Experiencing a traumatic car accident, whether you were driving or you were the passenger, can dramatically change your life, leaving you feeling a wide spectrum of emotions, from fear and helplessness to resentment and anger. As friends and family members, it is important to identify the signs and support the affected individual with care and patience. This could mean encouraging them to seek the help of a health professional. Not sure if the warnings are there? Read on. Here are five of the common symptoms of psychological distress after an upsetting motor vehicle accident.
When an event profoundly affects our psychology, it is hard to simply forget about it. Similarly, when we are most vulnerable, it is hard to repress memories of the happening. But when are we most vulnerable? When do we lack control over our functions? The answer is: when we are asleep. Those who have gone through a nasty prang can re-live the event in the form of vivid nightmares. These bad dreams may be accompanied by severe physical reactions, like profuse sweat and a racing heartbeat.
It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault or it was just pure bad luck; being involved in a car accident can heighten your sense of anxiety, so that you are constantly on the lookout for danger. Not only will the brakes be applied liberally, but fearing a lack of control will likely result in travelling below the speed limit. When questioned about you behaviour, you will probably respond with irritability.
Having Difficulty Sleeping
Of course, when we have something weighing heavily on our mind, it can be hard to switch off and fall asleep. Similarly, if you are experiencing terrible nightmares when you do go to sleep, this added anxiety is sure to get in the way.
Avoiding Anything that is a Reminder
Depending on the severity of the accident, it can take individuals months or even years before they get behind the wheel again. For some people, even getting in a car as a passenger is too much, simply because it will bring back painful memories. This sort of behaviour can be crippling, as many of us rely on our cars to get to work, do our grocery shopping, and have a social life.
Inability to Concentrate
Another common sign of psychological distress is the inability to focus. When you are not sleeping properly, you are highly strung, and you are striving to repress specific mental images and thoughts, it is natural for your brain to be a) functioning poorly and b) jumping from thought to thought – as long as it isn’t the wrong thoughts!
Have you been in a motor accident recently? Do you need to seek the help of a health or legal professional? Law firms such as Sinnamon Lawyers specialise in helping those who have been in a car accident claim damages, so you can attempt to produce a positive outcome out of a negative experience. Similarly, there are many health professionals who are experts in dealing with this sort of trauma. Asking for help is taking the first step to a happier and lighter life.