How To Deal With Trauma After A Car Accident – A car accident can result in physical injuries, but there is often a significant emotional or mental impact that can last even after the injuries heal. It is important to keep an eye on the development of emotional trauma after a car accident. Treatment is available and can improve not only your long-term mental health but also your daily outlook on life. Here’s how a car accident can impact your emotional health and what you can do about it.
If you have been through a car accident, a doctor will evaluate your physical injuries, but you should keep an eye on emotional symptoms that may be caused by certain anxiety disorders that can develop after a car accident.
How To Deal With Trauma After A Car Accident
• Dissociative symptoms: Time slows down, you see yourself from someone else’s perspective, you feel anxious, or you are depressed.
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If these symptoms start to interfere with your normal daily life, or last more than a few days, then it’s time to seek help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event. While many associate PTSD with soldiers returning from active duty, it can happen in many different scenarios, including those who have experienced a car accident. This can have an impact on those who have been in serious accidents, but even those who escape critical injury can experience this type of emotional impact.
Acute stress disorder (ASD) is another possible development that can result from a car accident. The criteria for diagnosis are not as strict as and the symptoms do not last as long as PTSD, but it is important to note that those who experience ASD can, and often do, go on to develop full-blown PTSD.
If you have emotional symptoms that may be a result of your car accident, it is important to take them seriously and seek help. Visit your doctor to examine possible treatment plans, which may include therapy or medication, and look for local support groups that can help you feel understood by others who have gone through similar experiences.
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If your loved one is dealing with emotional distress after a car accident, in addition to helping them find appropriate mental health care in your area, provide an open and supportive ear. Encourage them to talk about their worries, bring them a meal on occasion, and let them know you’re available to transport them if they can’t.
Fortunately, while these types of serious emotional impacts can seem overwhelming, treatment is available and recovery is possible. Stay tuned to your emotional side as well as your physical injuries, and seek help if symptoms are present.
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Being involved in a car accident can cause a lot of stress in your life. In addition to the stress that physical injuries put on your body, there is… Read more »Sad events in life – whether expected or unexpected – can trigger a trauma response in all of us. Common unexpected events include being attacked or robbed, being in a car or bicycle accident, having a traumatic medical experience (eg childbirth, invasive surgery), or bullying at work. Even where the distressing event is expected, as is the case with certain occupations such as first responders (eg police, firefighters, ambulance officers and paramedics) and healthcare workers frontline (eg nurses, doctors), the events they attend can lead to trauma.
Trauma is a psychological, emotional and physical response to an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. It can happen only once – like in a car accident or a very difficult payment experience, or it can be repeated over time in the case of abuse, war, and torture. Fear, helplessness, and horror are reactions we see in trauma, and they can affect you at the time they happen, or emerge later.
Everyone responds differently to traumatic events, and our reactions are shaped by our previous life experiences, personality, how supportive our network is, and whether we have been exposed to past traumas. However, there are some common symptoms that we all experience.
While these are unpleasant, they are considered ‘normal reactions’ in the weeks following the critical incident you experienced. To help ease your suffering in the short term try the following tips:
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Certainly, everyone’s response to a traumatic event is different and is shaped by personality, coping mechanisms, support, and previous trauma experiences. Sometimes the stress you experience after a challenging event can turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Below we outline what to look out for, followed by our tip sheet on Tips for Coping with Trauma (scroll below!).
In general, symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress are indicated if you continue to experience the following approximately four weeks after the incident :
Based on the incident I was involved in, below are some common examples we have seen when these ‘normal reactions’ arise in Post Traumatic Stress. If you notice that what you are experiencing is preventing you from living your life as you usually do, it may be time to talk to a qualified mental health professional.
After a difficult pregnancy or birth, you may even find it difficult to bond with your child because of the reminders of the trauma, which can then lead to guilt.
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Around 30% of Australians reported being a victim of crime. The trauma after an attack or crime can be aggravated in situations where the incident is random/unexpected, where the crime was of a very personal nature (eg sexual assault, torture). The process of reporting and dealing with the criminal justice system can also increase the distress experienced.
Depending on where you live in the world, natural disasters (eg bushfires, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes) can be part of your lived experience. Symptoms of trauma after natural disasters can include:
Sometimes incidents occur at work that have the potential to lead to trauma beyond ‘regular’ work stress. Examples might include witnessing a fatality or serious injury in a warehouse or construction site, or an assault in a customer service role.
Signs of not coping include work avoidance or fear of returning to the workplace/accident site, flashbacks to the accident, anger and guilt at colleagues or management, problems in the performance of usual duties due to poor concentration and an increased state of anxiety, as well as a constant fear of threat when going about your usual role.
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Certain occupations also mean you are more likely to be exposed to trauma as part of your role, as is the case with first responders (fire and emergency services, police, ambulance and paramedics), and emergency medicine. an emergency.
For these professions, in addition to the above signs of not coping there can also be constant doubt about your decision-making processes when it comes to assisting others.
While some occupations are more likely to be directly exposed to distressing events (eg first responders), vicarious trauma and secondary traumatic stress can also emerge through indirect exposure to distressing events: 
Vicarious trauma, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Compassion Fatigue are distinguished from the related concept of Burnout (which reflects general work-related emotional exhaustion, overwhelm, and detachment from the work role). Rather, they involve changes in world views (eg of security, death and dying) as a result of the work they do.
What Are The Effects Of Mental Trauma After A Car Accident?
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What makes for effective treatment when it comes to trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been extensively researched. The most effective components (the ‘gold standard treatments’) rely on cognitive and exposure-based therapies (CBT), including eye-moment desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).[5 ], 
Trauma-focused cognitive therapies help to change unhelpful thinking and negative reactions that result from the traumatic experience. It also generally includes facing the traumatic memories gradually in a safe environment and gentle exposure to the causes of fear and distress until the fear subsides. That is, you are learning by slowly facing your fears, that the ‘threat’ is not as great as you believed, and you are better able to cope with the reminders of the traumatic event.
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EMDR takes an alternative approach in that it does not require repeated in-depth discussion of the traumatic event or prolonged exposure to fear-inducing stimuli, but provides desensitization.
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