When we discuss car accidents, we often focus on physical injuries that can require weeks or months of medical care and recovery time. However, many people also suffer mental health effects, including anxiety and fear. Below we share some keys to overcoming fear after an accident.
The Family Doctor website reports that many people can experience post-traumatic stress disorder following a car accident. Symptoms of accident-related PTSD can include:
In extreme cases, some people even develop a phobia of accidents called dystychiphobia. This phobia can appear after a serious accident or after the loss of a loved one in an accident, and it can dramatically limit a person’s quality of life. People with this disorder may choose to stay home, limit or eliminate travel altogether and isolate themselves from family and friends.
If you believe you might have PTSD or dystychiphobia, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a licensed counselor who specializes in these disorders.
Even if you don’t develop a phobia or PTSD following your accident, feelings of anxiety and fear are a common and normal response to a traumatic event. As the shock of the accident wears off, these emotions might begin to surface.
You might not feel like yourself, but there are steps you can take to manage the overwhelming emotions that come up:
Finally, it’s important to note that insurance coverage from your accident should include both physical and mental health care. Do not hesitate to ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a counselor, support group or other mental health resource. If you feel anxiety, depression or any other mental health effects after your accident, always discuss those symptoms with your care providers.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.
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