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Dealing With Emotional Distress After an Accident

man with PTSD after an accident at work

Accidents Happen

Accidents happen every day. Whether they are car collisions, pedestrian incidents, work-related accidents, or slips and falls, an accident can strike at any time. What is most terrifying about accidents is not only how easily they can happen but that there is no way to prepare yourself for an accident or any injuries you may sustain. This is true whether you were technically to blame for the accident or not.

This is why so many people struggle to overcome the trauma that they experience after an accident. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can leave many people in a severe state of emotional distress following their accident and render them unable to recover from the incident properly.

Small Accidents Can Make Big Problems

Even something as seemingly innocent as a slip and fall can leave people with a tremendous amount of emotional distress and can be quite traumatic. In fact, many people who are victims of an accident struggle with feelings related to shock, anger, nervousness, fear or even guilt. There are also many people who simply cannot stop reliving the accident or replaying it in their mind over and over again.

Emotional distress following an accident can be a serious and lingering problem and it is one that many people need treatment for before they can move on and get back to life as normal. While no one ever wants to be in the position of dealing with this type of distress, it is important to understand the best way to handle this type of trauma.

Knowing When to Get Help

It is completely normal to feel a bit shaken up in the days following an accident. However, you need to know the difference between normal emotions following an accident and dealing with serious post-traumatic stress that requires attention. For most people, these overwhelming feelings of fear, anxiety or shock start to go away over time. When this doesn’t happen, it is likely a sign that you need help.

Those who are under severe emotional distress following an accident typically find their fears aren’t just not getting better, but that they are actually getting work. If you find that your feelings of worry, stress, anger or nervousness are getting worse, then it is time to get help.

Here are some of the signs that your post-accident emotional distress may require attention:

  • Your feelings following the accidents are getting in the way of your ability to handle everyday activities
  • You have an ongoing, general feeling of being uneasy or restless
  • You dream about or drift off and think about the accident or replay it in your mind over and over again
  • You have sudden anxiety about being in vehicles, going outside or being in an environment similar to the one your accident was in
  • You are experiencing unprecedented irritability, anger or sadness and lashing out for no apparent reason
  • You do not feel in control of your feelings and emotions
  • You are unable to sleep at night

These are all indicators that you need to talk to someone.

Finding the Right Professional For Help

There are a number of things that you can try to do to get yourself back on track while dealing with this type of post-accident emotional distress. You can stay active and start exercising, start treatment for your physical injuries and do your best to get back to a daily routine. However, for many people, this alone is simply not enough. There are many people who need to see a doctor after this type of incident.

A doctor, usually a psychologist, will be able to help you determine what is going on with your emotional state. They may recommend medication, counseling or therapy or help you determine if the accident actually triggered a deeper, undiagnosed issue. You need to make sure that you are open and honest with any doctor that you meet with and that you let them know what is really going on. It is normal to feel embarrassed about such a delicate topic, but the more forthright you are with your doctor, the better. This is the only way that you can get the help that you need.

This is why it is so important to find a doctor with experience in helping those in accidents and one that you feel like you can trust.  The good news is, there are so many professionals, particularly here in New York who are fully equipped and prepared to help you through your post-accident trauma. This is why we have created a comprehensive directory of the best professionals in New York, so you can easily find a psychologist or another behavioral health expert that works with you and your specific concerns. No one should have to deal with ongoing psychological post-trauma stress, which is why finding an expert is so important, and why we are here to help.