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.