The car crash cuts across all walks of life. Nearly 1.4 million people die in accidents every year, with 20 to 50 million people suffering non-fatal yet painful injuries.
A car accident can cause great damage to the body. But it can also hurt the mind. Many people suffer from trauma after a car accident, yet this is avoidable if you keep calm.
What is the very first thing you can do as soon as you collide with something or someone else? What should your first priority be? If you experience psychiatric symptoms after a crash, what should you do?
Answer these questions and you can map your path forward after your car crashes. Here is your quick guide.
Take a Deep Breath
Your fight-or-flight response is your body’s natural instinct to stress. After a car accident, your response may cause your heart to beat faster and your breathing to increase.
This may help you if you are in the middle of a roadway and you need to get to safety. But once you are safe, you should start some deep breathing in order to stay calm.
Close your eyes and place your chin against your chest. Breathe in through your nose, flaring your nostrils without stretching your face. Let your chest swell outward, then release your breath and let your abdominal muscles relax.
Focus On Yourself
Many people may get injured in an auto accident. But you cannot help people after a car accident if you do not help yourself.
After taking your deep breaths, open your eyes and take a look at yourself. Find a reflective surface like a mirror or a pool of water and look at your face, head, and neck. If you have a head injury like a cut across your scalp, attend to that right away.
You may have feelings of anxiety or dread in the days after the accident. This is an understandable response to stress, and it is common amongst crash survivors.
But these feelings may last for several months. You may feel afraid when you walk near a roadway, and you may shy away from driving.
These are signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Go to a psychiatrist and be honest with them about your symptoms.
Psychiatric care can be expensive. But you can cover the costs of therapy sessions and anti-anxiety medication by suing the negligent driver. Talk to a personal injury lawyer once you have improved your mental health.
How to Keep Yourself Together After a Car Crash
A car crash can occur any time you are on a road, including when you are a pedestrian. The crash will provoke your fight-or-flight response, which can help you escape from danger.
But you then need to take some deep breaths and look at your own body. Prioritize head and neck injuries over other injuries.
Feelings of incredible anxiety and a desire to avoid driving are signs of PTSD. Get help from a psychiatrist and consider your legal options, especially if you were not at fault.
A car crash cannot disrupt your life if you are focused. Find out more mental health tips by following our coverage.