No Safety Device Can Protect Your Mind In A Car Accident
Many people consider the “trauma” of a car accident to be purely physical, but just about any car accident can have a deep, psychological effect on the human mind. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), car accidents are the most common cause of mental trauma for males (25%), and the second most common cause of trauma for females (13%). In fact, the VA cites that 9% of all car accident victims go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a severe mental health condition that can interfere with daily life. Your physical body may receive little to no injury, yet your emotional state can be shattered. Traumatic memories from the accident can trigger long-term mental and emotional health conditions, such as anxiety and even depression, and may require more than just a few visits to the doctor.
The Human Brain is a Complicated Network
The human mind is vastly complex, comprised of a grid-work of neurons, chemical connections, and hormones, not unlike some busy street with automobiles and stop lights. Everything works smoothly until there is a disturbance. When the human body experiences a traumatic event such as a car crash, the stress hormone cortisol sky-rockets. The body goes into a heightened state of panic. Since the body cannot sustain this state, it will calm itself down within hours or days. It is common to suffer from some form of stress after a serious car accident, but if the anxiety does not decrease after a few months, then it is advisable that you go see a mental health counselor. Sometimes, certain symptoms can take up to a month to manifest. These delayed reactions to stress can have a massive impact on your psychological well-being.
Symptoms of Emotional Distress Following a Car Accident
Common symptoms and conditions of mental health deterioration after being involved in a car crash may include:
- Inability to extract enjoyment from everyday activities
- Withdrawal from social events and human contact
- Mood swings ranging from anger to frustration to guilt
- High levels of stress and anxiety
- Nightmares and disrupted sleep patterns such as insomnia
- New fears or phobias developing (such as fear of riding in a car)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
It is important that you see a mental health counselor right away if you think you are suffering from mental trauma caused by a car accident. Allowing your mental state to deteriorate can lead to secondary complications such as relationship problems, work conflicts, and at the extreme, an inability to function normally in daily life.
Who do I see About My Accident-Related Psychological Problems?
The first step on the road to mental health recovery is finding a counselor who can help you heal.
A counselor will advise you on the steps to recovery, but mental health may take a long time to heal. The counselor will instruct you in the best ways to handle your accident-related stress and anxiety. Medications to treat symptoms may be recommended, depending on severity. In addition, relaxation techniques, such as yoga, certain exercises, and controlled breathing, may help calm the mental and emotional states.
Oftentimes, the underlying physical injuries caused by the car accident are the real culprit affecting your emotional health, so going to a doctor to heal your physical body may be the first step in healing your mind and getting you back on track.
Other Injuries Sustained After a Car Accident
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Chest and rib injuries
- Pelvic and abdominal injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
Can I Receive Compensation for My Mental and Emotional Suffering?
Patterson Law Group will strive to help you get the fairest compensation for any emotional distress you have incurred as a result of a traumatic car accident. To receive maximum compensation, you will need to show how much the car accident has negatively impacted your psychological health. This can range from providing evidence that you have had to see a therapist regularly, to personal eye-witness accounts of your behavior, to going into details about how you cannot function at work or in your day-to-day life because of your high anxiety.
Patterson Law Group has helped many accident victims get the medical care, psychological counseling, and monetary compensation they deserve following a car accident in Texas. Call today for your free private consultation.