Dealing With Anxiety After a Car Accident

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Posted By | February 13, 2023 | Car Accidents,Personal Injury

The days and weeks after a car accident are traumatic and distressing. You may be dealing with significant injuries, pain, ongoing medical treatments, and the stress of dealing with property damage and insurance claims. But when the dust settles and it’s time to begin moving on from an accident, what happens if the anxiety you’ve felt since the traumatic incident doesn’t go away?

According to studies, 32% of car accident survivors report symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety. So how do you cope with ongoing anxiety after suffering a car accident?

Understanding Anxiety After a Car Accident

Feelings of anxiety after a car accident are normal. There is a great deal of trauma in a sudden, unexpected crash and injuries, and dealing with the after-effects is stressful. But normal anxiousness becomes clinical anxiety when it extends beyond the first days after an accident and negatively impacts the victim’s life. It’s understandable to feel nervous about doctor visits and phone calls with insurance representatives and lawyers. An accident victim may also feel panic and fear when facing getting behind the wheel again. But what if they experience uncomfortable or even terrifying symptoms of anxiety even when they aren’t in any immediate situation of stress?

When humans are in a traumatic situation, the fight or flight response triggers in the brain, causing rapid or pounding heartbeat, rapid breathing, and other symptoms to better enable a quick response. Unfortunately, the trauma of an accident may impact the brain so this fight or flight response becomes easily triggered even when the accident is behind them, often for no understandable reason at all, causing symptoms such as:

  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Inability to take a full breath
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating or cold sweats
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Bleak thoughts
  • Trembling

It’s particularly distressing to experience these symptoms without knowing when they’ll strike, or when they reoccur on a regular basis.

Impacts of Ongoing Anxiety

Feelings of anxiety after a car accident not only cause sudden onset of unreasonable fight or flight response but may also cause the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory problems
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Excessive worries about unrelated issues

Recovering from physical injuries after an accident may not be enough to move forward. Many accident victims find that they need time and professional help to move on from lingering anxiety and PTSD symptoms caused by an accident.

How to Move Forward When an Accident Leaves You With Ongoing Anxiety

When anxiety symptoms after an accident make it difficult for you to move on with your life, it’s important to seek professional help. There are many highly effective treatments for anxiety, PTSD, and depression. These are common problems after a traumatic car accident.

If you file a car accident claim, you can include the cost of professional treatment for accident-related anxiety in your damages. Working with a car accident lawyer can help ease the stress after an accident, and they can offer resources to help you manage your symptoms.

Taking back control of your life should always include the self-care needed to deal with the emotional trauma of an accident as well as the physical trauma and financial costs. Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law offers free consultations for accident victims. If you have been injured in an accident, contact us today.