As our Virginia readers know, we discuss car accidents frequently on this blog. One of the traumas that is not spoken of frequently is the emotional trauma that often follows car crashes, which is the focus of this blog post.
The initial emotional impact
Every car accident victim experiences some level of emotional trauma. Think about the last crash you experienced. You at least experienced shock, even if it was a low-speed rear-end collision. You may have experienced trouble believing that the crash actually occurred, nervousness, worry, fear, restlessness and low-level anxiety.
These are all common, and many motor vehicle accident victims move past these feelings quickly.
However, not all car crash victims are so lucky. Some sufferers begin to relive this trauma in their heads, which only exacerbates those initial feelings.
This means that those strong feelings from the initial impact continue to grow and interfere with your day-to-day life. This is a sign of post-traumatic stress.
Post-traumatic stress has additional potential systems. Your anxiety level can increase to the point where driving or riding in a vehicle become impossible.
You may begin having nightmares about the accident, which causes sleep issues. Those sleep issues can cause further problems, like irritability and concentration problems.
First, get checked out immediately by a medical professional after the car accident to ensure you do not have a traumatic brain injury. Post-traumatic stress can be related to a TBI or not, but if it is physically related, you need the diagnosis immediately to begin medical treatment.
If your doctor clears you of a TBI, your post-traumatic stress will need to be treated by a mental health provider.
Things you can do yourself
In addition to following the advice of your mental health provider, there are things that can help. First, talk with your friends and family about what happened, including how it felt and how you are feeling.
Exercise and stay active to the extent you are medically able and follow up with your primary care doctor as you proceed with your treatment.
Remember, this trauma may be compensable, just like any other injury. Make sure your personal injury attorney knows, and document everything to make sure you receive compensation for your mental health injuries.