Car accidents—especially those that result in injury—can leave a deep impression on a person, even leading to PTSD. If you are suffering from severe anxiety as the result of a car accident or other traumatic event, here are five tips that may help you get through.
1. Talk About It
You may feel like nobody else can understand what you went through, which may be true in some cases, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be there for you and provide emotional support.
Talking about the incident can help you work your way through the situation in your mind. It can also help other people understand what you are going through so they can act as a support system for your physical and emotional recovery.
Talking through your experience and also your feelings as a result of the experience can help you understand your PTSD and overcome it. The best person to talk to would be a professional therapist who knows how to help PTSD patients. If you aren’t comfortable talking to a psychologist, talk to a trusted adult (if you are a teen) or a trusted friend (if you are an adult).
2. Get Some Exercise
Unless injuries from the accident prevent it, exercise will help you manage the symptoms of PTSD. Some of these symptoms include the following:
- feelings of anxiety
- losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- emotional numbness
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
Exercise helps you burn restless energy you have, it gives you a distraction to focus on, and it benefits your emotional health. The increase in serotonin you get from vigorous physical activity can help with the symptoms listed above.
3. Recover From Your Injuries
If you received insurance money from the accident but the money wasn’t sufficient to cover your medical bills, you may be able to file a personal injury law suit. Visit a firm to talk about your options.
Avoiding the accident and avoiding treatment is only going to prolong your emotional and physical pain. If you need extra moral support, ask someone to accompany you to the doctor so you can get the medical attention you need.
If you are suffering from physical effects of the accident, you’ll have a harder time feeling better emotionally. For some people suffering from PTSD, getting treatment for injuries means you have to face the accident and accept it, which can be difficult.
4. Continue Life as Normal
Getting back into your normal routine as soon as you are able to will help you get past the accident and move on from the trauma it caused. If you let your anxiety dictate how you spend your time, all areas of your life will suffer. It’s also harder to get over an event if you are constantly reliving and thinking about it.
5. Take a Driving Course
As you go through the course, talk to a friend or a professional about the aspects of driving that cause you anxiety. Talking through the issues and getting at the root of your anxiety will help you work through the trauma.
If you are suffering from PTSD after a car accident, you probably have a difficult time being behind the wheel of a car. Taking a defensive driving course may help you feel more secure when you get in your car. It can also be a good first step to take if you haven’t been able to drive at all since the accident.
Above all, remember that time heals everything. Don’t be ashamed if you need to take a little bit of time to get back to normal after the accident. Everyone deals with trauma differently. Follow the tips above that you feel comfortable with, and seek professional help if you can’t overcome it on your own.
Author Bio: Erika Remmington is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in linguistics with a minor in business. She is a wife, new mother, avid rock climber, and an independent free lance writer. Information for this article was provided by Yearwood & Company, a Surrey injury law firm.