The effects of trauma from a serious accident or injury often linger far longer than anyone expects. Coping with ongoing emotional uncertainty may require relying on the support of people and resources with experience in helping manage trauma.
Even if the accident did not cause substantial physical harm, the psychological trauma can be profound. Recognizing trauma before it worsens is therefore vitally important.
Signs of PTSD
The Mayo Clinic defines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a mental health condition “triggered by a terrifying event.”
With good self-care and the passage of time, most people get better after such events. But when symptoms go on for a prolonged period of time – months or even years – and interfere with daily activities, they may be a sign of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD after an accident or injury vary of course from person to person and can change over time. Generally, they may include:
- Sleeping difficulties including nightmares and insomnia
- Pervasive memories about your accident with vivid detail
- Fear of continuing necessary medical treatment
- Uneasiness or refusal to drive
- Changes to your personality, social interactions and general comfort
Be proactive in seeking help
One aspect of recovering from a car accident be overcoming the fear of driving again. People react in different ways, however, and there are all sorts of ways in which anxiety can manifest itself.
That is why, as soon as you recognize symptoms of PTSD and anxiety, it’s important to be proactive in seeking the help and support you need to learn effective ways to deal with triggers and manage difficult emotions. Talking with a counselor or therapist is a good place can be helpful in going about this.