Why You Are Still Struggling with Car Accident Trauma.
Living with trauma can be really hard. It bleeds into everything we do leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed to the world.
It is little wonder why so many people struggle after a traffic accident.
Consider this. As many as 1 in every 3 car accident victims will suffer post traumatic stress within 90 days.¹ That means over 30% of people involved in a road traffic accident will experience some form of psychological trauma!
More staggering yet, if neglected for a long period of time car accident ptsd can lead to 1 or more psychiatric disorders.²
So why, then, do so few people get help with their post car accident trauma?
The simple answer is it's invisible.
A Splinter Buried Within the Mind
If you've recently been involved in a road traffic accident, the chances are you're dealing with more than just physical injuries. The fact is most trauma goes undiagnosed and unnoticed.
If we do notice it, we tell ourselves we're too busy to deal with it, hoping that things will miraculously improve over time. As this hope fades, the sense of helplessness, sadness, and anxiety set in.
Unwilling and perhaps too ashamed to talk about it we continue to suffer alone.
Our Capacity for Life Becomes Diminished
Trauma, no matter how big or small, can have a devastating impact on your life. Left untreated, much like a splinter buried beneath the skin, it will sit and fester.
Your ability to trust, feel safe, and be intimate with others is diminished. The things that once brought you joy are no longer able to provide the same level of comfort.
In spite of trying to ignore it through distraction, our ability to tolerate uncertainty and the demands of daily living are dramatically reduced.
No Longer Ourselves
Even the most unshakeable of individuals can be thrown off balance by a traumatic event. Mood swings - from mild irritability to lashing out - begin to take a toll on our closest relationships.
A close friend or partner maybe telling us how we're somehow different.
Fear, Loathing, and Isolation
As the pain persists, our desire to stay active in the community fades. We may avoid socializing with our partners, friends, and family as we continue to suffer alone. People begin to pull away as our body language signals a lack of interest to engage.
The Downward Spiral
Large traumas can make it hard for us to stay connected to the world around us. We may feel isolated and alone and turn to unhealthy habits to distract ourselves from the pain. Anything that seems to help us disconnect from reality is harmful.
It can also include substance abuse, such as drinking and drug use (prescription or recreational). It may also refer to any behavior that becomes excessive such as working more, shopping ('retail therapy'), or increased sexual activity.
We may soon discover that it's only a matter of time until the discomfort resurfaces after the brief pleasure fades.
We lose whatever sense of control we had as we become increasingly reactive and disconnected with the world around us.
In other words, we avoid. It's as though we've been transported to a different reality. Things appear to be distinct; we walk and carry ourselves differently, and everyday living becomes increasingly difficult.
We can struggle with the most basic of decisions or simplest of activities, no matter how routine they may be.
Ways We Can Cope
3 simple, easy-to-use strategies to help you find calm when you're triggered:
- Get in touch with your body: What are you feeling? Is there tightness in your chest, a pit in your stomach, or shakiness throughout your body? Try to name the sensations you're experiencing.
- Connect with your surroundings: Notice what's going on around you. Are there any sounds or smells that are comforting? Can you see any shapes or colors that are soothing?
- Reach out to someone you trust: Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone else who can offer support. Telling someone about your experience can help lessen the isolation and make it feel more manageable.
How We Heal
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, you're not alone. Even more importantly, the pathway to healing need not be a long, drawn-out or complicated.
Somatic (body) treatments help heal trauma wounds. EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization and Reprocessing), OEI (Observed and Experiential Integration), and Somatic Experiencing are all very effective interventions for healing the wounds left in the wake of traumatic experiences.
Such experiential approaches focus on the re-processing or integration of distressful memories, and restore our sense power within the world around us.
Treatment allows us to once again see the world as a safe place and to move through it with confidence. It provides to us an opportunity to reclaim our lives, our relationships, and our serenity.
Contact us to learn how we can help put your car accident trauma in the past, and get you into the driver's seat of your life once again.
Help is just a click away.