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Can you get PTSD after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When you experience a car accident, you may immediately notice the physical pain you feel. Your injuries could vary from minor, cosmetic injuries to severe injuries that require life-saving aid.

As you recover from the physical consequences of a car accident, you may notice the emotional distress you feel. Psychological trauma could linger for some time and trigger PTSD if not addressed in a timely manner.

Recognizing emotional distress

It is not uncommon to feel shaken, emotional and stressed after a car crash. However, if these feelings linger past a few weeks and interfere with your ability to focus and live your life, you might need help.

Invasive, persistent thoughts and memories of your accident could exhaust you and trigger strong emotions. Feelings of isolation, fear and angst might prevent you from taking proper care of yourself. Resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms could further endanger you and cause severe PTSD. Knowing when to seek help can protect your emotional well-being and aid you in overcoming trauma.

Rebuilding your confidence

Getting past the emotional distress your accident caused will take time and effort. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some tips for coping with trauma include the following:

  • Prioritize self-care
  • Get enough rest
  • Seek support from family and friends
  • Maintain a normal routine
  • Limit negativity
  • Spend time in nature

When you feel ready to start driving again, take things slowly and ask someone to accompany you. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to go. Consider participating in a driver safety course. Your effort to overcome your accident will enable you to move on with your life and find the confidence to drive again.