Traffic accidents occur every day in every city worldwide. They range from small fender benders to extensive collisions with damage and injuries.
Being involved in a collision is highly stressful and sometimes there are bad feelings and thoughts that just won’t go away. Getting over a car accident is a process that can take time and for some can even develop into PTSD.
If you believe the trauma after a car accident is affecting you in this way, here are 5 tips for overcoming PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a condition that can occur after a devastating event and leaves a person unable to move on and resume regular life functions.
Symptoms of PTSD after a car accident can include being unable to let the memory of the accident go. You relive it in your mind, or maybe even dream about it.
You have a new, or increased, anxiety about driving, or even riding in cars. You make up excuses not to have to get in a vehicle. This could result in a major disruption to your daily routine.
Maybe you have unexplained anger or restlessness. If you already have an underlying mental health condition, this incident may have made it worse or more difficult to control.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar and you are concerned about the accident trauma, please know there is help.
Overcoming PTSD After Car Accidents
1. Admit the Situation
The first step is to admit you are struggling with these feelings. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledged that you need help.
2. Talk to Someone
After you have admitted there is an issue, seek out someone to talk to. This could be family members or friends. It should be someone you trust. In severe cases, you should reach out to your doctor and ask for professional help.
3. Follow All Medical Advice
If you do reach out to a doctor or therapist, do what they suggest. They may offer exercises for stress relief, or even provide medication in the short term to overcome the fear. Be sure to always follow your doctor’s advice.
There are also times when you need legal advice. If you have been injured and experiencing pain and suffering, there is somewhere to turn.
4. Resume Life Activities
PTSD robs you of the enjoyment of your daily routine. Try to resume as many of these as possible. If you don’t already exercise, that can be a great addition to help ease tension and stress.
5. Get Back in the Car
The last thing you may want to do is get back in the car, however, that is exactly what you need to do. Overcoming your fear of driving, or even being on the road, will be a huge step in overcoming your PTSD.
While it is normal to have feelings of fear, anger, or even guilt after an accident, those should typically go after a few days. Being unable to move on and having intense and ongoing feelings of worry and dread are clues that you may be experiencing PTSD.
Fortunately, you are not alone and there are people out there willing and able to help. If you recognize yourself as someone needing assistance, please take the steps for overcoming PTSD.