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5 Tips to Overcoming Emotional Stress After a Car Accident

by Editorial Team October 3rd, 2018 | Common Conditions
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Traffic accidents can do an awful amount of physical damage, inside and out. However, most drivers only think of the physical damage, to themselves and their vehicle, and ignore what such a traumatic experience can do to them emotionally. As a result, many don’t see the symptoms of serious emotional trauma until it is too late. Drivers should remember that after an accident feeling extreme emotions, dealing with insomnia or nightmares, and even flashbacks are common and a natural way the mind deals with what has happened. Fear not, because no matter how bad it seems, these emotional stressors will pass just like physical injuries.While every person will experience such emotional stress differently, here are helpful tips to overcome it.

Talk With People

After a bad accident, many drivers find themselves isolated. Many don’t wish to talk about the event again so run away from prying questions. In fact, the best way to cope with such trauma is to talk about. Many drivers feel better reliving the experience with sympathetic friends and family around to support them. It can help the driver come to terms with what actually happened. Whether they are feeling a sense of shock or guilt, close friends and family can provide the empathy to deal with the emotional stress. Remember the human brain works best when it has company.

Keep A Log of Symptoms

As stated above, each person experiences emotional stress differently. Keeping a log can both allow the driver to separate what feelings and reactions are caused by the trauma, and what are ordinary reactions. Keeping track of symptoms also lets the driver determine whether they are indeed getting better over time, or whether there might be cause for concern. Such a log would also be invaluable if the driver wants to sue for emotional damages, since it would provide written proof that the driver’s been unable to work because of symptoms.

Stay Active And Return To Routines

After an accident, it might seem to a driver that life will never be the same again.But, the truth is that things will get better faster than her or she can imagine. After such an emotional stress, it is always good for the driver to return to former routines. They should keep scheduled appointments and attend them to get back into their usual state of mind. If possible,they should do what they did before the accident.Additionally, plenty of rest and exercise would help to get back into the swing of things. If those routines include driving, the driver may feel some anxiety at first, but they should not fear, it is part of the process and will pass soon. The key to overcoming emotional stress is facing your fears one at a time.

Avoid Drugs And Alcohol

It might be a great temptation for a driver in this position to use alcohol or drugs to relax themselves and help forget the trauma, this should be avoided at all costs. Remember, drugs and alcohol produce such effects by altering the chemical makeup of one’s brain. Under trauma, the driver’s brain is already very chemically different then it is normally. According to the Barnes Firm, states like California have a major drunk driving issue. This would only increase your stress levels and present more risk.Adding alcohol or drugs to it might create unexpected, and unwanted, results. It is much safer to avoid them all together until such emotional stress has cleared.

Seek Professional Help

There will be a small minority of driver who, after particularly bad accidents, will not see their symptoms gradually die away. If the driver hasn’t seen their symptoms go away after about three months, or if they’ve noticed that the symptoms are getting worse, then its time seek help for mental health issues. A professional can diagnose if the driver has likely developed an anxiety disorder, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While some drivers may shy away from this, fearing they will be labeled as mentally unsound, it is important to know when professionals, with tools and skills the driver may mean the difference between returning to normal or not, are needed.

It’s important to remember once again that every person will experience emotional stress differently. For some overcoming such an accident will be quick and without incident, for other it may take some time and require professional help. However, in all cases recovery is possible and drivers should feel confident that, with the right help, they can overcome any emotional stress.

Brought to you by the Barnes Firm.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.