The Importance of Managing Mental Health After an Accident or Trauma

by Jenn

Often, the easiest type of injury to deal with after an accident or trauma is the one you can see. However, mental and emotional issues can linger much longer after physical injuries heal and often permanently affect your life.

The psychological impact of a car accident or an accident at work can impact your quality of life and affect your relationships with your loved ones. Yet, this kind of trauma often goes under the radar.

Focus on the Whole Picture

Your physical injuries and the damage to your car are often the focus of a legal claim soon after an auto accident. 

However, a good attorney will realize that hidden issues take time to manifest. They’ll work to make sure you get compensation for these issues and the treatments involved.

Sites such as provide a benchmark for finding a good, experienced attorney who understands the whole gamut of injuries that an accident can cause.

Because emotional and mental problems often don’t show up till later, they tend to get overlooked in the initial assessment of the accident. An experienced attorney already has psychological and mental damage on their radar.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress after an accident gives rise to many different feelings and responses, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • A general feeling of anguish
  • Periods of intense anger
  • Fear
  • Feelings of humiliation
  • Crying and uncontrollable weeping
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression and lack of interest in usual activities

Emotional distress after an accident is a serious issue that causes ongoing disruption to daily life. Out of the various responses, PTSD is the most common mental health condition that survivors of a car accident experience.

PTSD is commonly associated with war veterans or people returning from combat zones, but PTSD is a potential outcome for anyone who’s experienced trauma. 

Research by the US Department of Veterans Affairs has shown that an estimated 9% of vehicle accident survivors will have PTSD in the weeks and months after their accident. More than just stress, this condition can lead to breakdowns or panic attacks when it’s dangerous to have them—such as while driving on the highway.

Treating PTSD

The good news about treating PTSD is that it’s never too late to seek help. PTSD is treatable years after the original cause of the traumatic event or accident.

Psychological therapies are usually the first course of treatment, although there are also medical interventions. You can refer yourself or speak to your doctor about a referral.

The most common psychological therapies used are CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Both therapies work in different ways to achieve the same outcome, lessening or eliminating the symptoms of PTSD. Sessions may take weeks or months, depending on the individual circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Never underestimate the impact that an accident or traumatic event can have on your mental health and well-being. 

When considering treatment for physical injury after an accident or traumatic event, always factor in professional help for emotional distress and psychological problems simultaneously. And if you’re seeking compensation, make sure that pain and suffering are part of your damages.

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