The time following any kind of auto accident can be confusing and complex for the survivor of a serious injury. There are a number of different things that need to be considered regarding their own health, legal action that may be taken, and the long-term impact of the emotional trauma.
It is a difficult time to experience, especially when you consider the emotional trauma that may be involved. Many serious accidents result in the survivors developing post-traumatic stress disorder that may affect how they go about their entire life.
The fear and anxiety that may come with the trauma, however, are what is often most difficult to overcome. Dealing with the triggers of post-traumatic stress may not always be easy but understanding some of the things that can be done to help is important.
Here are some healthy ways that individuals can cope with the impact of PTSD after a car or truck accident.
Get Important Information About PTSD
One of the most important things for survivors to do when suffering from PTSD is to understand exactly what it is and what problems may exist. They should understand exactly what causes the PTSD and know that there are triggers that could impact their everyday life.
If you’re suffering PTSD, know some of the most common triggers that exist after a car accident, what they cause you to experience, and what can be done to help. It’s never an easy situation to endure, but if you have a better understanding of what you’re enduring, you can feel more confident in coping.
Seek Out Potential Treatments
While it may not seem like it, there are potential treatments that may be available to a survivor suffering from PTSD. This can include seeing a therapist who may be able to help you deal with the triggers of your trauma. This can include ways to avoid them or even confront them.
Avoiding triggers can be helpful, but may not be the most effective method as it can impact some of the daily activities these individuals perform. For instance, avoiding a trigger for the most severe cases of PTSD may include not even driving a car to stay away from a potential crash.
Confronting some of the triggers you may experience can be one of the most effective methods of treatment because it allows the individual to face the feelings of fear and anxiety head on. You may be able to continue during some of the things you enjoy most without having to worry about it preventing your actions.
Building a Strong Support Group
You don’t have to endure PTSD on your own, especially when you have a lot of people around you who can be there for you when you need them most. A lot of the time, people are afraid to talk about their PTSD for one reason or another, but this could be more damaging.
Having a support group on which you can lean is an important way for you to cope with what you’re feeling because you’ll have someone—or multiple people—you can talk to about what you’re feeling and get advice and support.
Oftentimes, having either people you’re close to or a group of others who are experiencing from similar situations is one of the best things for you. People with PTSD often feel like they’re alone in their experiences, but talking to similar individuals can help you understand some of the ways to cope.
Monitor Your Triggers and Understand Ways to Relax
Your triggers may stem from the accident you experienced. This can be anything from the sound of tires screeching or horns honking. Triggers are essentially anything that reminds you of the incident and puts you in a place of fear of it happening again.
Recognizing these triggers can help you prepare for whenever you do experience them. For instance, if you know that the loud bang from the collision may be a trigger for you, it may be easier to try your relaxation tips the moments you encounter your triggers.
As for your relaxation methods, there are plenty of things that may be considered. This doesn’t mean you’ll get rid of your triggers, but you may be able to feel less anxiety and fear when they do occur. For instance, you may want to have breathing techniques as a way to manage the feelings.
Keep a Journal and Make It a List of Outs
When someone is physically injured, they may keep a pain journal detailing exactly what they feel, the severity of the pain, and more. Similarly, those suffering from PTSD may want keep a journal of the times they feel anxious or fear and what caused those feelings.
If your feelings were triggered by something you didn’t previously recognize as a trigger, you would want to document this so you know for the future and can work on ways to help confront this new trigger.
You can also use this journal as a list of outs. This means having some ways to get out of an uncomfortable situation were triggers may be present. For some, this may mean avoiding the location the accident occurred, or alternatives to driving if necessary.
Use the R.A.I.N. Method
The term R.A.I.N. in regards to PTSD refers to steps you can take to help cope with the trauma. It stands for Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Not let it define you. When you break it down, you should:
- Recognize your emotions. Know that you’re going to feel fear and anxiety.
- Allow them to exist. Don’t try to deny them, as acceptance allows you to be better receptive to coping methods.
- Investigate why you have these emotions, why you’re experiencing them, and what brings them to the surface.
- Not letting them define you means you’re more than your condition. You have PTSD, but it should not be part of what defines who you are.
When you recognize ways to cope with the trauma over a long term, you can begin recovering in a healthy and effective manner. If the cause of the trauma was an accident stemming from an act of negligence, pursuing legal action may also help to give you peace of mind.
At The Beasley Firm, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys are well-aware of the problems PTSD can cause for injured parties. Your PTSD can cost you more than just the costs of treatment. Some individuals have experienced problems in their personal and work life as well.
You deserve the right to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and seek compensation to help cover some of the expenses you may be experiencing. This is when our firm comes to your side and works to help you navigate the process in the most effective manner possible.
We’re here to stand in your corner every step of the way, determining the cause of the accident, understanding the impact of the PTSD on your life, and seeking justice for the wrongdoings done to you. Trust that we know how to handle these complex matters with efficiency and in an effective, favorable manner.
Call our firm today at (215) 866-2424 to discuss your potential legal options with our team. If you’re experiencing PTSD caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve peace of mind. We’re here to help you get it.