Car accidents frequently occur in the United States. They’re so common that they’re the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD among the general population. Moreover, vehicular accidents also cause other negative feelings like shock, unease, anxiety, and depression.
Despite the problems they are facing, many car accident survivors are reluctant to receive professional mental health help. Aside from the stigma surrounding therapy, some people don’t consider vehicular mishaps as traumatic. Many assume trauma only comes from major natural disasters and the death of people close to them.
Vehicular accidents can also cause a considerable shift in a survivor’s attitude and actions. After all, traffic and transportation are all around us. So, they often encounter these triggering images every day. Those factors may negatively affect their well-being, in addition to the physical injuries they may have already incurred from the accident. As such, you need to see a therapist if you suffer from a car accident.
Here’s how seeing a therapist can benefit you:
Acknowledging Your Trauma
Accidents impact people negatively. It’s common for car accident survivors to have recurring nightmares about the incident. As a victim, you may also develop anxiety about driving or riding vehicles. Additionally, you may develop PTSD, anxiety, or depression. These disorders may lead you to become avoidant, preventing you from riding cars regardless of the reason or company.
Vehicular accidents may also prove more traumatic if you’ve sustained injuries, especially major ones. Being hospitalized and feeling constant pain may exacerbate the negative feelings you have from what happened. If you experience this, therapy can help you control your emotions as you recover from the damage. It will support you in your journey to getting back up emotionally.
The trauma becomes even heavier when there are casualties involved. Survivor’s guilt is common for those who made it out of accidents alive. You may feel like you did something wrong because you didn’t meet the same outcome as others. You may also blame yourself for the accident and the death of other people if there were any. These thoughts will all negatively impact your overall well-being, recovery, and future.
You should immediately seek a therapist if you find yourself having these thoughts. Remember, accidents are often out of your control. You did absolutely nothing wrong by surviving. Therapy will help you process your thoughts and emotions more healthily.
Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Over time, you may find yourself feeling anxious and lethargic. You may even feel like you can’t and don’t want to get up. It’s tempting to succumb to this darkness. Sometimes, you may even find yourself not caring about things or being too anxious to do anything. Some survivors may even resort to severely unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or gambling.
All of your feelings are valid. But it’s crucial to know you can’t go on with those habits in the long run. It’s not going to be easy, but your therapist can support you in getting back up.
With the help of therapy, you can develop healthy coping mechanisms that will aid your healing process. Your therapist will start with the fundamentals that would ensure your well-being. They will recommend you to build healthy sleeping habits, eat a balanced diet, and work out regularly. Exercising, in particular, is very helpful to people trying to overcome their trauma. It can help elevate your mood, lift your spirits, and make you feel stronger.
Your therapist may also suggest attending support groups. With the help of people with similar experiences, you can start coming to terms with your past. They can also provide emotional support as you go through a challenging time.
Taking Care Of Your Mental And Emotional Health
Following a car accident, your mental and emotional health may decline. While that’s the body’s usual response after traumatic incidents, it’s best to seek a professional to mitigate its effects. If you find yourself experiencing that, you may want to consider going to a therapist.
It will be challenging to fully recover from a car accident, especially if it was life-threatening or if someone lost their life. Accidents can even be traumatic for spectators and bystanders. It’s common to be angry, lonely, afraid, and worried. And it’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with you if you feel these things even for a long time. However, know that therapy will help you recover from it all.
Your mental and emotional health may suffer if you’ve been through accidents. But while it’s valid, it doesn’t have to define you. You don’t have to live with those negative emotions your whole life. You deserve to feel better, more so after surviving a traumatic event.
Maintaining The Quality Of Your Life
Avoidance often accompanies the aftermath of car accidents. You may find yourself becoming anxious while driving or even just riding a vehicle. Since transportation is closely tied with our daily routines, being apprehensive about cars can negatively impact the quality of your life.
By going to therapy, you may work on the anxiety or fear you’ve developed about vehicles. Your therapist will help talk you through your experiences as well as your emotions. They may also recommend other activities to support you in coping with your trauma and avoidance.
Additionally, they may suggest adjustments to your driving style if you’re wary of sitting behind the wheel. Wearing your seatbelt, avoiding distractions, and adhering to safety rules and regulations can help you feel more comfortable driving. You may also benefit from having your car checked regularly by a mechanic. Not only will you benefit from these changes, but also everyone you encounter on the road.
To Wrap Up
Experiencing a car accident can be traumatic. You may feel guilt or shock. Moreover, you may develop anxiety, depression, or PTSD. At times, you may even blame yourself for what happened. These can harm your mental and emotional health, in addition to the fear and pain you felt during the accident.
Thankfully, you can approach a therapist to help you recover. They will guide you in acknowledging your trauma and developing healthy coping mechanisms. With their support, you can improve your mental and emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
It won’t be an easy journey toward healing and recovery. But remember, your therapist will be with you every step of the way.