You can consider yourself lucky if a car accident only causes a few minor bumps and bruises to your person and doesn’t do anything worse than that. In fact, you might even walk away from a car accident without a scratch as well. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any scars that the car accident didn’t affect you.
The mental damage and impact on your mental health can be very real, even if you walked away without a scratch.
Here are some of the ways that a car accident can affect your mental health, and what you can do about it:
It can increase anxiety about being in a Car
For many people, we can get very nervous about being inside of a car when they are learning to drive. But eventually, we learn the rules of the road, we manage our fear, and the road becomes safe again. At least until a car accident shatters all of that and then the road becomes a very dangerous place again.
Car accidents can raise anxiety about being inside a car (as both the driver and the passenger) and can make the road feel unsafe. This is normal for everyone, especially if your accident was caused by common circumstances or an innocent mistake.
There are even some cases of PTSD being reported by a car accident, and while being a little nervous is normal, if you are afraid to even be near a road you probably need to see a therapist to talk through your issues.
Depression over injuries or loss
If you were injured in a car accident and broke a leg or an arm, or the car accident took the life of someone you loved, then feelings of depression are not uncommon. The loss or the injuries that you suffered due to the car accident, even if the injuries are temporary, can cause depression, mood swings, fearfulness, and issues with sleeping, eating, and partaking in your normal activities.
Depression due to a car accident and especially depression due to losing someone in that accident is again something you need to see a therapist about. They will be able to help you heal and deal with your injuries and the effect that the accident had on you.
Money worries can make things worse: look for cheap car insurance
Finally, the financial worries after a car accident can cause a lot of anguish too, because most people don’t have the ability to pay to fix their car and hire a lawyer and deal with all the other financial obligations that happen due to a car accident. These worries can cause more feelings of stress, anxiety, and even depression, especially if you were having financial problems before the accident.
Making sure to have cheap, but still effective car insurance after the accident, and getting SR-22 insurance if you need it, is going to help alleviate your financial woes, so get your quote as quickly as you can.
Don’t be afraid to seek mental treatment after a car accident
Finally, while you might be pressured to seek physical treatment after a car accident to have your body checked out, don’t be afraid to seek out treatment for your mental health as well.
Even if the car accident was just a little fender bender and you walked out okay, you can still talk to a professional about it, just as a mental health checkup.
That’s the best way to make sure the impact on your mental health gets caught, and then you can get healed as well.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.