An auto accident is disastrous, both mentally and physically. However, the victim’s immediate family and often the victim too focus solely on the physical side effects and the financial contingencies as a result of the accident. In the process, the mental issues faced by 80 percent of victims of auto accidents get ignored. This article deals with different kinds of mental problems seen commonly in victims of auto accidents and the ways to deal with them.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most common mental health problem faced by survivors of an accident. Auto accidents are the top PTSD contributor among the common populace, according to the American Psychological Association.
PTSD symptoms are varied, so it often goes unnoticed. Some signals you should look out for are flashbacks and vivid visions of the accident, hypervigilance, excessive paranoia, and emotional distance. If left unrecognized and untreated, PTSD can morph into violent fits, severe anger management issues, and suicidal tendencies besides loneliness.
PTSD affects different people differently, and the cultural background of the victim plays a massive role in determining the course of this mental issue. It’s best to seek professional help.
Major Depressive Disorder or MDD is a severe mental health state that’s found in about 40 percent of victims of auto accidents. MDD is severe and can escalate into suicidal/ self-harm patterns fast. So, you must treat this immediately. MDD symptoms include but are not restricted to a feeling of general fatigue, feeling of worthlessness and guilt, lack of interest in life, wavering concentration, and problems in sleeping, waking up.
Sometimes victims lose weight as they don’t feel like eating, and sometimes they gain weight because they cannot stop eating as emotional compensation. An auto accident restricts the victim’s choice of activities, normal work life, and even recreation, and that’s why depression hits. MDD can be treated by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, one to one counseling sessions, etc. that are preceded by thorough psychological evaluations.
Choose a clinic that is well equipped to conduct such evaluations and have a highly trained staff of mental analysts, counselors, and psychologists. In some cases, they also specialize in Medical Certification for disability Exception (N-468 Form) and Hardship Waiver (I-601).
Anxiety is a deep-rooted mental health issue that can linger even months after the auto accident. Data released by the National Institute of Health reveals that moderate levels of AD (Anxiety disorder) are frequent. Still, severe anxieties can translate into phobias that have a terrible effect on the mental and social viability of a person. If your loved one is experiencing severe anxiety in the first few months after an accident and/ or lingering anxiety after a few months, then do sign up for professional help.
Forty percent of car crash survivors develop phobias about driving and sitting in vehicles. Fifty percent have panic attacks that are set off by sights and sounds related to the accident, and 30 percent develop sleeping disorders that are, in turn, triggered by hypervigilance. Look out for symptoms of anxiety like nausea, excess tension in muscles, dizziness, and chest pain. Anxiety is especially dangerous for those who have heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure.
Emotional support of a caring support network, family, friends, and peers are crucial after an auto accident. Fear, panic, and feelings of numbness can be overcome with empathy, an attentive ear, and emotional support. However, if a victim is unable to show signs of getting better even after the first month of family, peer support, professional help is highly recommended.
Victims of MOD and severe anxiety should be immediately counseled as these escalate very fast into pathological cases. In many situations, the choice between seeking and not seeking professional help may mean the difference between life and death.
At The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. in San Diego, California, the team provides personal injury evaluations and counseling to help you cope with the trauma and present it as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit if you decide to file one. Call The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. to request an appointment for personal injury counseling today.