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When you're in a car crash, the immediate focus tends to be on your physical well-being. But after injuries are treated, and wounds heal, there can be lingering mental effects that might be harder to see. Problems such as trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and depression can lurk beneath the surface, continuing to impact your life long after the event itself.
Mental health injuries should be treated just like any physical injury you might experience from a car crash. And just like with physical injuries, you might consider seeking legal reparations for the mental harm done to you. To take care of yourself, it's important to seek help from medical and legal professionals when you notice symptoms. Keep an eye out for these mental health conditions and their warning signs as you begin to move on from the accident, and be sure to seek the help you need.
Even in road traffic accidents that involve relatively minor physical injuries, the mental impacts can be severe. Here are a few to be aware of as you start down the road to recovery after experiencing a car crash.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) doesn't only make its home on battlefields. If you find yourself steering clear of particular driving scenarios, feeling anxious, having trouble sleeping, or having nightmares or flashbacks several months after the accident, you may want to speak with your doctor about your symptoms.
On the other hand, when you feel a lack of interest in activities you used to love, numbness and/or uncontrollable emotions, difficulty sleeping, or thoughts of suicide, depression may well be the culprit. With various treatment options ranging from therapy to medication, it is best to face depression head-on with professionals by your side to help ward off the effects of this deadly disease.
Anxiety can be a symptom of PTSD and depression, but it can also manifest on its own. Signs of anxiety include nervousness, sweating, insomnia, digestive issues, a sense of panic, and accelerated heart rate, among others. Though many of these effects might seem minor, they can accumulate in your body and have big impacts on your life and health.
When you aren't feeling in top mental shape, it's essential to take those feelings seriously. If you are in a situation that could be life-threatening, get immediate emergency assistance by calling 911. If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). In Montana, you can also text "MT" to 741 741. You can speak with trained crisis workers 24-7 through either of these methods.
When you need general information on mental health, the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-877-726-4727 is a great resource for details and treatment options in your area. Talking to your primary care physician is also a good starting point to getting the professional help you need. They can refer you to a psychiatrist or counselor, or recommend lifestyle changes that may help.
Even though a car crash may be an "accident," someone is at fault. And they may be legally required to pay damages for the mental distress caused. These funds can help relieve you of having to cover the cost of therapy, treatment, or medication. It's important to seek the help you need, when you need it, so don't wait to speak to a medical professional. Just be sure to keep detailed records and retain receipts – they may be helpful if you decide to file for legal action down the road. Since mental injuries are often harder to prove than physical ones, it can also be helpful to record how you're feeling and how the accident has impacted you.
If this feels overwhelming, don't worry. A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through the process of seeking compensation to help ease your financial concerns as you recover. The experienced team at Cok Kinzler can help relieve you of this financial burden and seek justice on your behalf. Get in touch to work with a professional ready to help you find the way to physical, mental, and financial healing after a traumatic accident.