Statistics state that the average number of car accidents in the U.S. every year is 6 million, and more than 90 people die in car accidents every day. These figures are terrifying, and if you or someone you know has recently become one of the 6 million, here are 4 ways to cope with the aftermath of being injured in a road accident.
Write it Down
Once you are physically able, it helps to keep a chronological account of the accident in a notebook. Doing so will help you get the jumble of thoughts and emotions you feel towards the event out of your mind and down on paper. It makes facing the trauma easier and stops them racing through your head.
Keeping a written account of the accident also makes filing a legal claim with the help of an accident attorney such as Szakacs Law more efficient.
Time to Heal
Time heals all wounds. The best way to recover from a severe accident is to give yourself rest and recuperation time. Jumping straight back into normal daily life could set you back to square one. You may think you are OK to return to work the day after an accident, but you are most likely suffering from shock. Days or months down the line, the emotional stress could kick in if you have done too much too soon, and the consequences could be extreme.
Ensure you follow medical advice and let any physical injuries heal completely before you return to any strenuous activities. More than anything, speak with a counselor or other expert who can determine whether or not you are emotionally healed.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can occur after a traumatic event, and it is easy to withdraw from life and find comfort in junk food, drugs, or alcohol.
Keeping your body and mind healthy by eating a balanced diet providing all essential nutrients is vital. Eating well and taking gentle exercise (if possible) will speed up the physical and emotional healing process.
The Emotional Fallout
Post-traumatic stress disorder is common after serious road accidents, and you may find yourself suffering from negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, embarrassment, irritability, and hopelessness.
Severe PTSD can cause a person to have nightmares, sleep disturbances, and insomnia. Poor quality sleep makes negative emotions snowball, and a person’s emotional state can plunge to severe lows that could make them withdraw from society, or worse, consider suicide.
It is crucial that you report these feelings to your doctor as soon as possible, and they will offer advice, medication or refer you to a counselor.
Share the Burden
You must talk about your feelings with someone. It can be a friend, family member, or a professional – just make sure you do not bottle up your emotions. Tell someone you can trust to listen and not judge you.
If you are apprehensive about driving a car again, walking down the street, or being near the scene of the accident, you could ask your confidante to accompany you.
Emotional recovery can take longer than physical so take it one step at a time. Only drive or pass the accident location when you are 100% ready to do so. Do not punish yourself, and do not rush into anything.