A car accident on North Carolina roads can lead to more than just physical injuries. Physical injuries may require the most immediate attention, and they can have a considerable impact on an individual’s life.
However, it is common for individuals to suffer emotional trauma and distress after an accident as well. So, what should individuals know about how a crash could affect their mental health?
What should you expect after a car accident?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), not many people consider car accidents to be traumatic experiences – but they often are. Individuals might not register the trauma immediately, but it can have a significant effect long after the accident.
Everyone copes differently after a life-threatening accident. However, it is common for people to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression.
For example, individuals might:
- Feel low or even guilty about the accident, especially if others were in the vehicle;
- Have trouble sleeping or relaxing;
- Experience high levels of stress;
- Fear driving or even getting near a vehicle again; and
- Worry excessively about friends or family members when they must drive.
This emotional trauma is very real – and it is as real as any physical injury individuals might sustain. Individuals should watch out for these symptoms in their loved ones after a car accident.
PTSD is possible in some cases
Severe car crashes could also lead individuals to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If individuals feared for their lives, or the accident was particularly violent, PTSD is not uncommon. This might lead individuals to:
- Experience intrusive memories of the accident;
- Exhibit extreme avoidance behaviors;
- Feel irritable, in addition to severe mood swings; and
- Distance themselves from their friends and family.
These symptoms might reduce over time. However, if they continue and interfere with one’s daily life, it might be beneficial to consult a mental health expert to ease the pain and suffering after the accident.