5 Ways a Car Accident Impacts Your Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

car accident

While car accidents happen all the time, they do not affect everyone in the same way. Some people can walk away from them fine, and go on with their lives seemingly unaffected. Others don’t deal with what happened as well.

 

You don’t need to feel ashamed if you’re struggling following a car accident. There are ways you can cope, like seeking therapy or going on medication.

 

Let’s look at some ways that car accidents can affect people.

 

You Might Feel Depressed

Three million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes every year, but that doesn’t count mental or emotional trauma. After a car crash, you might experience depression. Depression:

 

  • Can last for weeks, months, or years
  • Makes it quite challenging for you to go through your daily routine

 

Let’s say you were in a car crash, and you hurt one of the other car’s passengers. Maybe you made an unsafe turn, or perhaps something distracted you for a moment. Maybe you caused a serious or even life-altering injury.

 

It’s easy to get down on yourself. You might feel worthless, or keep replaying the events, thinking about how you could have acted differently.

 

It can be tough to get away from this mindset. You’ll probably need to talk to a professional to start the emotional healing you need. Only then can you resume your life.

 

You Might Feel Angry

It’s also possible that you might experience anger after a car accident. Maybe it was the other driver’s fault instead of your own. Perhaps:

 

  • They injured you
  • They wrecked the vehicle you loved

 

Some gearheads spend years tricking out their cars. Maybe you spent many happy hours under the hood, supercharging the vehicle, or you gave it a custom paint job. If you love cars, losing one might be like losing a family member.

 

Perhaps the car accident injured you badly, and you’re furious about what the other driver did. You might wish terrible things would happen to them.

 

You need to find a way to let go of that anger, or it will consume you. Anger and bitterness often go together, which might be something else to talk about with a therapist.

 

You Might Not Be as Happy as You Used to Be

Maybe before the crash, you were a very happy person. You were a glass-half-full type who always saw the bright side in every situation.

 

Now, you feel differently. Car crashes can jar you out of that mindset. It’s hard maintaining a rosy disposition if you’re in a wheelchair or dealing with some other serious injury.

 

You definitely must find a way to return to a healthier mindset. Maybe that can be through yoga, meditation, therapy, medication, or some combination of these things.

 

You might not ever go back to being the person you were before, but you at least need to move forward and not stew about what happened.

 

You Might Feel Nervous

A calamitous car accident can shake you up severely. You might keep reliving the crunch, the broken glass, and the twisted steel. Maybe you had to see some blood or broken limbs.

 

It’s hard to get through that and be mentally sound, especially if you’ve never seen anything like that before. You might live your life feeling constantly nervous now, especially if you get back in a car, either as a passenger or driver.

 

It might be so bad you cannot get in a car again at all, at least not for a while. If so, you’ll certainly need to speak to a mental health professional.

 

Anti-anxiety medication can probably help you. There are many good ones that are on the market now. Perhaps you can be on some temporarily, or even long-term if your therapist recommends it.

 

You Might Feel Unbalanced

A car crash can derail your life. It often comes with financial hardship, physical repercussions, and general unease. You might feel out of sorts for some time afterward.

 

You can probably get over this in time. If you made a driving mistake that caused the accident, you can learn from it, and you won’t do it again. You can do some spiritual cleansing exercises too, like getting out in nature and spending time with those you care about most.

 

A bad car crash is not your life’s end, not so long as you’re still breathing afterward. You can get over it in time, and before too long, you should start feeling like yourself again.

 

Photo by Hannah Skelly on Unsplash

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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