While people often think about the physical injuries that come with auto accidents, it is important to consider emotional health, too. They can be easy to ignore at first due to the heat of the moment and the need to address physical injuries first, but if we ignore them for too long, they can play a serious toll on our mental wellbeing.
Mental illnesses including anxiety and PTSD often follow severe auto accidents, and while it may seem easy to tell ourselves to just “get over it,” that won’t make the pain go away. It would be similar to telling our broken arm to just “get over it.” Will that fix the injury? Absolutely not. Steps need to be taken in order for your broken limb to heal, and the same goes for your emotional injury.
In today’s entry, we will be going over some tips to assess your emotional damage following an accident, how to manage your anxiety, and start feeling better so you can get back to feeling like yourself again. And, if you ever start feeling hopeless, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 where you can talk to an experienced counselor at absolutely any time and completely free. Help is always available.
Learn More About Anxiety and PTSD
While many of us associate post-traumatic stress disorder with people who undergo extreme trauma, such as soldiers who have been through combat situations, it can also affect anyone who has lived through something stressful, no matter how big or “small” it might feel. Familiarizing yourself with PTSD and learning more about it can help you to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others who were in the car with you and allow you to find the help you need to get through it. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Experiencing vivid flashbacks or recurring nightmares that feel as if the trauma is happening again
- Intrusive thoughts or images
- Avoiding anything that is associated with the traumatic incident, such as driving for car accidents
- Intense psychological stress when exposed to internal or external cues that resemble an aspect of the traumatic incident
- Persistent fear, horror, anxiety, guilt, or shame
While these are common symptoms of PTSD, many people will experience it differently. There are a variety of different treatments available for PTSD, so instead of leaving it untreated and suffering with it, please seek medical attention. You do not have to continue to suffer silently. You should also be compensated for any emotional harm that occurs in an auto accident, so be sure to talk to a personal injury lawyer about any PTSD symptoms and treatments you are receiving after an accident due to another’s negligent actions.
Take Care of Yourself
You are your own best advocate, and after going through a scarring experience, it is more than okay to give yourself time to cope. Be patient with yourself the same as you would with physical injuries, as emotional scars also take time to heal.
Practice self-care by focusing on feeling as good as you can. This could include treating your body well by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting some exercise if your injuries allow it. This could even be light stretching or going for a short stroll outside. Do things that you enjoy doing like reading a book or listening to music. Forgetting to take the time to care for yourself will only make symptoms of PTSD and anxiety worse.
Talk to Someone
Like we said above, you don’t need to suffer alone after experiencing an accident. Suffering silently will likely only add to your mental anguish. Whether it be a trusted friend, family member, or therapist, don’t be afraid to talk about your experience and how you are doing. You don’t have to share any details that you don’t want to, but you will just want to have someone available to help you with processing your emotions.
You deserve to feel better after experiencing a traumatic experience such as an auto accident. Be sure to seek the right treatment for your emotional injuries, not just your physical ones, and contact a personal injury lawyer like the ones at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today to receive the compensation you deserve.