Tips to Help You Cope with Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you’re often in shock. Even if it’s just a minor fender-bender, being involved in a car incident can be shocking and traumatic. When the initial impact fades, you may be more concerned about managing the emotional effects of a car accident. Recovering from a car accident can be difficult, but it’s important to recognize that these emotional effects are normal and to speak up if you need help to manage it.
Emotional Trauma Symptoms to Watch For
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, a doctor will assess your physical injuries, but you should keep an eye on emotional symptoms that may be caused by certain anxiety disorders that can develop after a car incident.
- Distressing thoughts or recurring nightmares
- Negative mood
- Dissociative symptoms: Time slows down, you see yourself from someone else’s perspective, feel numb
- Inability to think about anything associated with the trauma
- Trouble falling asleep
- Irritable behavior
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling tense, restless, or nervous
If these symptoms begin to interfere with your normal, everyday life or last longer than a few days, then it’s time to seek help.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve been through a very scarring experience. It’s okay to give yourself time to cope. Focus on feeling as good as you can, and remember to take one day at a time. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and do some light exercise if your injuries allow for it.
Talk to Someone
Suffering silently can only add to your mental anguish and distress. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your experience and how you’re coping. It may also be helpful to find a therapist who can help you work through your issues. He or she is qualified to give you advice on managing your stress and coping with your trauma. Talk to your medical provider about how to find the right therapist.
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