PTSD After a Car Accident: 3 Ways to Cope

In the United States, approximately six million car accidents occur annually, and over three million people suffer from injuries…
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In the United States, approximately six million car accidents occur annually, and over three million people suffer from injuries due to car accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the general population, and according to a study by the National Insitute of Mental Health, 39.2 percent of car accident survivors develop PTSD.

If you've experienced a car accident, it's normal to feel a flood of emotions, including shock, grief, confusion, and fear, immediately after the accident. However, when these feelings don't go away or become worse over time, you may be at risk for developing PTSD. If your symptoms become severe or more frequent, or if you're experiencing difficulty functioning in day-to-day life, here are three ways to cope.

Seek Help


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If you've experienced a car accident and develop avoidance behaviors, intrusive memories, or negative changes in your thinking or mood, seeking help is crucial. There are numerous effective treatments for PTSD, such as cognitive processing therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR) therapy. Getting help from a licensed therapist can help you learn skills to cope with the emotional and mental trauma stemming from your experience.

If you're having trouble functioning during work or school, the Bible may be able to help you find wisdom and cope with small, everyday problems. The NRSV Bible, a cultural background study bible, can help you learn how to heal after your car accident by shedding light on the joy and hope of a better tomorrow. In combination with therapy, studying the Bible can help you manage your PTSD symptoms and jumpstart the healing process.

Build a Support System


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After a traumatic event, it's important to build a comprehensive support system to minimize unhealthy coping strategies, such as avoidant behaviors and alcohol and drug use. In many cases, trauma can leave you feeling vulnerable and hesitant to open up to others. Traumatic events can disrupt your connection with close friends and family members, leading to social isolation and depression.

According to the Veteran's Association, people with PTSD tend to heal better when they have good familial relationships. Being able to turn to close friends and family members for comfort, advice, and support can help you feel better, understand your symptoms, and work through your trauma.

Your support system can include mentors, people who can guide and teach you, and close friends and family members. Your support system might also include professionals, such as nurses and other healthcare providers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselors. While there's no step-by-step guide to building a support system, remembering that you're not alone can help you find the appropriate support.

Hire a Lawyer


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The symptoms of PTSD can be distressing, and it can be difficult to think rationally after your accident. According to the experts at the Lawsuit Infocenter, the result of a personal injury accident can have a significant impact on your physical and financial well-being. Consequently, it's important to hire an experienced lawyer to discuss your options.

After your accident, don't settle with insurance companies without speaking to a licensed personal injury attorney in your state. Insurance companies will pay out as little as possible, and understanding your legal options can help you determine whether filing a lawsuit for your injuries is worthwhile.

If you've been diagnosed with PTSD, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to obtain financial compensation for your injuries. If you need help finding an experienced attorney or understanding insurance policies, visit the Lawsuit Infocenter. The Lawsuit Infocenter specializes in car accident settlements, claims, documentation, and negotiations, so you'll be able to understand your options and hire an attorney who has your best interests in mind.

After experiencing a traumatic event, practicing healthy coping strategies, such as seeking help, building a support system, and hiring a lawyer, can help you start on the path toward recovery.