Getting treatment for your physical injuries after a car accident is important; following up on that treatment your initial diagnosis can even have a big impact on your ability to recover. What is often less difficult to manage, however, are your emotional injuries. One common example for many people who have been injured after a car accident is that you may not want to drive again. Even if the accident was not your fault, your fear over getting behind the wheel can make your life more difficult and it can definitely make it challenging to get the doctor’s appointments you need to recover from your physical injuries.

Many people note that they have trouble coping with trauma after a car accident. Having lived through an event like that, you may be replaying the moments of the wreck in your mind over and over. Those outside the situation might have trouble sympathizing with your sudden fear of highways, cars, or other vehicles. While there may be clear-cut ways to total up how your physical injuries will cost you in terms of time or medical expenses, it’s much harder to quantify how the emotional trauma will influence your future.

It is normal to play through the events of that day in your mind and to turn over whether or not there was anything you could have done to prevent the accident. If someone else was at fault, however, you need to minimize your anxiety and fear and focus on doing what’s best for you at that time. Getting a diagnosis for your emotional trauma may be the first step to healing. There’s no doubt you might want to put some space between you and the accident before getting behind the wheel again. Trauma symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, but if you begin to notice it’s impacting your ability to get through a given day or that it’s going on for a long period, you may need to seek professional help to get some exercises and other strategies to work through the trauma.

There are several key indicators showing that you or someone you love may be suffering from trauma after a car accident. These include:

  • Disbelief
  • Fear
  • Anxiety (especially about driving)
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Self-blame
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling hopeless

While some of these feelings may be normal, left unchecked, they could lead to other serious medical conditions including depression. Sadly, there are many different repercussions of a car accident and emotional trauma may be one of them.