Anxiety & Depression After Car Accident
How to Tell It’s Time to See a Mental Health Therapist after a Car Accident
Not all car accident injuries are visible. A bleeding wound or broken bone is easy to locate and treat, but the psychological effects of such an event may take time to manifest themselves.
According to one report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), car accidents are the leading cause of mental trauma in men and the second most common cause in women. In fact, about 9% of car accident victims will develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
It’s easy to ignore your mental health when your physical injuries require so much treatment. In some instances, the problems may occur months after the event. Regardless, you shouldn’t ignore the psychological symptoms of a car accident and get help as soon as possible.
Anxiety and Depression Are Common Among Car Accident Victims
No other known organisms are as complex as the human mind. Over 100 billion neurons work together in perfect synchronicity, transmitting information to and from the brain throughout the body. A traumatic event such as a car accident can affect this perfect equilibrium and cause it to degenerate.
It is normal to feel anxious, afraid, confused and shocked immediately after the accident. It’s your brain’s way of trying to make sense of what happened and provide coping mechanisms. However, this rollercoaster of emotions should subside in time and completely go away after a few months. If you are still experiencing stress and anxiety months after the car accident, then you should see a mental health therapist right away.
Keep in mind that the signs of a mental health problem might not show immediately after the accident. If you start noticing a deterioration in your mental health weeks or months after a car crash, then that is a sign that you need to go see a mental health counselor.
Signs It’s Time to See a Mental Health Therapist
Here are some telling signs that your mental health may be an issue:
- Loss of interest in daily activities;
- Insomnia or problems sleeping;
- Loss of appetite;
- The inability to find joy in activities that once brought you pleasure;
- Loss of interest in social events and human contact;
- Developing strange fears and phobias, such as experiencing anxiety when hearing loud noises or the honk of a car;
- Mood swings;
- The inability to focus.
Can I Receive Compensation for My Mental Health Problems?
It can be difficult to get compensation for your mental health issues, especially if the onset of the symptoms occurred months after the accident. The insurance company may argue that something else in your life was the trigger of these problems. That’s why it’s important to document your struggle from the moment you notice the first signs. Extensive proof of your condition, such as notes from your therapist or journey entries of how your mental health affects your daily life can benefit your case.
We can Help
Our St. Louis car accident attorneys take mental health extremely seriously. We advise our clients to always consider the psychological impact of the crash and seek help as soon as they notice something is wrong.