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How To Recover From the Emotional Stress Of a Car Accident

Car accidents can be traumatic events for everyone involved, particularly the drivers who were not at fault for the collision. Not only do car accidents inflict physical damage on their victims, but they can also create psychological wounds and lasting emotional stress for those in Oklahoma.

Managing stress

Although it may not be apparent to the naked eye, psychological trauma can be as debilitating as physical wounds. Just like physical injuries, emotional wounds must be treated as part of the recovery process. After a car accident, drivers should:

  • Maintain a regular routine-Those recently involved in a car accident should stay active, involved and maintain a healthy balance between their work and home life.
  • Take care of their physical needs-This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
  • Seek support from friends and family members.
  • Friends and family members should remember that their loved one may experience a wide range of emotional, physical and cognitive effects in the days immediately following the crash. These may include shock, denial, insomnia, fatigue, confusion and intrusive memories.

Car accidents can have far-reaching effects

How long those involved in a car accident suffer from psychological side-effects is completely unique to their personal situation. For example, according to American Family Physician, a man who had been involved in a car accident twelve years earlier went to his physician with complaints of insomnia, headaches, persistent worry and gastrointestinal problems. Although he had suffered from a broken jaw and hip 12 years earlier, he was in overall good health.

However, after the accident, the man reported that he would have difficulties driving and had to pull over for lengthy periods of time, felt anxious in public settings, felt sick around the smell of gasoline and relied on alcohol to calm his nerves. After taking medicine prescribed by his physician and participating in psychotherapy, the man was able to overcome the effects of the car accident 18 years later.

According to WebMD, a study conducted by British researchers discovered that approximately a third of all people involved in car accidents experience psychological symptoms, like depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, one year after the collision. However, of all the participants involved in this particular study, approximately 1,000 reported that they had recovered from the psychological impact of the accident between three and 12 months later.

Even minor accidents can cause severe psychological and emotional distress. If you were recently involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, consult with an attorney who can protect your rights to proper compensation for your injuries.