Finding yourself in a car accident is an unpleasant experience. If your vehicle only receives a slight bump from behind, you still have to go through the documentation process with the other driver.
The process becomes more complex when individuals experience injuries. Sometimes the only injury is mental trauma. However, it can derail people in their lives.
Studies estimate that six million motor vehicle accidents take place annually in the United States. They result in 2.5 million injuries. The accidents also lead to about 34,000 fatalities annually.
Moreover, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that almost 40% of individuals involved in a vehicle collision develop PTSD.
Let’s explore five ways on how to deal with PTSD caused from a car accident.
1. Understand PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs after a traumatic incident. The disorder prevents individuals from moving past the incident. For example, they may relieve it suddenly for a few hours, several days, or several months.
Individuals involved in a collision with a bus in Los Angeles may see the large vehicle crashing into them over and over. Of course, that’s a scary sight. If you need an LA bus accident attorney, the team at JT Legal Group remains at your disposal.
The good news is that the medical community has developed a set of risk factors and predictors for the disorder. Each helps individuals sort their feelings post-collision. Then, they can seek the proper help.
Risk factors include:
- Previous trauma
- Family history of mental health issues
- Lack of support
- Isolation after the incident
Predictors for the disorder are:
- High-level of grief
- High-level of guilt
- Negative mindset
It’s normal to relieve the incident after it occurs. When the memory takes over, it becomes an issue. Understanding PTSD helps individuals seek help before it becomes a black hole of darkness. Then, they can build a support system to help them cope.
2. Return to Your Daily Routine
One way to test the severity of the traumatic disorder is to return to your daily routine. The goal is to avoid having too much free time on your hands without avoiding daily responsibilities.
Household members who have a family who still depends on them must remain reliable. Those who have single status still need to pay their bills and care for themselves.
Therefore, go to work, attend classes, and keep up with your family.
Ideally, the memory of the incident will fade away as the days come and go. By staying busy and productive, the fading occurs at a faster rate. Plus, you’ll sleep better since you wear yourself out during the day.
Another way to cope with the aftermath of a vehicle collision is to exercise or do other physical activities such as hiking in the mountains.
Physical activity helps individuals cope with the aftermath of a collision in several ways. First and foremost, the activity helps the brain release endorphins; it also gives the brain extra shots of dopamine that help individuals feel better.
Exercise helps fill any extra time you have productively. It also keeps you in good shape. If you require physical therapy, exercise helps your body heal correctly and faster. It also ensures that you don’t lose your range of motion since exercise keeps the muscles toned and strong.
4. Seek Professional Mental Health Care
Sometimes exercise and keeping up with daily responsibilities isn’t enough to keep PTSD at a distance. That’s when it’s a good idea to seek professional mental health care.
Mental health care options include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The best approach depends on the severity of the disorder.
Some people simply need someone to talk with while others need someone who will listen. Professionals in the mental health care field can do both. Then, they will provide solutions; it’s not healthy for an individual to remain paralyzed with these feelings.
5. Brush Up on Your Driving Skills
Unfortunately, accidents can occur to people. There is such a thing as the innocent bystander.
If you see an accident coming your way, it’s not safe to swerve suddenly to avoid it – the action can make the collision worse.
Nonetheless, jump back into the saddle of your driver’s seat and brush up on your driving skills. It’s important to avoid developing a fear of driving or getting into a vehicle as a passenger.
It’s possible to avoid driving in some cities. However, it’s not the case across the United States.
Coping with PTSD after a car accident is possible. Moreover, it’s possible to help it fade away. By remaining productive, individuals can overcome the incident and return to their daily routines, especially if people depend on them.
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