It is normal to feel a myriad of emotions after an Atlanta car accident. One is usually left in shock, but once the initial impact dwindles, they may be concerned about managing the emotional aftermath.
People involved in a crash can feel a range of emotions, and recovery can be tough, but it is important to realize that the emotional effects are normal and it is okay to ask for help.
The Emotional Effects of an Atlanta Car Accident
Immediately after a crash, and even for days afterwards, people usually experience a sense of shock. Shock is different for different people, but common symptoms include emotional distress, feeling numb, unpredictable mood swings, and fear. Even if a person was not driving at the time of the crash, but was a pedestrian, passenger, or witness, they can still experience shock.
The driver involved in the wreckage may experience feelings of anger towards the other driver, regardless of whether or not they are to blame for the incident. Many passengers also feel angry at all the drivers involved in the crash.
It can be all too easy to take this anger out on the people we love. One helpful way to deal with anger is to learn relaxation and breathing exercises that can bring a sense of calm when the feelings arise and make one feel irritable.
If a parent is trying to help their teenage child who was involved in an accident, understand that the teenager may seem angry and not want assistance. In such cases, it is better to allow them to turn to their friends for support, but it is important to keep the lines of communication open so that they have a safe space to turn to when they are ready to work through their feelings.
Isolation and Social Withdrawal After an Atlanta Car Accident
During a state of shock, it is normal to stay away from people who may want to discuss the incident as the victim may feel isolated and as if no one understands what they are going through after the crash. Isolation can be countered by the care of friends and family.
Fear, Worry, and Anxiety Following an Atlanta Car Accident
Anxiety is a completely natural reaction to a stressful situation like an Atlanta car accident. While there are those people that do not experience symptoms of anxiety after a wreckage, most people who do tend to recover in time. Common symptoms of anxiety after a crash include:
- Difficulty with sleep
- Difficulty with concentration
- Not wanting to talk
The easiest way to combat anxiety is to talk about it with trusted friends and family, or a therapist. Getting back to routine can also help, but it does take time and patience.
If the anxiety does not dissipate with time, it is a good idea to seek help from a professional counsellor, especially if the anxiety stops you from conducting your job or schoolwork. Sometimes, those injured in a car crash may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which can involve flashbacks and distress when thinking about the incident.
Seeking counselling is nothing to be ashamed of; it just means that the victim requires someone with the skills to help manage their reactions and thoughts after a traumatic event.
Self-blame, Shame, and Guilt
There are many drivers that beat themselves up over an accident, particularly if they feel they could have avoided the crash. Sometimes, even the people who witness a crash may blame themselves for not trying to prevent it or help others who were injured.
Hopelessness and Sadness
Feeling depressed and sad after a crash are also common, and usually go hand-in-hand with anxiety. Just as with feelings of anxiousness, the best way to treat sadness and hopelessness after a crash is to talk about it, get the necessary help, and look after yourself.
The Physical Symptoms That Accompany Emotional Upheaval
After a wreckage, the emotions of depression, anxiety, or shock may cause certain physical symptoms that are signs of stress, such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle aches
- Stomach issues
There are also mental symptoms that may come with the emotional effects of an Atlanta car accident, such as:
- Lack of concentration
What Can a Victim Do to Deal with the Trauma?
- Victims should look after themselves, get regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and consume a balanced diet.
- It is important to maintain a balanced schedule and stick to regular routines.
- Victims should talk to friends, family, and even a counsellor.
- Some car crash victims turn to prayer and meditation.
- If other relatives were involved in the wreckage, it may help to share feelings and thoughts and offer reassurance to one another to get over the incident.
- If a teenager or child was involved in the accident, make sure that their school teachers are aware of the crash and will go easy on them while they recover.
Getting Back Behind the Wheel
Most drivers eventually have to get back into the car after an incident. It is normal to experience anxiety and to begin driving more cautiously. The overall consensus is that the sooner one gets back behind the wheel, the more helpful it may be in conquering the feelings of anxiousness. This is not to say that a driver will get over the accident immediately. In fact, they may well discover that those anxious feelings still arise sometimes after they have returned to the road.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Today
Anyone who has been involved in an Atlanta car accident knows how devastating it can be both emotionally and physically and for those hurt in a crash, it is important to seek the financial compensation to cope with unexpected expenses and time off work. At John B. Jackson, we will deal with the insurance companies and other parties while victims concentrate on their recovery. Talk to us about your legal options and compensation for emotional distress. Book a consultation today to find out more about your rights.