Being in a car accident can actually be a very traumatic experience. Some mental health symptoms can occur at the scene of the accident or days or weeks after. It is important to recognize these troubling feelings you are having after a car accident so that you can manage them.
What is the Aftermath of a Car Accident?
After you go through a car accident, you enter a state of shock. Even if you are not hurt, the shock can still be there. You could also be experiencing nausea, trembling, dizziness, quick breathing, sweating, or clammy hands and skin. At the time of the accident, your brain goes into autopilot mode where you know to exchange insurance, talk to the police, and take any photos of the accident. It is only once you leave the scene that the delayed shock comes into place which can happen days after.
What Emotional Distress May You Experience?
You could be experiencing anger where you are mad at the driver at fault or at yourself for allowing the accident to happen. You also may be blaming yourself for not seeing this coming. If anyone got hurt, you could be feeling anxious and depressed over the results. Denial is another feeling where you do not want others to see your pain, so you will pretend that the accident was no big deal. You could also be afraid of being in a car again in fear that another accident will happen or you do not want anyone in the car with you the next time you drive.
How Can You Treat Your Mental Health Symptoms?
If you have survived a car accident, you cannot continue pretending like everything is fine when you are dealing with pain. Acknowledge your feelings and reach out to family or friends. You can also try to find a support group in your area or through Facebook groups of people who are dealing with mental health effects after a car accident. Car accidents are very common so there may be more people than you know in your social group that have been through the same thing. If you are seeking a doctor for any physical injuries, talk to them about your thoughts and they can refer you to a mental health specialist. Remember that you do not have to go through surviving a car accident alone and to seek help when necessary.
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