Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have serious repercussions, such as painful injuries that require time to heal. Some may require multiple surgeries to make repairs, while others may cause permanent disability and the inability to work in the future.
However, serious emotional and psychological damage can also occur because of an accident, including the fear of driving. These types of injuries may require professional help to overcome.
How an Accident Affects the Emotions
When an accident happens, the body commonly floods with adrenaline. This helps to mask any anxiety or even the pain of injuries as the body and mind try to cope with the situation. When the individual is removed from the area of danger later, the adrenaline rush dissipates and may leave behind feelings of depression and anxiousness.
In many people, these feelings also dissipate over time, while for others, they remain with the individual and affect their everyday lives in a way that makes them unable to cope. Some of the psychological and emotional problems that are faced after an accident include:
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
People have certainly heard this term as it applies to soldiers who have returned from an armed conflict where they were constantly in danger. Around the time of World War 1, it was referred to as shell shock. However, PTSD can also be found in others who have been through a traumatic experience, particularly a motor vehicle accident, and the symptoms may not appear for weeks.
According to the National Center for PTSD, if emotional and psychological trauma goes on for more than a few months, PTSD may be involved. In addition, symptoms may be different, depending on the age of the individual. Some of the symptoms found in those who have been diagnosed with PTSD include:
- Avoidance: People with PTSD may deal with their anxiety and fear by avoiding being around people, going to certain places and other circumstances that remind them of their accident. In its extreme, avoidance can lead to anxiety attacks and agoraphobia, which is the fear of leaving one’s home. Fear of driving is another type of avoidance that might result after a motor vehicle accident that is treatable.
- Intrusion: Intrusion refers to recurring thoughts about the accident. These thoughts may enter the dreams of the accident victim, causing them to have nightmares and come awake suddenly while experiencing a feeling of terror and dread. Lack of sleep and interrupted sleep does not help the situation and only makes it worse.
- Arousal: Arousal refers to the individual’s inability to get out of the hyper state they have been placed in due to the accident. This can involve paranoia, sleeplessness and difficulty focusing.
- Numbness: While some individuals with PTSD become constantly on the alert, others may retreat into themselves in an effort to numb the emotions. This type of reaction can result in depression, blunting of the emotions and a sense of hopelessness.
Filing a Lawsuit When You are Scared to Drive After an Accident
If you are experiencing paralyzing fear and are scared to drive as a result of a car accident, we can help. The Law Offices of David Azizi can provide you a free review of your important claim to help you achieve justice and fair compensation. For a trusted car accident lawyer, contact us online or call (800) 991-5292.