If you were involved in a car crash, you likely focused on your physical injuries first. That’s only natural. However, as those are treated, you may start to realize that the crash has impacted you psychologically as well.
It’s not uncommon for drivers, passengers and even those who’ve witnessed a serious crash to suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including anxiety, fear, depression and sleep issues. They may be fearful of getting behind the wheel – or even in a car – again. They may find even getting back to the mundane tasks of daily life difficult.
People who’ve been involved in crashes often don’t recognize that they’ve survived a traumatic event – especially if they’ve been able to come away from it without serious physical injuries. They think of traumatic events as things like a natural disaster or the sudden death of a loved one. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), though, trauma is anything “deeply distressing or disturbing.”
If you’re feeling this way, it’s important to take care of yourself. That means getting plenty of sleep, eating healthfully and exercising. It also means not avoiding being around people. Talking about the wreck can help – as long as you focus on the fact that you survived it. You can’t change the fact that the collision happened, but there are things you can control, like driving safely yourself, wearing your seatbelt and not being distracted behind the wheel.
If you’re not able to shake these feelings of anxiety, fear and/or depression, it’s wise to seek the help of a mental health professional. Find one who specializes in helping people with PTSD and trauma. They understand the many different experiences – like vehicle crashes – that can cause PTSD.
When you’re seeking compensation from an at-fault driver, don’t neglect to factor in the cost of mental health care along with your hospital bills and other medical expenses. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask for. An experienced attorney can help you make sure that you get the compensation you need to heal physically and emotionally.