Millions of individuals are involved in car accidents every year. Unfortunately, many of these crashes result in serious or even fatal injuries. However, collisions on the road not only cause physical damage but can also lead to extensive emotional distress. The emotional and mental trauma is even more substantial in case a car accident results from drunk driving.
Research suggests that high percentages of vehicle accident survivors report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Even for individuals not clinically diagnosed with PTSD, the emotional distress following a road crash results in anxiety and depression, panic attacks, and sleep issues. Some impaired driving accident victims exhibit avoidance behaviors and may fear driving due to the deeply ingrained dread of getting into another accident.
If you are hit by a drunk driver on the road, and the emotional distress is affecting your everyday functioning, it’s an indication that you need to take action. It’s best to assess your emotional health following the incident and take measures to deal with the trauma.
Some measures you can try to overcome emotional trauma include the following.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Emotional trauma is one of the most common outcomes of stressful events, including road accidents. It is characterized by changes in your behaviors and perceptions of certain emotions.
However, not many accident survivors acknowledge their true feelings. Individuals who have survived a collision on the road must remember that acknowledging your feelings is perhaps the first step to beginning the healing process.
If you are experiencing symptoms of immense emotional trauma, including PTSD, watch for signs and symptoms you experience. Constantly reliving the trauma through frequent nightmares and recurring flashbacks, even in a different setting, and being hyper-aroused often indicate that you’re struggling with severe emotional shock. So are exaggerated reactions, exceptional irritability, and extreme mood swings. Only when you acknowledge your feelings and recognize changes in your behavior, which will you be able to devise a plan of action for yourself so that you can get on the road to recovery.
Learn How to Manage Your Emotions
Experiencing extreme emotions after an accident is common; however, you need to learn how to manage them, so they do not affect your everyday life functionality.
Some of the measures you can try out to manage your emotions include
- Practice focused deep breathing,
- Try meditation to be more mindful of your situation (instead of reliving a memory from your past). Focus on the present moment by observing all the physical objects around you at a given time,
- Learn and practice progressive muscle relaxation techniques as a measure to cope with anxiety and manage your emotions.
Seek Professional Mental Health Assistance
If your anxiety and trauma from the impaired driving accident affect your quality of life, you shouldn’t suffer in silence as it will only contribute more to your challenges.
A better alternative is to talk to a trusted family member or friend about your traumatic life experience and how it has affected you. An even better option is to seek professional help from a licensed therapist. Counseling can help you gradually overcome the negative implications of the accident and focus more on the positives around you. A therapist may also assist you with stress-coping measures that you can incorporate into your everyday situations to get back to a normal, functional life.
Take Care of Yourself
If you’re a victim of a drunk driving accident, you’ve already been through a lot. And it’s okay if you need time to cope-up with your trauma.
However, while recovering, remember to take care of yourself. While it’s easy to drift into thoughts and fears and relive the accident, however, it won’t help you heal and recover from the trauma. Instead, it would be better if you focused on feeling good. Ensure you consume a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, check your hydration and try not to miss out on some light physical activity.
How well you take care of your body will likely have a positive impact on your emotional health as well.
You don’t have to deal with the implications of an impaired driving accident alone. Make sure you get appropriate treatment for your emotional injuries, just like you do for your physical ones. Moreover, you shouldn’t forget that you deserve compensation for all types of damages, including emotional trauma. Talk to your attorney to claim your rightful damage compensation.