuries aren't the only ramifications of a car accident. The emotional turmoil that victims suffer can be just as (if not more) debilitating. So, if you've been in a car accident, prioritize your mental health. This guide will serve as a great starting point on your journey to recovery.