If you’ve been injured, especially if you suffered a traumatic accident, you may feel unable to participate in your life as you did before. Missing out on daily activities and family events can trigger emotional suffering besides the physical symptoms you experience due to your injuries and put you at an increased risk of mental health issues like depression, PTSD, and anxiety. It’s common for personal injuries (workplace accidents, car crashes, public space slips and trips) to make you experience post traumatic stress symptoms or other mental health issues. Sadly, most people ignore the emotional trauma and focus on physical injuries and financial implications associated with the recovery. It’s easier to side-line mental issues when dealing with a challenging financial situation.
But ignoring the mental repercussions a personal injury might cause can snowball into long-term issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, phobias, anger management problems, and substance abuse.
If you had a harsh personal injury, you’re more likely to experience mental health issues like chronic depression. As an aware individual, you need to identify the psychological effects of your injury and treat them accordingly.
How Does an Injury Affect Your Mental Health?
If your physical health prevented you from engaging in your life or working, you might experience a shift in your psychological health. Several factors can trigger this change, from reduced mobility to the distress of pain and time spent away from your family in the hospital. If your injuries reduce your movements, you may struggle to leave the house and therefore socialise, so you probably feel that you’re losing your social connections. Also, the trauma of the accident itself can trigger PTSD symptoms, and you might deal with obsessive thinking, nightmares, anxiety symptoms, and have a checking behaviour. When you cannot return to work for a long period, you can get stressed out and worried about your financial situation, especially if you’re the sole income earner.
In case your injuries are so severe, you may never recover; you may get depressed because you find it challenging to adapt to your new life.
Do You Recognise the Symptoms Associated With Emotional Trauma?
The earlier you detect the symptoms pointing to a psychological disturbance, the easier you find to solve them. If you had personal injuries, try to assess your mental health objectively and look for tell-tale signs like emotional liability or mood swings. Emotional liability is defined as a series of antagonistic emotions experienced in quick succession. As an accident victim, you may display an emotional response disproportionate to a set of triggers, and sometimes no trigger at all makes these emotions splurge.
Suppose your accident caused a brain injury; your doctor may recommend a medical intervention to treat your psychological issues. Ask for the help of experienced and competent specialists to assist you during recovery.
Personal injuries often trigger anxiety and associated symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms you display, you may even be diagnosed with panic attacks because you fail to process the incident, focus on daily tasks, and resolve simple issues leading to a general feeling of helplessness and anxiety. Untreated anxiety can develop into post traumatic stress disorder that can impact your emotional and physical health.
Did You Know That Poor Mental Health Can Affect Your Recovery?
One in four people experiences a mental health issue annually, so whether you get injured in an accident or not, mental health can impact your life. But if you experience a severe injury, your mental health can harm your recovery. Specialists state that your state of mind can dictate how quickly you recover. The more stressed out and overwhelmed you feel, the more extended your healing period will be. Psychological stress could increase the risk of infection, health complications, or lengthened hospital stay. And the more time you need to recover, the slower you return to your daily activities and job.
Did you know that returning to your job as soon as possible after a traumatic event could improve your long-term outcome because it keeps mental health issues at bay?
The specialists from How To Sue recommend claiming compensation if the accident caused physical or psychological injuries and someone else was at fault. Their insurance provider would provide financial compensation to cover the expenses associated with treating your injuries and lost income.
How Can You Cope With the Repercussions of Personal Injury?
It’s crucial to process the incident and talk to someone as soon as possible to diminish the intensity of negative emotions the incident might cause. Talking to your family and friends or a mental health specialist could relieve feelings of helplessness, depression, and anxiety.
An effective way to alleviate the psychological symptoms you may experience because of the accident is to listen to calm instrumental music, meditate, engage in creative activities like drawing, pottery, or painting, or practice Pilates or yoga. In case your accident didn’t cause movement restrictions, you can engage in light exercise to stimulate the flow of positive hormones and achieve a balanced state of mind. If your injuries prevent you from practising physical activities, try to stay outdoors as much as possible because the proximity of nature can trigger a relaxing state and alleviate feelings of sadness, rage, fear, or anxiety.
How can you protect your mental health while recovering from an injury?
Sometimes it’s more challenging to deal with the emotional effects of a personal injury than with the physical impact. You tend to wonder, “why did you, of all people, experience the accident?” and to think that “if you didn’t do that, you might not be in this situation now”.
It sounds cliché to make this recommendation, but you must keep a positive mindset to promote healing and fasten recovery. Other ways to improve your mental health are:
- Therapy. Ask your physician to recommend a counsellor or psychologist to assist you during recovery.
- Read self-guided techniques for wellbeing.
- Create a support group and let them know when you’re not feeling well.
As you read above, a personal injury accident can trigger several mental health issues. Luckily you can tackle them down before they affect your recovery and impact your lifestyle.