Beyond the Physical Pain: 5 Psychological Symptoms You Can Develop After a Car Accident


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A car accident can leave you with a lot of scars that are not just physical but psychological. The emotion and mental toll that a car accident can have on you can make it difficult to go about your day and carry on with your normal life. You may recover from the initial shock and heal from your physical injuries, but you may not even notice the psychological symptoms right away. Psychological symptoms could manifest months later. Let’s look at a few of the psychological symptoms that you could develop after you have been in a car accident.

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

While anxiety is a natural reaction to everyday stressful situations, it can take on a more serious form that can be related trauma, such as a car accident. GAD is characterized by excessive and irrational worrying, which can last more than 6 months. After an accident, you can develop anxiety about driving or riding in vehicles. This form of distress can be debilitating, and symptoms can include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of fear and helplessness, sleep disruption and confusion.


  1. Anger

You emotions can get wacky following a car accident, and if you were not the one who caused the crash, it is common to develop feelings of anger towards the driver of the other vehicle. That anger can stay with you long after the accident has occurred and you may take that anger out on the people around you. You may find that you get easily irritated and agitated, especially if you are left with a permanent injury that constantly reminds you of the accident and how much it has interfered with your life. A car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your suffering.

  1. Social Withdrawal and Isolation

The trauma of a car accident can cause you to go into isolation and withdraw from others because you may feel that they do not understand what you’ve experienced or what you’re going through. You may avoid social situations so that you are not reminded of the event that have brought you pain and suffering. It’s also possible that you want to be alone to avoid talking about the accident or you may want to confront your new challenges on your own.

  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In the event of a severe car accident, you can develop PTSD, which is a serious anxiety disorder which can occur soon after the event or several months later. You can re-experience the trauma through flashbacks, or nightmares, find it difficult to concentrate and sleep, experience severe depression and may avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the accident.

  1. Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)

ASD is another negative outcome that can emerge from a car accident. It generally manifests within one month of a traumatic car accident, creating feelings of intense fear, terror, or helplessness. The symptoms of ASD are similar to those of PTSD, but aren’t as long-lasting; however, ASD can develop into full blown PTSD.

The suffering that you can experience following a car accident can be related to psychological symptoms. When it is more than just the physical pain, certain symptoms can go unnoticed, but emotional and mental issues are a real consequence of a car accident. If this occurs, you deserve to be compensated.