For most individuals, the initial emotional response to a car accident is shock. Sadly, many suffer effects that do not dissipate after a few days and may require some treatment to work through. It is not unusual to feel the emotional impact of an automobile accident for a significant time after the accident occurs. However, there are ways to manage these emotions and move on with your life. If you have been involved in an accident and feel overwhelmed by emotions that you can’t control, reach out for help. Your feelings are completely normal, and there are many ways you can get help working through them.

Why Does Emotional Trauma Occur?

Car accidents happen quickly and are often beyond the control of the individuals involved. The unexpected occurrence may leave you feeling that you were unprepared, as if there were something you could have done to prevent it. This is common among accident victims. These feelings often subside with time. However, in some circumstances, the trauma is too great to bear on one’s own.

What Are the Types of Emotional Stress That Result from Accidents?

  • Disbelief and denial. The shock of being in an accident may include feelings of fear, wild mood swings, emotional distress, and a sense of numbness. Depending on the type of accident and its severity, even passengers, witnesses from other vehicles, and pedestrians can feel these emotions.
  • It is normal for anyone involved in an accident to be irritable and have angry feelings for the other parties involved, or even the driver of the car the individual was riding in. Some passengers experience these feelings towards both drivers involved in the crash. This irritability can cause the individual to lash out at others around them, even if they weren’t involved in the accident.
  • This common emotion can be felt by drivers, passengers, and even witnesses to accident scenes. When an individual is killed in an accident, some people may feel “survivor’s guilt.” Drivers may feel that they could have done something to prevent the accident, even if it was beyond their control. Even passersby may feel guilty for not having first aid training or not being able to do anything to change the circumstances that resulted in the crash.
  • Accidents can create a deep sense of anxiety for those involved and cause them to be worried about driving or riding in a car, or even about situations that seem completely unrelated. These individuals may have trouble concentrating, relaxing, or sleeping if they are completely overcome by worry. This effect can also manifest in feelings of hopelessness and lethargy or being anti-social. It can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
  • Being sad or hopeless after experiencing a car accident is another type of anxiety that many individuals face.
  • Individuals who have been involved in car accidents often feel that there is no one who understands what they are feeling, so they avoid contact with others. The stress of trying to manage anxiety and emotions after the accident can also feel so overwhelming that the individual isolates in an attempt to work through their feelings. Many times, the best way to counteract the desire to be alone is to spend time with friends or family who will provide support and a listening ear when necessary.

How Can You Get Past These Feelings?

There are some methods an individual can employ to try to get past their emotional trauma on their own. Exercising, eating healthy, and getting adequate rest are great ways to start. It is also important to maintain a structured routine and include enjoyable activities in your daily schedule. Many accident victims find comfort in prayer, meditation, and activities like yoga and deep breathing. If an individual needs to talk with an impartial person, counselors and clergy are a wonderful outlet for guidance and emotional release. If you require more intensive help than these self-help methods, there are support groups for accident victims and psychiatric professionals who specialize in accident trauma. In some cases, a combination of therapies is the most effective way to overcome emotional trauma.

A Legal Team That’s on Your Side

If you are experiencing emotional stress as the result of an accident, you may lose income due to missed work or even losing your job. The cost of treatment may also create financial stress that can deepen the anxiety you are already feeling. If you need a legal team who can get a settlement you deserve for your pain and suffering, as well as treatment and loss of income, the professionals at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC are the attorneys who can help. Call us today at (916) 634-0729 to find out how we can get you the proper compensation.