Dealing with Emotional Trauma After Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s) are notorious not only for causing physical injuries but emotional and mental trauma as well. Close to 40 percent of MVA 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 defined as 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 following MVA’s or any psychologically taxing event is deeply concerning. This is because trauma can lead from acute stress disorder to full-blown PTSD, a condition that can affect all facets of a person’s everyday life, especially their emotional and physical health.
Sadly dealing with emotional scars 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 health.
What are the most common symptoms of trauma?
It is normal for a person who survived any physical or emotionally taxing event to feel shocked and lost following the incident. However, some 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, i.e. riding a car after an MVA, 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
- Constant flashbacks of the incident
- Sleep disturbances, headaches, stomach pain, and hypervigilance
- Avoidance behaviors i.e refusing to drive or ride a vehicle
Mood swings and a marked difference in one’s personality or behavior
How to deal with emotional trauma?
You 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 your mental health. Working on it is the best way to let the trauma go for you to return to the best emotional state you deserve. Here are some ways to help you deal with psychological trauma.
- Get the help that you need: You do not have to go through it alone. It is highly recommended that you get help as soon as you can. Among the specialists, you may want to visit a mental health professional for evaluation and treatment that includes neurologists, a psychiatrist, and a trauma counselor. They may prescribe medications and counseling therapy sessions.
- Get moving: Physical activities are known to be effective at mitigating PTSD symptoms. 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 the traumatic event is essential in your path to recovery. There is a study by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) that shows how “continuous contact with and support from important people in your life” can prevent trauma from turning into PTSD.
- Dig deep: Mindfulness treatments have increasingly become a scientifically- accepted intervention for trauma. This may involve meditation, deep breathing 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 achieve just compensation so you can get all the help you need. Under California law, you are entitled to restitution for all damages including emotional pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one need a car accident injury lawyer that can help you obtain the highest amount of compensation, then contact us today 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.