If you were recently in a traumatic accident, life may look a bit different now. Dealing with the aftermath of trauma can be overwhelming and you may be experiencing with feelings of loss, guilt, or the intense desire to isolate.
You’ll need to accept things the way they are, give your self-permission to grieve, and perhaps most importantly, permission to live again.
If you’re suffering from symptoms caused by car accident trauma, please read on.
We aren’t here to tell you that it’s all okay, but we are here to show you some of the tools and resources that have helped others. Life after a traumatic incident won’t look exactly like the one you knew before.
Dealing with the Aftermath of Car Accident Trauma
Dealing with intense trauma is never easy. This is especially so because survivors of traumatic events often feel tempted to isolate. This can cause them to push away the ones who love them most.
Further, isolation allows memories of tragic events to further consume them. Adjusting a new or tragic reality can result in the onset of a dark depression or the need to self-medicate.
This is nothing to feel guilty about. Chances are you’ve been faced with a new post-accident reality and you’re right if you think things will never go back to the way they were before the accident.
What is important to remember is that because what you’re feeling is so normal, there are many others who are also in your shoes.
You aren’t alone and what you’re experiencing isn’t a form of weakness. Many of the bravest people alive today suffer with the same burden you’re carrying. Regardless of where you’re from or the specifics of your trauma, what you’re experiencing is normal.
Explore Treatment Options
Healing the damage of trauma requires more than just time. Because of advances in PTSD research, we’ve learned a lot more about healing trauma than we knew in previous decades.
Because of this, new treatments have been developed. Treatments like EMDR have been shown to be effective in treating a range of survivors ranging from service members returning from conflict zones to victims of severe childhood abuse.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (also referred to as EMDR) is garnering a lot of interest as one of the most effective new tools in resolving trauma.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has given EMDR its highest level of recommendation. It is currently one of the top three treatments available, as ranked by its success in clinical trials.
EMDR can be performed by any therapist who has received training. It does not require a long term treatment plan and those who have received it say that they begin to notice improvements almost immediately.
EMDR requires the subject to engage an important part of the brain that is often most affected by the traumatic experience. To do so, the subject will follow a pattern of eye movement while discussing the incident with the therapist.
EMDR treatment sounds unusual to those unfamiliar with it. This may be the reason that many clinicians were initially skeptical. Clinical trials, however, revealed results that could not be ignored.
EMDR is only one of many treatment options available. We strongly encourage you to speak to a professional and design a treatment plan that feels right for you.
Dealing with Survivors Guilt
If you survived a terrible car accident, but someone you love did not, you’re likely feeling an emotion often referred to as survivors guilt. You may wonder why you survived and they didn’t.
If the emotional wounds you suffered feel as fresh today as the day of the accident, you’re right. In fact, there have been studies to prove this very concept.
People who have experienced significant trauma continue to experience it as if it’s happening again in real-time. Using the proven treatment options detailed above, you can begin the healing process.
Some survivors feel that they must stay in mourning for the rest of their lives. Giving themselves permission to live again seems to somehow disrespect the ones they lost. Instead, many choose to stay in their depression, in tribute to loved one they lost.
When you’re ready, you’ll be able to move forward again. You’ll never forget the past and your experience will never be irrelevant. With work, however, you’ll be able to live again.
Life will never be the same after a traumatic event, it will always be different now. Allowing yourself permission to live again isn’t a disrespect to the memory of the person you lost.
Honoring the memory of the person you lost means living your life with purpose. If the person at fault hasn’t been held accountable properly, you may consider seeking a wrongful death attorney.
These funds can be used to further the memory of the one you lost by caring for what mattered most to them. Rather that means funding a family member’s education or creating a charity in their name, this is one of the many chances you have to ensure that their memory lives on.
Creating a New Reality
If you or anyone else involved in the car accident trauma has thoughts of self-injury or suicide, please dial 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
You aren’t alone. For more health-related articles and insights, please visit our blog.