Accidents are destructive events. Even if there are no casualties, injuries can be severe and impact the life quality of the people enduring them. In extreme cases, the victims’ lives are changed forever, and they are left to struggle with chronic pain or disability. This requires a lot of adapting to a new lifestyle, and the sudden change can take its toll on your mental health.
Unfortunately, accidents are also common occurrences. On average, five people die in road traffic collisions daily in the UK, while 84 are seriously injured.
That means someone is wounded or killed on UK roads every quarter of an hour. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, it can feel bleak in the aftermath, particularly if you have to wait a long time before resuming your normal activities. However, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.
Here are some of the steps you must make sure you don’t skip on your road to recovery.
Don’t minimise it
Many people tend to minimise the gravity of what happens to them. While it is a coping mechanism in many cases, since admitting something terrible happened to you can be a difficult pill to swallow, it can also delay your recovery. This is particularly important in the case of mental trauma, which will undoubtedly appear following a car accident.
Underrating what happened to you can make you lose sight of the unfortunate event’s impact on you. As a result, you might become impatient and irritable when you discover that your recovery isn’t coming as swiftly as you expected. When you get a clearer picture of the implications of an accident for your mental well-being, you’ll understand that recovery won’t occur overnight and actually requires quite a bit of effort.
Spend some time sifting through your feelings and emotions. Identify what they are and how they make you feel, and figure out where they’re coming from and what you can do to overcome them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support group, whether friends or close relatives. If one of them has been through something similar, they should be able to provide some illuminating insights that will help you better navigate this.
Respect your timeline
Similar to mental progress, you need to allow yourself sufficient time to heal from your physical injuries. Your bodily and mental well-being are interconnected, and if one of them is not alright, the other will suffer as well.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations and get all the rest you need. Although it can be annoying to postpone your regular activities until you get better, it is also the only way you can ensure that you make a complete recovery and resume doing the things you love as fast as possible.
Generally speaking, you’re more likely than not to feel like the time you have to spend convalescing is too long. This is normal, especially if you were a very active person before. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to brave this discomfort for your overall well-being in the long run.
This means that you must follow through with the prescribed medication you’re supposed to take, as well as the physiotherapy and get sufficient rest. Don’t put pressure on yourself and avoid thought processes such as “I should be feeling better by now”, as it can hinder your recovery process. You might force yourself to do things you’re not ready to do yet, which will be detrimental to your progress.
Seek out help
Being through an accident can be a very isolating experience. You might feel like there’s nobody out there that understands or is willing to support you. This trauma response also drives you to isolate yourself and believe you’re all alone in this. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, there’s a large number of professionals out there willing to help you.
Depending on how your accident occurred, it can be deemed to be the result of someone else’s negligence. If this is the case, the liable party must be held accountable. You can reach out to a team of legal professionals that can provide you with the proper guidance for what you need to do to get a favourable outcome. You can use a compensation calculator UK to get a better idea of the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive. If you don’t get the justice you feel that you deserve, it can be tough for you to overcome the accident and move forward.
From a medical standpoint, if you feel like the treatment course your physician prescribed isn’t working as it should, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion. You might discover a doctor with more experience treating patients who’ve experienced the same thing and, as such, has a better idea of your needs. And don’t be afraid to request help from a therapist. Mental health is often stigmatised, and it can feel daunting to admit that you need to discuss it with a psychologist. However, keeping your problems bottled up will only cause them to deepen and become more serious.
The bottom line
It can seem like you’re stuck in a loop following an accident. It’ll feel like you can’t escape the memories of what happened, and you may struggle with recurring nightmares and hallucinatory episodes in more severe cases. These events can re-traumatise you, forcing you to experience the events again and again.
In the long run, it’s debilitating for your mental health and leads to significant mental disorders. Even if you’re not experiencing the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, visiting a licensed therapist can help you make better sense of what happened to you and help you see further, to the future ahead.
Being involved in an accident is one of the ugliest experiences you can have in your life. It can cause you to experience some genuinely undesirable physical and mental symptoms. However, if you follow through with your treatment and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it, you’ll be able to get the closure you need.