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What does PTSD look like after a car accident?

| Dec 22, 2020 | motor vehicle accidents

Experiencing a car accident in Minnesota could have lasting effects on your life. Even if you do not suffer serious physical injuries, the relentless anxiety you feel about driving could prevent you from getting back behind the wheel.

Knowing the warning signs of PTSD can help you seek treatment before your symptoms worsen and create debilitating circumstances.

Understanding PTSD

As you heal from any physical injuries you sustained in your accident, you may falsely believe that you have fully recovered from your experience. However, taking account of your mental health may reveal persistent emotional angst because of the trauma of your accident. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, it is normal to feel uneasy about driving after your car accident, but when your emotions worsen it could indicate a more serious problem. Some signs of PTSD include the following:

  • Nightmares or vivid recounts of your accident
  • Fear of driving
  • Anger or changes in your personality

Rebuilding confidence

Regaining your confidence to drive will take time. One option you have is to work with a therapist to process your emotions and learn about how to cope with trauma. Your participation in therapy can help you find solutions to manage your triggers and prevent debilitating emotions from upending your life.

When you feel comfortable enough to drive again, consider asking someone to accompany you. You could ask a family member or friend to join you and practice driving in a place with minimal traffic. When you need to drive to appointments or other commitments, give yourself ample time to drive without rushing so you can focus on driving safely without the pressure of running late.