Taking Care of Your Mental Health After a Car Accident
A car accident not only impacts your physical health, but it can affect your mental well-being, too. All too often, those who are involved in car accidents are only concerned about their physical injuries. The psychological trauma should be addressed, too.
In the days and weeks following a car wreck, many victims experience a rollercoaster of emotions, including shock, disbelief, anger, worry, fear, sadness, and confusion. These feelings should subside and get easier to manage over time, although this isn’t always the case. If you have trouble managing emotions after a car accident, you may be experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For some victims, PTSD symptoms occur right away after a crash, for others, it develops over weeks or months after the initial trauma.
If you are struggling with mental emotions after a car accident, it is wise to seek help. You should ask your primary care physician for a referral to see a mental health professional if you are unable to cope. Don’t ignore psychological symptoms – ask for help. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after a car accident, consider seeking help:
- Increased anxiety
- Irritability or excessive anger
- Persistent nightmares or dreams about the accident
- Lack of focus
- Unmanageable fear of driving or riding in cars
- Feeling emotionally disconnected
- Difficulty eating or sleeping
- Relying on drugs or alcohol to cope
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or others
Although these types of serious emotional impacts can seem overwhelming, treatment is available and recovery is possible.
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