Dealing With Emotional Trauma After Motor Vehicle Accidents

how to deal with emotional trauma after motor vehicle accidents

Motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s) are notorious for not only causing physical injuries but also emotional and mental trauma. Close to 40% of accident survivors report experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). If you or a loved one have survived a traffic accident, you must assess your emotional health post-incident from time to time. This way, you can deal with the emotional trauma before it gets any worse.

What is the Definition of Trauma?

Trauma is the encompassing term that describes what American Psychological Association (APA) refers to as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.” It can manifest as anxiety, constant flashbacks of the incident, emotional distress, and, sometimes, even physical symptoms.

Developing emotional trauma after motor vehicle accidents or any psychologically taxing event is deeply concerning. This is because trauma can lead from acute stress disorder to full-blown PTSD. These mental disorders can affect all facets of a person’s daily life, especially their emotional and physical health.

Sadly, dealing with emotional injuries after a taxing event is still extremely taboo in the United States, but you shouldn’t be discouraged to seek help for your condition. Mental health is an extremely important part of our lives and general well being.

What are the Most Common Symptoms of Trauma?

It is normal for a person who survived any physical or emotionally challenging event to feel shocked and lost following the incident. However, some persistent symptoms could be considered red flags, especially if they grow even more pronounced over time. Among them are:

  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks are usually triggered by anything that reminds the survivor of the details of the accident, (ex. riding a car after the accident, passing through the location of the accident, hearing loud sounds similar to a car crash, and so on)
  • Excessive anger, sadness, irritability, fear, worry, guilt, and/or shame
  • Depression
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Distressing recollections of the incident
  • Sleep disturbances, distressing dreams, headaches, stomach pain
  • Hyper-vigilance or exaggerated startle response
  • Persistent avoidance (ex. refusal to drive or ride a vehicle)
  • Mood swings and a marked difference in one’s personality or behavior

How to Deal With Emotional Trauma

Motor vehicle accident victims should not suffer in silence when dealing with emotional trauma after an MVA or any horrific, even life-threatening event, that puts a toll on their mental health. Working on these traumatic responses is the best way to cope with psychological distress. Seeking effective treatments will help victims return to the best emotional state they deserve. 

Here are some ways to help you deal with psychological trauma.

Get the help you need

You do not have to go through it alone. It is highly recommended that you get help as soon as you can. Along with seeking advice from your family doctor, you may want to visit a mental health professional for evaluation and psychological treatment. This could include neurologists, a psychiatrist, and a trauma counselor. They may prescribe medications and counseling therapy sessions or even inpatient treatment.

Get moving

Physical activities are known to be effective at mitigating PTSD symptoms and other life stressors, which help with overall daily living. Get moving! Pursue healthy, new hobbies, such as biking, volunteering, dancing, or gardening.

Live well

Getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet are two practical and easy ways to boost your emotional health. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep, and have a balanced diet that will give you just the right amount of calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that your body needs.

Connect with people

Connecting with family and friends following a traumatic event is essential to your path to recovery. There is a study by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) that suggests that “continuous contact with and support from important people in your life” can prevent trauma from turning into PTSD.

Dig deep

Alternative treatments like mindfulness have increasingly become a scientifically- accepted intervention for trauma. These treatments may involve meditation, deep breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, and yoga.

The prevalence of emotional trauma and PTSD among MVA survivors underscores the need for providing timely and effective intervention strategies.

At Farahi Law Firm, APC, our personal injury attorneys will help you win the maximum compensation you deserve so you can get the correct medical treatment you need. Under California law, you are entitled to restitution for all damages, including emotional pain and suffering.

If you are a crash victim and are experiencing PTSD due to the incident caused by a negligent party, don’t hesitate to contact us or call us at (844) 824-2955. We work on a No Win-No Fee basis, so you don’t have to pay us a cent until we win your case.

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