Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic experience. While you’ll certainly have to secure treatment for your physical injuries, you can’t overlook the importance of taking care of your mental health.
If your trauma is left unchecked, then you could fall into a seemingly never-ending cycle of anxiety, depression, fearfulness, and sleep and concentration issues. Some accident victims even find themselves struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder for years. You don’t want that for yourself.
That’s why it’s imperative that you know what you can do to dampen the traumatic impact of your accident.
How to cope with car accident trauma
Although you might feel like you’re never going to shake the trauma of your car accident, there are steps that you can take to alleviate the way you feel. Some of those steps include the following:
- Don’t try to suppress your feelings: Instead, acknowledge that you’re going through a tough time and might need help getting through it. Try to go easy on yourself. It’s okay to take a break to focus on what you need during your recovery.
- Find support: Talking about your trauma can help alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing. You might turn to family and friends for support, but there’s also value in finding a support group of other individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Look in your local community to see what options are available to you.
- Don’t be afraid of professional help: There’s no shame in seeking help from a mental health professional. In fact, this type of mental support might be the most effective way to cope with the trauma you’ve experienced. You’ll want to be open and receptive to whatever your mental health professional recommends so that you receive the comprehensive treatment you need.
- Take care of your physical health: A healthy body can support a healthy mind. So, try to eat a balanced diet, exercise, and refrain from drug and excessive alcohol use. If you have lingering physical injuries, then be sure that receive adequate treatment for them. After all, the stress of an improperly treated injury can increase your stress and trigger additional mental health issues that you want to avoid.
- Avoid triggers: Most people who have been traumatized have triggers that spur flashbacks, fear, and anxiety. If you can identify those triggers, then you can find ways to avoid them. Telling your family members about those triggers can be helpful, too, as they can then help you avoid them.
- Focus on rebuilding your confidence in driving: Although you might be able to avoid driving from now on, that would be highly inconvenient. But driving is probably going to be one of your triggers. So, it might be helpful to take a defensive driving course and ease back into your daily commute. Discussing with your therapist your feelings about climbing back behind the wheel can be helpful, and don’t push yourself too much. This is going to be a longer process to ensure that you don’t cause more traumatic harm to yourself.
There’s a lot to deal with after being injured in a car accident. Fortunately, even this difficult chapter in your life will pass. As you navigate the road ahead, though, don’t be afraid to seek help, which might include assistance with a personal injury lawsuit that could provide you with the resources you need to adequately cope with the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma that’s been caused to you.