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How To Cope With The Mental Aftermath of A Car Accident

If you have recently experienced a car accident, know that it’s completely normal to still feel upset. Even non-fatal car accidents can cause emotional and physical trauma that, for some, make it hard to recover. If you did lose a friend or loved one, you may still be having trouble dealing with everyday life, let alone feeling ready to get behind the wheel again.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It’s natural to be upset after going through something difficult, but if those distraught feelings don’t get better or worsen over time, you may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This disorder often affects people who have been through robberies, assaults, car accidents and other high-stress situations. It is characterized by intense anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, depression and general feelings of sadness, confusion and fear. Someone who is suffering from PTSD may have a tough time returning to normal activities, such as work, school or even driving a car. Whether you ask a licensed therapist or a car accident attorney in West Palm Beach, they both might suggest that car accidents can be a source of trauma for those involved and for witnesses. If left untreated, these symptoms can grow worse and leave the person isolated and unable to function in society.

car-accident

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

If you think you have PTSD as a result of your car accident, consider talking to a licensed therapist about your feelings, preferably one that specializes in treating PTSD. They will be able to help guide you out of the darkness and teach you techniques that can help you in the midst of an anxiety attack. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about reaching out for help if you really need it. Plenty of people require therapy to fully recover from traumatic events, such as a car accident.

Consider a Holistic Approach

In conjunction with therapy, the holistic approach can go a long way in helping you to heal. Meditation, deep breathing and positive visualization are all very useful tools, especially while in the midst of an anxiety attack. If you find yourself thinking about scary memories from the day of your car accident, remind yourself to stop and breathe. Simply taking a few deep breaths will often be enough to get you through, but if it isn’t, try picturing yourself narrowly escaping the crash instead of reliving what actually happened. You can’t rewrite the past, but you can help calm your brain by picturing a more positive outcome.

Find the Courage to Get Back Behind the Wheel

Whether you were the driver or a passenger at the time of your accident, it can be challenging to get back in a car again. It can also be difficult to function in society without transportation. Try riding as a passenger for your first couple of trips with a driver who is an understanding friend. Ask them to pull over and give you a break if your anxiety levels get too high. After you get reacquainted with the road, you can try driving again yourself.

Most people will experience a car accident at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, no amount of education or law enforcement will ever be able to completely stop them from happening. However, if you work hard to deal with your emotions, find acceptance and choose to keep a positive outlook, you will likely be able to deal with your fears and get back to normal life.

Being involved in two traumatic collisions gives Nadine Swayne the understanding to write this article. Since 1997, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene have fought for the rights of car accident victims. Available for anyone seeking a car accident attorney in West Palm Beach, their law firm has the resources and experience to represent your case and they value the well being of their clients.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveynin/2477374996/

Nadine Swayne, a former television journalist, is a freelance writer with a B.A. in Communications. Being raised in the metropolitan areas of NYC/NJ helped to cultivate her interest in the arts, health, media and social communities. The array of experiences and friends help her contribute articles from many points of interests.

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