How to Recover From Car Accident Trauma
A car accident can be one of the most frightening and life-altering experiences anyone can face. The physical injuries can range from minor to debilitating — many people must travel a long and uncertain road to recovery. The emotional trauma in the wake of a car accident can also have severe consequences.
Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident
Even if people recover fully from their injuries after a crash, the psychological impact can linger for months or even years. Many individuals experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which can cause long-term feelings of panic, anxiety and stress. Afflicted persons may relive the events through frequent flashbacks and nightmares. Sleep issues, difficulty concentrating and aggressive outbursts can also occur.
Depression is another sign of car accident trauma. People who experience challenges when recovering from their injuries or facing a life with a permanent disability can experience feelings of hopelessness or despair because they're unable to resume their pre-accident lifestyle.
People who cause accidents can feel guilt or shame, especially if the incident resulted in severe injuries to others. These feelings can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts.
Car Accident Trauma Recovery Tips
While the emotional impact of an auto accident can be overwhelming at times, the effects don't need to be permanently debilitating. These coping skills for trauma can expedite the recovery process:
- Acknowledge your feelings: Experiencing anxiety, depression and other negative emotions is normal after a car accident. Rather than denying these thoughts or trying to avoid them, it's healthier to recognize their existence and feel the pain.
- Talk about the incident: Getting your feelings out in the open is a crucial step toward your emotional recovery. A trusted relative, friend or clergyperson can listen without judging and provide new insights into your situation. Remember, you're not the only one who has ever been involved in a severe auto accident — joining a support group with others who share your plight can be invaluable.
- Seek professional guidance: Working with a licensed therapist can accelerate the healing process by helping you work through the trauma and recommend coping mechanisms to enable you to overcome it.
- Stay active: Movement can be helpful when dealing with negative thoughts and feelings. Regular exercise can improve your mood by releasing endorphins, which are hormones in your body that relieve pain, reduce stress and create a sense of well-being.
- Practice self-care techniques: Explore relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness. These practices can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm and well-being.
- Gradual exposure to driving: If you're feeling anxious about driving or being a passenger in a car again, it can be helpful to gradually expose yourself to those situations. Start with short, low-stress drives and gradually increase the duration and complexity of your trips as you feel more comfortable.
Our Auto Injury Treatment Services
At Complete Care, we recognize the crucial role of physical recovery in minimizing car accident trauma. We offer an integrative physical medicine approach comprised of chiropractic care, physiotherapy and rehabilitation to help people recover from their injuries. Examples of our service offerings include interventional pain management, neurology, orthopedic surgery and imaging.
Contact Complete Care Today
Don't let the emotional trauma after a car accident impact your quality of life. The Complete Care team can provide multidisciplinary injury care to enhance your physical recovery and sense of well-being. Contact us to learn more about our services or schedule a convenient appointment today.