If you’re involved in a car accident, then it’s usually your physical injuries that are tended to first. From broken bones and fractures to profuse bleeding and even potentially life-changing injuries, our physical health always takes precedent. Once we’re in a safe and stable condition and on the road to recovery, it’s only then that we begin to notice how our mental health may have been damaged in the crash too.
Falling victim to an accident, particularly one that wasn’t your fault can have major repercussions on your current and future mental state – you might even need a Virginia personal injury attorney.
Read on for 4 ways your mental health is affected after a car accident.
The car accident happened so suddenly, and you simply cannot believe that it happened. Shock hits us all in different ways however it usually involves feeling frightened and nervous even after the incident has long since passed. You could even feel numb, disengaged from what’s happening around you or incredibly distressed. Even if you were the passenger or a witness you can still experience valid feelings of shock and disbelief.
Your entire life has been turned upside down, your car may be written off, you may be injured or someone you love has been hurt by the negligible actions of someone else. Of course, you’re going to feel angry! Sadly, this kind of anger is often taken out on those around you, simply due to the frustration of being wronged and your current lack of justice. You may feel angry that no one understands what you’ve experienced and what you’re currently going through. Again, this is normal however the best solution here is to practice some breathing and calming techniques and avoid taking out your frustrations on those who are trying to help you. These feelings are completely valid; however, you don’t need to act upon them.
Guilt and shame
Even if you weren’t to blame for the accident, feeling guilty is a normal mental state to experience after an accident. You may wish you’d taken a different route or set off a little earlier or later. What steps could you have done to avoid the entire scenario? Things could be incredibly different if you’d only done X, Y, Z. It’s natural to feel an immense sense of guilt but you need to remember that these feelings are normal, however, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about the situation.
After an accident, the idea of getting back in a car is daunting, to say the least. You may be constantly worrying, feeling irritable, overthinking everything, experiencing unpleasant and intrusive thoughts or feeling as though you have no control. The best solution is to reach out and talk to someone. You could speak with a counsellor, or even just talking with a friend could help. The sooner you get back to your normal routine, the faster you’ll get over that crippling anxiety.