Accidents don’t just leave victims with physical injuries, but they can also inflict psychological wounds. Unfortunately, people often discount psychological trauma as less “real” than physical trauma, when that is far from the truth. Just like any other wound, emotional distress and mental anguish must be healed as part of the recovery process. If not properly addressed and resolved in time, they could fester and worsen, adversely affecting one’s quality of life.
Responses to Trauma Are Perfectly Natural
All wounds, including those of a psychological nature, take time to heal. After an accident, victims shouldn’t expect to feel normal right away. The mental effects of such traumatic events can resonate for days, weeks, or months, incurring the following symptoms of trauma:
- Emotional: Shock, denial, anger, agitation, guilt, shame, sadness, despair, anxiety, fear, social withdrawal and isolation, and mood swings.
- Psychosomatic: Sleep issues, fatigue, racing heartbeat, muscle aches, headaches, gastrointestinal distress, crying spells, and hypervigilance.
- Cognitive: Confusion, forgetfulness, flashbacks, and intrusive memories.
There Is No Right or Wrong Way of Reacting to Trauma
Individuals respond to trauma differently and thus heal at their own pace. As a victim, you should not feel as if you need to fulfill some dubious expectation about your recovery from trauma. Allow yourself to have your own reactions, without judgment or guilt. The worst thing you can do is to suppress your emotions and avoid facing your trauma head-on.
You Can Help Yourself …
You can take an active part in your recovery by exercising these self-help strategies:
- Take care of your body. The body and mind are connected. The healthier your physique, the stronger your mental state. If able, get regular exercise, and supplement it with a balanced diet. But don’t work yourself too hard – rest is essential to recovery.
- Get back into the routine of things. Engage in your hobbies, eat at your favorite restaurant, hang out with your friends, and so on. By living your life as you always have, the accident will steadily become part of the past.
- Rely on your friends, family, and other trusted people in your community for support. Don’t feel like you’re bothering them with your problems. They are there for you.
But Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Assistance
It is highly advised that you consult a mental health specialist if your symptoms persist for a very long time; your personal and/or professional relationships start being impacted; you avoid certain experiences because they remind you of the accident; and/or you use drugs or alcohol to cope. Sometimes you need a helping hand to pull you out of the darkness. Don’t be afraid to reach out. With the right help, you can hasten a return to a sense of personal well-being.
A Personal Injury Firm that Cares
At Wilshire Law Firm, our compassionate attorneys don’t just provide high quality legal services to clients, but we also connect our clients to medical and mental health resources so that they can get the help they need to make a full recovery, both in body and mind. If you have been in an accident due to the negligence of another party, please don’t hesitate to call us today at (800) 522-7274. We will fight to make your life better.