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Overcoming Trauma: How to Cope with Car Accident Ptsd

Over a million people die in car accidents on an annual basis. Many more get into car crashes, survive and are left to deal with severe mental and physical trauma.

This write-up focuses on the mental scars that people carry with them well after impact and how to find peace after dealing with severe car accident PTSD.

For those of you that aren’t aware, PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a mental illness that typically results after a negative event and makes it hard for those that suffer from it to live regular, happy lives.

Fortunately, if you’re experiencing PTSD as a result of a car accident, there is hope.

Below, our team digs into some simple steps that you can take to reduce the stress, depression, and anxiety that is tormenting you.

1. Accept That PTSD Is Real

You’d be shocked to know just how many people don’t believe in mental illnesses. They think that if your sickness is solely in your mind, making the choice to not be sick is a sure-fire remedy that one can access immediately.

If that were the case, thousands of suicides wouldn’t ravage families across our country every year.

PTSD is real. In many ways, you’re powerless to it unless you take the time to pursue long-term treatment.

When you experience emotional episodes after your accident, don’t think of yourself as weak. Think of yourself as somebody that needs medical attention as any sick person would.

2. Talk to Friends and Family

Car accident PTSD thrives on you keeping it bottled up. The more that you keep it to yourself, the bigger the event becomes and the more affected you’ll feel.

To prevent this from happening, talking is important. One of the first groups of people that you can talk to about your trauma is your family and your friends.

It may be hard to talk about traumatic events to loved ones because these discussions can get very emotional. Believe us when we say though that when you clue people into what you’re experiencing, you’ll start to feel worlds better.

3. Get Professional Help

Talking to friends and family members is a very good thing. Talking to a mental health professional is even better.

Therapists can help put into perspective a lot of what you’re experiencing. They can recommend specific treatment options that could help you to better cope with your feelings and some might even prescribe you medication that could offer immediate relief.

The vast majority of health insurance plans have provisions for mental health so inquire to see what’s possible.

4. Take Time to Reflect on Your Experience

As time passes, traumatic events can get blown up in your memory. While in reality, your car accident may have been a moderate one, you might now remember it as being a near-death experience.

A popular exercise that many therapists recommend to put events into perspective is to replay them in your head in fast motion. Once you’ve done that, they ask that you replay the event backward at the same speed.

Playing around with your memories by recounting them at various speeds can help you to remember what actually happened and may even help to emotionally discharge events that were not that bad, to begin with.

5. Work Your Way Back Behind the Wheel

One of the biggest issues that car accident PTSD causes is a fear of driving. For many, that can lead to serious problems getting to work, making social events and more.

Our recommendation is that you don’t force yourself back behind the wheel. Take things slowly so that your scars have time to heal.

You can start by being a back seat passenger in a car via a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. Then, you can work your way up to being a front seat passenger.

When you’re ready, try driving during early-weekend mornings and grow from there.

Progression is everything when it comes to overcoming trauma so again, don’t rush and do give yourself all of the time that you need.

6. Find Justice

If your car accident was not your fault and now you find yourself burdened with high medical bills, the inability to work and related issues, finding justice could be a way to bring peace to your life.

You can read more here about justice after car accidents. To summarize things for you, finding a lawyer is your best option since they know how to navigate the pothole laded process of taking accident suits to court.

7. Meditate

Your therapist can best direct you on how to best manage your mental state. In our opinion though, a low-hanging fruit that’s worth exploring when it comes to calming your mind is meditation.

Taking 15-minutes or more a day to meditate and keep your mind in the present can help you reduce ruminating which is a primary catalyst of car accident PTSD episodes.

Here’s a free guided resource on meditation that can help you learn more about this practice.

Closing Out Our Suggestions for Coping with Car Accident PTSD

Car accident PTSD affects many people that have been involved in vehicle collisions. Rather than letting your PTSD take over your life, be proactive and start finding ways to heal your mind.

A little bit of effort can go a long way here so talk to a professional and continue reading the helpful health content that we have published on our blog.

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