Car accidents not only cause personal injuries such as burn injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and other injuries, but they also create a serious emotional impact. The shock and trauma of a car accident can leave a motorist shaken and can leave long-term emotional symptoms, as well. Some people who have been directly impacted by a car accident may feel withdrawn, emotional, unable to sleep, depressed, or anxious. To cope with the physical and emotional impact of a car accident, it is important to:
1) Get careful checkups from a qualified physician. Any symptoms you have – emotional and physical – could be signs of an injury or a problem stemming from the accident. Report all symptoms to your doctor and make sure that you are tested for any possible injury. Sometimes, physical ailments can have very real emotional symptoms. Even if your emotional upset is not caused by a physiological injury, it is good to rule that out.
2) Talk about your symptoms. Talking about the accident and your emotions with a trusted friend is often very helpful. Writing about the accident and its aftermath or creating artworks related to the accident can also be therapeutic. Often, keeping your emotions hidden only intensifies them, so it is good to deal with your emotions rather than bottling them up.
3) Get comfortable with cars again. Many motorists and passengers who have been involved in a car accident feel anxious about being in a vehicle again. Consider taking some classes or getting help if you need it. However, do not drive again until you feel comfortable doing so.
4) Get support and help if you need it. There are also many support groups and qualified counselors who can help you with the after-effects of the accident. These groups and professionals can help you find ways to cope with your emotional upset and can help you work through your feelings so that you feel stronger than ever.
5) Get proactive. Often, we feel that emotions are something abstract and we mistakenly assume that there are few things that can be done about them. This is not the case. If you have suffered trauma after being in a car accident, you can often start to feel better by taking positive steps towards reclaiming control. For example, if your accident was caused by a faulty road, you may petition your city government to fix the intersection. Helping prevent future accidents can help you get on track after your accident and can help make you feel better.