However, for some a car accident can be a traumatic event that even throws people without any driving anxiety off their stride for a while. This trauma can be something that won’t seem to leave their thoughts and they will end up reliving and replaying the same accident over and over again in their mind. When this happens and the person cannot get over their anxiety after an accident, they may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event.
If you are suffering from PTSD or an anxiety disorder after your car accident, here is how you can begin your recovery process:
1. Psychotherapy – Therapy is often the best way to proceed with your recovery. Psychologists are professionals of the mind and will best know how to help your unique situation. That aside, just being able to talk to someone about how you are feeling can really make all the difference when it comes to your recovery. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective.
2. Practice Self-Care/Self-Love – This may sound like a strange one, but during this painful period in your life, you need to practice good self-care. This means putting most of your focus on caring for yourself. Eat well, exercise, relax and spend some quality time with friends and family. If you have children to support, try to have a friend or family member assist with their care until you feel like you can handle it again.
3. Medication – Using pills may not seem helpful, but medication can sometimes be a useful tool to reduce the impact of traumatic anxiety. Although it should not be your first course of action, there is no shame in needing a little help in your recovery. This can be especially useful if your anxiety is keeping you from getting effective sleep at night. However, any medication used needs to be prescribed by your doctor or therapist in order to ensure they are the right course of action for your situation.
4. Defensive Driving Course – Several people overcoming driving-related PTSD by learning some defensive driving skills. Often this allows you to gain a more powerful sense of control and take charge of the environment behind the wheel. Even if you have not been in a car accident, learning defensive driving skills can be a great way to prevent a future accident.
5. Financial Compensation – If your accident is due to the fault of another, you may be able to get the financial compensation you need to pay for any medical or therapy bills, damages, and lost wages that you may have due to your accident. When you are already suffering from anxiety after an accident, the last thing you need to worry about is bills. Not to mention, without compensation you may not be able to afford the treatment you need to recover properly.