ptsd after a car accident

Coping With Emotional and Psychological Trauma from a Car Accident

Perhaps you’ve already prepared for the effects your physical injuries will have on your life, but have you prepared for the mental trauma you’re likely to experience? While physical injuries are common in car accidents, people don’t often talk about the psychological and emotional trauma that often follows a collision. Mental health treatment is just as important as treatment for your physical injuries after a crash.

The team at Peake & Fowler fights on behalf of clients to secure fair compensation—let us use our expertise to help you. Call us at 803-788-4370 to set up a consultation now.

Know What to Expect

As you ease into life after your accident, expect to feel some sort of emotional distress. Going into it with an expectation that you’ll bounce right back can delay your healing and make you feel even worse if a trauma response does set in. Take it easy, don’t try to jump right back into normal life, and wait to see if you have mental health symptoms after the adrenaline wears off.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic events can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A study found that 38% of car survivors are unable to function normally because of PTSD. Victims may experience nightmares, flashbacks, or difficulty in moving on with their lives. PTSD treatment is similar to the treatment for anxiety and depression. It usually involves therapy and medication.

Keep Track of Your Symptoms

If you start experiencing symptoms of mental or emotional trauma, keep track of them. Your attorney and your mental healthcare provider will want to know about them. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Intrusive thoughts related to the accident
  • Nightmares
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Random mood swings
  • Withdrawal from loved ones and activities
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty eating or sleeping, or eating and sleeping too much
  • High heart rate
  • Exaggerated alertness
  • General aches and pains that can’t be pinpointed to any specific source

Set Up an Appointment with a Therapist

One of the best things you can do is be proactive and set up a time to talk to a therapist or psychologist. There’s a lot to work through emotionally after a crash, and you can’t do it on your own. While it’s good to lean on friends and family members, their help can only go so far.

Talking about your issues with a trained professional can help you move past your trauma and develop evidence-based coping skills. Of course, it’s still helpful to talk to a mental health professional if you’ve already developed severe symptoms, but a preemptive strike is always preferred.

Identify Triggers and Figure Out How to Work Around Them

PTSD is a mental battle. You may be surprised at what upsets you and leaves you rattled for the rest of the day after your crash. It may be the sound of breaking glass, scared gasps or shrieks, or the sight of the car that you were in during the crash. Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of a car accident.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t know what your triggers are until you encounter them. At that point, you may find that a trigger sets off panic attacks, leaves you drenched in a cold sweat, or gets your heart racing so fast you worry about it beating out of your chest. Identify what sets off these responses in you and then talk to your counselor about them. There are different approaches to decreasing your response to triggers, but the best option for you will largely depend on your unique circumstances.

Get Justice for Your Accident

A lot of mental trauma comes from the accident itself, but for many, the fact that they have been wronged by someone else is another component. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that through no fault of your own, you have been left injured, out of work, and in financial distress.

Seeking justice with a personal injury claim can help you get closure from the crash and receive compensation to cover your mental health expenses, physical injuries, and other losses. Talking to a personal injury lawyer promptly after your accident is key to getting this process started and pursuing a fair settlement or court award.

Schedule Your Consultation with Peake & Fowler Today

The team at Peake & Fowler is ready to take on your car accident claim and demand a fair settlement on your behalf. Ready to get started? So are we—just call us at 803-788-4370 or get in touch online to set up a consultation right away.