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How Is Your Mental Health Affected After An Accident?

No one in their right mind would want to be involved in an accident. When you’re either a victim or the responsible party in this kind of situation, you’ll lose money, valuable time and properties. You might also be involved in lawsuit battles, which can become very stressful over time. Your physical health will also be at risk since you might sustain injuries from the accident. But aside from the obvious things being affected after an accident, have you come to think how an accident can affect your mental health as well? Sure, the effects it has might not be visible compared to physical injuries but when left untreated, your mental health can be the reason why you feel aloof from the people you’re close with.

Regardless of how small or brutal the accident was, your mental health will be affected. You might argue that you can still think straight after the accident, but if you fail to seek professional help for your mental health right away, chances are, you’ll end up experiencing the worst case scenarios. To give you a clearer picture of how your mental health is affected after the accident, consider the points below:

After the accident, you can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is caused after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. You can develop PTSD when you are involved in an event which makes you fear for your safety – and being involved in a fatal car accident can be an excellent example for situations like these. Everybody experiences PTSD differently, but there are four main types of symptoms associated with the disorder namely:
  • Re-experiencing traumatic event : Flashbacks, nightmares and even intense physical reaction to a reminder of an event (e.g., muscle tension, rapid breathing, and nausea).
  • Avoidance and numbing : Inability to remember important details of the event, loss of interest in activities which you usually enjoy, feeling detached from others and being emotionally numb.
  • Hyperarousal : Sleep problems, irritability over small things, feeling jumpy and easily startled.
  • Negative thoughts and mood changes : Feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame, depression, hopelessness.
After the accident, you can suffer from depression : This is probably the most common emotion you can feel right after the accident. While you’re still at the scene of the accident, you can feel depressed for the lives hurt or lost, damages to property and the adverse effects it can have to the parties involved in the accident. Although signs of depression seem too simple like changes in sleep patterns and reckless behavior, when all of these are untreated, they can significantly affect your daily life in the long run.

After the accident, you can suffer from anxiety : When you fear driving a car again, or you experience panic attacks when you’re in a busy highway, you might have developed anxiety because of the accident. When you have anxiety, you’ll be worried too much and too often even without valid reasons.

After the accident, you can suffer from memory loss : Yes, you’ve read it right. Even if the accident happened once but was severe, you can suffer from memory loss – and nothing good can come from that, right? There are three different types of memory loss which can be acquired from an accident:
  • Post-traumatic amnesia : This is a state of confusion or memory loss of the time immediately after a traumatic accident. If the accident was too brutal, you could forget important details about what happened.
  • Anterograde amnesia : Among all the types of memory loss associated with an accident, anterograde amnesia is the most common. This is the loss of ability to form memories for a period of time after the accident which can lead to the individual not being able to remember certain parts of the accident.
  • Retrograde amnesia :   This is the loss of memories which were formed before the traumatic head injury. Sure, you might be able to remember that you were involved in a crash, but information why the accident happened might not seem clear to you.
After the accident, you can suffer from insomnia : It might not come as a surprise when you’re having trouble sleeping after the accident. You might be waking up in the middle of the night frequently, or you’re waking up in the morning with unusual headaches or feeling completely unrested even when you’ve slept for 8 hours. You might be lethargic and sleepy all day, which can result in dozing off when you’re working and worse, when driving. Sleep apnea caused by traumatic brain injury can become the culprit why you’re feeling all of these, and being sleep deprived can be harmful to your health.

Your mental health is affected after an accident – there’s no question about that. But you shouldn’t fret as there are different options available for you to minimize the consequences it can have on your well-being. You can start by seeking help from professionals about your mental health as they can also aid in your recovery.

In conclusion

You don’t have to suffer all your life because of a single accident. Yes, you’re allowed to be depressed and anxious about what happened, but these emotions should not get the best of you. Your life should not solely focus on the accident, but rather you should strive to recover faster so you can function again as an individual. But before you can achieve that goal, you should greatly consider your mental health first as this too, is affected after an accident. Once you’re able to take care of your mental health, recovery will come off easy for you.

Dealing with accident injuries can be both emotionally and financially distressing. If an accident has caused you injuries, learn more about your legal options by clicking here

Jewel Spencer

Jewel Spencer is a promising young law enthusiast. Her pieces offer a youthful perspective on common law topics. Jewel is your go-girl when it comes to sports, and she is often seen jogging when she has free time.

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