Health

Coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Car Accident

Car accidents are a massive problem in almost every country around the world. And while even minor collisions can be frightening and devastating, severe car accidents can leave victims with life-long physical injuries and emotional turmoil that can negatively impact everyday life. While the vast majority of people focus on the physical injuries sustained from enduring road accidents, the emotional impact can be even worse for some, whether severe injuries were sustained or not. 

Unfortunately, post-traumatic stress disorder is common for car accident victims, especially those not responsible for the collision. They feel a sudden loss of control for their own lives after the ordeal. Unfortunately, emotional distress is not often claimed for in a car accident lawsuit. However, you can contact Lamber Goodnow Injury Lawyers, Phoenix, to assist with evaluating the total worth of your car accident claim and ensuring you will be compensated for your emotional distress damages. In addition, these tips will help you cope with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. 

Understanding the Difference Between Normal Shock and PTSD

Most people who have been involved in a car accident will experience regular feelings of shock and disarray. A collision is emotionally overwhelming by all means, so initial shock followed by a relatively short period of anxiety is completely normal and understandable. Some individuals will feel emotionally rattled for a few days or even a couple of weeks.

On the other hand, post-traumatic stress disorder goes beyond regular feelings of anxiety and shock from the accident. For example, if you have persistent feelings of uneasiness and general anxiety towards driving a vehicle or even entering a car, you may have developed PTSD. Other symptoms associated with the disorder include irritability, excessive worry, anger, nightmare, difficulty sleeping, flashbacks, feelings of disconnection towards others and even yourself, and the subtle symptom of not wanting to partake in medical procedures and tests.

Seeking Medical Treatment

If you are experiencing a few of the symptoms mentioned above of PTSD, you probably don’t want to seek medical treatment. However, it is crucial to cope with your experience and move forward with your life. You can visit your regular doctor to discuss your symptoms, and you will likely be prescribed specific medications to assist with relaxation and sleep. Depending on the severity of your post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, it may be crucial to consult a therapist, as recommended by your doctor. 

Therapy will help you open up about your experience and overcome the emotional battle of PTSD. However, in many cases, medication alone cannot help you overcome post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, as this is a condition of the mind. Therefore, you must work through your feelings with a mental health specialist.

Regain Your Driving Confidence

Getting in a car again can be daunting, especially if you have developed PTSD from the accident. First, however, you must overcome your fears to regain control of your mental health. The idea of driving on your own might likely be too much for the moment, although you can consider signing up for defensive driving courses, or advanced driving courses, to regain your confidence. Because you will be driving on a track with the guidance of a professional, you are more likely to feel safe and secure during the courses, and the skills you develop will assist in boosting your general driving confidence by giving you back your control.

Try to Stay Active and Eat Healthily

Physical activity plays a key role in mental health. Exercise encourages the brain to release endorphins that provide a happy sensation; exercise is a fantastic mood booster, and it can substantially benefit mental health. Staying active can help you combat some of the symptoms that you are experiencing, and it will also assist with improved sleep quality. 

In addition to staying active as much as possible, you should ensure you are eating healthily, as diet impacts mental health. For example, suppose you are eating unhealthy convenience meals that are void of nutrition. In that case, your brain will be starved of essential nutrients that allow proper functions, which can, unfortunately, nurture negative feelings and enhance your chances of developing clinical depression. 

Maintain a Daily Routine

Routine is crucial for individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because these disorders leave individuals feeling overthrown by a lack of control over their own lives, maintaining a daily routine can help with feelings of safety and security. If you perform the same or similar tasks throughout the day, your days will become more predictable, and you will feel more control over your life as a direct result. Your daily routine does not have to be extreme or strict; you can include various everyday tasks into your routine at the same time frames to feel more secure and in control. 

Give Yourself Time to Heal Emotionally

The accident that triggered your post-traumatic stress symptoms may have been a minor collision or a severe crash with devastating impacts. Regardless, you should be kind to yourself and give yourself the necessary time to heal. Instead of attempting to rush your emotional healing by pushing yourself too far and beating yourself up about things you are battling to deal with, you should practice self-care and be gentle with your own thoughts. 

Reaching out to friends and family about what you are going through may be tricky, although it can help you accept and overcome the details of the accident that are holding you back. Suppose you cannot reach out to friends and family. In that case, you should consider a PTSD support group, as you will find other individuals who are experiencing the same symptoms as yourself. They will be able to relate to your struggle, which can ease the internal battle significantly. You can find support groups easily with a quick online search in your specific area, and some are even available online, which is the most convenient solution for most individuals who are suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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