How To Cope With Emotional Distress After An Accident
Accidents are always unexpected.
They come out of the blue, and there can be huge ramifications from that one event. Even the witnesses may become emotionally affected.
Accident victims may find themselves at the start of a legal battle with the responsible party denying it was their fault; there could be medical fees to pay and a host of physical symptoms and tests to endure; someone may be off work following the accident, either temporarily or permanently.
In such situations, it is common for people to be hard on themselves. What they need to do is recognize that accidents can be traumatic, and allow themselves time to recover physically and emotionally.
Here are a few things that can be done to make their life easier.
Seek legal assistance
Someone who has just experienced an accident may not be best placed to fight another party’s lawyers and an insurance company. The attorneys at theclarklawoffice.com/ say personal injury lawyers understand the hardships and difficulties people can encounter. They even incorporate emotional distress, pain, and suffering into the compensation claims.
It can be a huge comfort when one’s lawyer has a great track record in winning claims for large sums of compensation. When lawyers provide a ‘no win no fee’ service, even more, financial pressure is removed for the claimant.
Someone who has been through an accident may possess photos of their physical injury and have several doctor and specialist reports. They may also have prescriptions for medication to fight their anxiety. Each of these things may become crucial evidence to support the attorney’s claim for compensation.
Seek medical help
Peoples’ emotions can be all over the place after an accident. There can be feelings of guilt or anger, loss of appetite, or the temptation to self-harm. A person may experience flashbacks or nightmares relating to the accident. They may be anxious and depressed or be battling insomnia and PTSD. All these experiences are understandable.
It’s important that a person speaks to their doctor about the accident from a medical and psychological angle. They may be referred for professional counseling, or be advised to speak to a psychotherapist. Tranquilizers may be prescribed for anxiety, or antidepressants if depression has resulted from the trauma. There is no shame here.
Sometimes, our issues can become compounded. It could be that the person had experienced a similar accident before, or that they already had issues with anxiety or depression before the event. In these cases, the symptoms can become more pronounced, and the need for extra help can become greater.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been said to occur in ten percent of people involved in accidents, to a lesser or greater extent. We have already mentioned flashbacks and nightmares, and these could be symptoms of PTSD. In some cases, people use a process of avoidance to protect themselves, such as not travelling in a car. Alternatively, they may display exaggerated reactions to anything that resembles the previous accident.
Cognitive Based Therapy (or CBT) has been shown to be effective with PTSD sufferers. It helps identify the negative thoughts that go through a person’s mind and provides space for new thoughts instead. When a person rewrites their thought processes, their behaviors will change as a result.
A doctor may direct someone to a PTSD support group. These can be great opportunities for people to help each other. Any sense of ‘I’m weird. I’m the only person who struggles with this’ will be knocked out of court.
Talk to other people
Some people tend to withdraw like a tortoise inside a shell when they experience problems. This is not helpful. Rather than retreating after an accident, they should connect with family and friends to communicate about what has happened.
It’s important to be wise in what is said about the actual accident. This also applies to posting on social media. If there are discrepancies in the story, the legal case could become compromised. Having said that, it is important to express one’s emotions and say how one felt after the accident. If someone else witnessed the event and is willing to discuss it, this will be doubly helpful.
The process of recovery may be longer than the person wants, but they must be patient. It’s important to keep life and its routines as normal as possible. This includes diet, exercise, and sleep. Over time, the person will hopefully become better physically and emotionally. If justice is done, there may also be a compensation payout to assist with finances.