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Getting back in the car with PTSD from a crash

It feels like the whole world stops as you get in a car accident. It's all moving so slowly, almost like a dream, and you can't do anything to prevent it.

Maybe it's another driver running through a stop sign and into your path. Maybe it's another car drifting into your lane as the driver sends a text message. No matter what it looks like, you just feel trapped as you watch the inevitable happen before your eyes.

The next thing you know, the emergency crews are cutting you from your car and loading you into the ambulance. You can hear sirens and people screaming. It's the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to you.

The onset of PTSD

A car accident like that can absolutely lead to PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can give you extreme anxiety after the wreck. You may feel like you'll never be able to get in a car again.

Think about the impact something like that can have on your future. Not only do you have high medical bills and injuries to overcome, but the mental side can essentially confine you to your home. You can't travel. You can't work. You can't see your friends.

Don't underestimate the way that changes your life. It can be more costly than the initial accident.

Getting back in the car

So, how do you overcome it and get back in the car? Below are a few tips that can help:

  • Work with a professional therapist. If you really do have PTSD, they can make a diagnosis and start a treatment plan catered around your specific needs. Do not feel like you just have to suffer through this on your own. Talk to medical professionals and get the help you need.
  • Consider all treatments. For instance, some people have had success with things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and even hypnotherapy. Every situation is different, but make sure you know what options you have.
  • Use medication if needed. There are many safe, proven types of medication that you can take to combat stress and anxiety. Talk to your doctor, especially when therapy isn't enough.
  • Take care of yourself. Focus on creating a happy, healthy life. Invest time in your hobbies, make sure you eat healthy foods and spent time with the people you love.

As you move forward with any of this, consider the costs. You have lost wages, medication costs, therapy costs and much more. Be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation.

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