How to Treat Trauma After a
Motor Vehicle Accident
By Zola Summons
Taking part in a motor vehicle accident is an experience you do not want to happen ever. Vehicular accidents happen in mere seconds, and you’ll have your life flashing before your eyes. About 1.25 million individuals die in car accidents per year, making it the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults all over the globe.
If you have survived without any injuries, you’re fortunate because you’re not one of the 20-50 million people who get disabled and injured after road crashes. Though it is possible to experience some symptoms of trauma after the accident, even if it may not look as serious as a physical injury, psychological trauma can be worse, as it can mess with your mind, body, and emotions.
Trauma and You
Trauma takes a toll on the body, as its symptoms interfere with your daily activities, thought processes, sleep cycle, relationships, work, and a lot more. During an accident, a human body goes into a fight-or-flight mode, which means that your breathing becomes faster, your heartbeat accelerates, and your body becomes tense. If these physiological effects go on and become prolonged even after an accident, it can result in chronic anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A scientific study states that vehicular and road accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the world. Symptoms may include anxiety when riding and driving a car, irritability, sudden bursts of anger, insomnia, nightmares, and uneasiness, among others. Fortunately, there are various treatments and therapies to cope with road accident trauma.
Trauma is never an easy ordeal, but it can be helped. Here are four ways you can treat trauma after a motor accident:
1. Get Moving And Exercise
After a motor vehicle accident, it is normal for patients to experience shock and trauma. This can further lead to depression and anxiety that can adversely affect one’s mood, personality, and lifestyle. The connection between anxiety treatment and exercise has been long proven and established.
Now, recent research has found that engaging in physical activities can lessen symptoms of anxiety brought by PTSD and has improved the patients’ mood and well-being. There is even a type of yoga known as trauma-informed yoga, which enables practitioners to practice mindfulness and breathing techniques to achieve a calm and peaceful state. Starting a regular exercise program can help you cope with the physiological effects you want to lessen and eradicate.
2. Talk to Family and Friends
Seeking a family or friend’s guidance during this tough time is better than dealing with all the anxiety and stress all by yourself. Talking to someone you trust and know personally could be therapeutic for you, as you can tell them your frustrations, trauma, and fears. Sometimes letting your feelings flow and burst is good because you are acknowledging and venting them out.
Your friends can also possibly offer some reassurance that you might need after a stressful experience. If you think you feel stuck, your family can be the people to push and encourage you to maintain regular routines and to not deprive yourself of some care and pampering. Knowing that your loved one are always there by your side can give you some comfort that no one else can provide.
3. Consult A Psychotherapist
To reduce symptoms like having trouble sleeping and hyperventilating, prescribed medications are also given by psychotherapists. Trauma therapists can help assess the gravity of how the accident has affected you and can conduct necessary therapies that can help you avoid reliving a traumatic incident. Most clinics offer services and treatments created specifically to cure and target symptoms and manifestations of trauma like PTSD.
4. Get Back Into Your Old Routine
Some people who experience traumatic stress tend to not perform well in their duties at work, home, and school. Getting back into your old routine not only distracts you from overthinking, but it can also be the perfect way to achieve some balance in your life. Socializing with workmates, schoolmates, and other people can help you destress.
This can also be the time to do a few hobbies that make you happy. You can start to learn and train in doing something, like playing an instrument or painting. Just keep in mind that after all these activities, you still need rest.
Coping with trauma is a bumpy and challenging journey, though, with the help of the right people and good habits, the ride can be smoother. It is normal to feel anxious and stressed after experiencing a vehicular accident. Do not rush and force yourself, and always give yourself time to cope and heal.
Zola Summons is a psychiatrist who works by improving the mental health of her clients. Zola often works with individuals who have substance disorders and mental health issues.
During her leisure time, Zola writes articles about mental health as an attempt to help more and more individuals understand and look after their mental health.