Mental Health Issues You Might Battle After a Car Accident
According to a report by the US road safety department, around 38,000 people lose their lives every year to road accidents. Another report suggests that the fatality rate on roads is around 12.4 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants. Besides this, over 4.4 million people get severely injured in road mishaps.
The numbers are scary, and the fact that road accidents are one of the top three leading causes of death doesn’t help either. A road accident is devastating and leaves an irreversible impact on the person. Even if you get out of it without any major injuries, the accident’s psychological impact might be a life-long event.
When you meet with an accident, it impacts more than just the vehicles involved. While the naked eye can see the scars on the vehicle and the person, it is the mind that gets hurt the most. But sadly, it does not receive the care it needs after a traumatic event like this. And that becomes a major reason for numerous mental health issues to pop up and trouble the person for several years and decades. If you were in a car accident or know someone who was, please watch out for the following disorders.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is self-explanatory. It is a mental health challenge that a person experiences after a severely traumatic incident. PTSD might last for a few weeks, months, or even years in a few instances. During this phase, the person might have recurring flashbacks of the traumatic event, which tends to trigger an emotional and physical reaction.
Reliving moments from the accident in the form of flashbacks, avoiding situations that remind of the accident, and nightmares that keep the person up are a few examples. There are over 17 symptoms to watch out for in the case of PTSD, including intense distress, physical trauma with reminders of the incident, upsetting memories of the tragedy, flashbacks of the trauma, self-blame, difficultly sleeping, feeling of isolation, etc.
People with PTSD might become hypervigilant, paranoid, and alert at all times. And this might interfere with their everyday life and existence. If you are experiencing this, or know someone who experiences it, approach a professional. Going to a therapist will help you make peace with the accident, come to terms with the present, and get your life back on track! If you have other accompanying issues like suicidal thoughts, anger, and loneliness, your therapist can help you overcome them.
Depression is a mental health issue which accident victims experience. For most victims of an accident, depression is a key symptom associated with physical injury. It lowers a person’s mood and can push him into a state of sadness for prolonged periods. There are six common types of depression. It includes major depression, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder or SAD, bipolar disorder, Perinatal depression, and PMDD. The feeling of being lost, a lack of interest, changes in sleep, appetite, concentration, and energy levels are common signs of depression to watch out for!
Visiting a specialist will help you treat depression with medications, talk therapy, or both. A few research findings suggest that regular therapy and medication will normalize the brain’s changes that come because of depression.
It is normal to experience anxiety after an accident. The sudden and uncertainty The mental health disorder makes you anxious, worried, and scared. It goes on to interfere with the everyday activities of life! According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), anxiety attacks are common after a traumatic event or an accident. This could last for several weeks or months even after the accident.
Besides that, the research also suggests that women are more likely to experience anxiety issues than men. The study findings suggest that the anxiety issues are highest with around 70% of it during the first month. And by the end of six to eight months, the anxiety attack frequencies come down to 15%. Some of the common symptoms of Anxiety disorder are restlessness, inability to stop worrying, and an inability to concentrate.
Feeling low, self-doubt, and panic are all normal after an accident. It might leave a mental strain even if you did not sustain any physical injuries. Do not punish yourself by discounting your feelings. Kindly approach a professional and seek help. They will help you find a way out of the challenges you are dealing with, and guide you towards restoring normalcy in life!
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