Are you suffering from PTSD resulting from a car accident?
If you’re nodding your head, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone in your struggles. In fact, it’s only natural to experience certain mental struggles after being involved in something so distressing.
Let’s first consider that the average number of car crashes each year in the states is approximately six million. This makes it one of the leading causes of death among young people. It also means that instances of PTSD after car accidents are not exactly rare.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you know the resulting problems are not limited to physical pain and discomfort. Instead, PTSD after a car accident can be consuming to your mind and your mental state.
For those looking to learn about ways to cope, you’ve come to the right place. We’re sharing six means of coping with your PTSD after a car accident. It’s not going to be an easy road, but these steps will help you learn to cope.
1. Take a Break
First things first, it’s time to sit back and take a break.
Remember, you have experienced one of the most stressful and difficult moments of your life. This warrants a break for an extended period of time or so long as you determine is necessary.
Without giving yourself this opportunity for a break, it’s unlikely that your mind or your body will be able to heal. Without proper healing, this car accident has the ability to become an all-encompassing, long-term problem for you.
If you need to take time off of work, don’t hesitate to do so. If you need to step down from your driving duties, for the time being, this is also encouraged. Either way, a break is a necessary piece of the recovery puzzle.
2. Talk to Someone
Having someone to talk to about your struggles is one of the most important steps in minimizing your PTSD.
There are plenty of psychologists that deal exclusively with patients suffering from PTSD. Do yourself a favor and arrange to speak with a qualified therapist.
Even if you feel that your mental state has not yet been affected by the accident, it’s possible symptoms will develop later. In fact, sometimes PTSD can develop even months after the initial trigger. Once the initial shock of the accident begins to fade, this is often when PTSD symptoms present themselves.
It’s also important to consider that a car accident has the ability to trigger or worsen already existing psychological conditions. In this event, it’s especially important for those with pre-existing mental conditions to speak to a therapist.
Remember, PTSD after an accident isn’t just limited to cars. Instead, PTSD can result from all methods of transportation from bike accidents to aircraft accidents.
3. Visit a Sleep Specialist
It’s not uncommon for those suffering from PTSD to also suffer from insomnia.
Even if do manage to sleep, it’s more than likely you’ve been experiencing problems throughout the night. This could be anything from nightmares and night terrors to re-living the crash in your sleep and suddenly jolting awake.
It’s simple to understand that sleep is essential for anyone trying to recover from an accident. It’s difficult for our body and our mind to recover when we’re not benefitting from a good night’s rest.
This is why talking to a sleep specialist shortly after your accident is encouraged. Not only will they be able to provide advice for your PTSD and sleep schedule, but they will also be able to recommend a sleep aid or supplement. Fortunately, there is no shortage of medication today that has proven effective in encouraging better sleeping habits.
4. Slowly Introduce Yourself Back to Driving
It’s normal to feel anxiety or stress when driving after a car accident.
Because of this, some people might even take a break from driving altogether. When you finally get back behind the wheel, don’t be afraid to slowly reintroduce yourself back into the routine of driving.
It may be helpful to avoid long, complicated drives. Instead, focus your driving on routine roads in order to slowly regain your confidence. You might even find it helpful to take a single driving lesson to increase your confidence even further.
The point of this lesson isn’t to teach you how to drive. After all, you more than likely have all the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a vehicle. Instead, it’s about helping you to regain your confidence in driving that can often be compromised after a car accident.
5. Find a Calming Hobby
Amongst all of the stress and anxiety that comes with PTSD after a car accident, it’s essential to find ways to relax your body and mind.
This could be anything from mindful meditation and practicing yoga to writing down your thoughts or being active. Either way, these de-stressing activities help to relax your mind and allow your body to recuperate.
These activities also deter you from shutting down and isolating yourself as a result of your PSTD. Even better, try to engage in these activities with others. During moments of stress, it’s always beneficial to surround yourself with others or even one person.
6. Be Thankful
At the end of the day, it’s important to remind yourself just how lucky you are to have survived.
There’s no denying that car accidents can be lethal and often result in death. After all, over 37,000 people die each year from car accidents in America.
Amongst all of your stress, aches and pains, take a moment to be thankful for the outcome. Allow yourself to feel extremely blessed to have come out of such a terrible accident alive.
PTSD After a Car Accident
If you’re dealing with the trauma of a car accident, it’s important to treat your mental injuries just as you would your physical injuries.
After all, mental injuries have the potential to be more long-term than physical injuries. While the majority of physical injuries can be treated, it’s the mental injuries that require more complex treatment. It’s also the mental injuries that people often feel shame in seeking help.
If you’re suffering from PTSD after a car accident, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone. The reality is, this is a condition that affects many of those who have been involved in a car accident. In a way, this is a natural reaction to experiencing something traumatic.
Fortunately, there are ways to cope with your PTSD that have proven effective. This could be anything from seeking therapy and visiting a sleep specialist to taking a break from driving and engaging in more relaxing activities. Either way, be sure to take time for yourself and take a step back from your everyday routine.
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