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Pay attention to your mental health after a car wreck

Victims of car wrecks have a lot to deal with as they heal from their injuries. It is all too easy to focus on the physical impacts of the crash, but you also have to think about your mental health. Through the days following the incident, you will likely go through a range of emotions.

The normal emotions you will feel range from shock and anger to fear and guilt. Over time, these should abate. If they don't start to go away or if you notice they are getting more intense, you might need to seek mental health help. There is a chance that you could be one of the people who will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to a harrowing auto accident.

Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder

There are many signs of PTSD. You might have one symptom or many, depending on your circumstances. You should pay close attention to how you are feeling after the wreck so that you can get help as early as possible. Here are the signs you should watch for:

  • Persistent memories of the accident that impact your current life
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • Anxiety when having to get into a vehicle
  • General feeling of uneasiness that doesn't go away
  • Excessive worry, irritability or anger
  • Feeling like you aren't connected to other people or events
  • Wanting to avoid medical procedures or tests

There are some situations in which a person is more likely to get PTSD after a wreck. These include:

  • You have a mental disorder like anxiety or depression
  • You were involved in a previous traumatic event
  • You responded to traumatic events as a first responder
  • The crash involved physical injuries
  • You survived the wreck when someone else didn't
  • You don't have much support after the incident

Reclaiming your life

If you suffer from PTSD after a car accident, you will need to focus on improving your mental health so your life can return to something closer to normal. This is going to take time and effort, but you can't give up. Seek mental health support to cope with your emotions and move past the accident. Try to stay as active as you can and talk to your family members and close friends about your feelings.

Because PTSD and other injuries can be costly to treat, some victims of car accidents opt to seek compensation from the driver (or other parties deemed liable) who struck them.

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