If you were involved in a vehicle crash, in addition to dealing with your physical injuries, you may be suffering some psychological symptoms as well. These can include guilt, anger, anxiety, fear and even some level of shock. You may alternate between reliving the crash repeatedly in your head and thinking it was all a bad dream.
These feelings aren’t abnormal – particularly if you or a loved one was injured. They may occur if a stranger was seriously injured — even if they caused the crash.
In most cases, these feelings eventually dissipate. But what if they don’t? What if they keep you from getting back behind the wheel, prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and even make it impossible to get back to your pre-crash life?
How can you help heal yourself emotionally?
Mental health professionals recommend those crash victims who are having trouble keeping memories of the crash from interfering with their lives take steps to reclaim their lives. Talking to trusted family members and friends about it – not just the facts, but about how you feel – can help you stop reliving it all in your head.
Even writing it all out can help. You may need to do that anyway as you pursue an insurance and/or legal claim.
Getting back to your normal life can help. While you may still have some limitations due to your injuries, the sooner you can get back to working, exercising and seeing friends, the better. Don’t push yourself on any of these things too hard, though.
If you’re still nervous about driving, bring along another licensed driver as your passenger on your first few outings. Knowing that someone else is there who can take over is reassuring. Just make sure that your injuries and any medications you’re taking for them don’t make getting behind the wheel unsafe.
When should you seek professional help?
If you’re still not feeling like you’ve recovered emotionally from the crash, don’t hesitate to seek psychological help. A mental health professional can help you identify and cope with your feelings so that the crash no longer interferes with your life.
You can and should seek compensation to cover medical treatment for your physical injuries. You shouldn’t forget about recovering compensation for your mental health treatment too. An experienced attorney can help you do that.