People think that when you are in a car accident, you are going to be fine in a day or two. That shock doesn’t last long. With accidents where there are a couple of people injured, you think that when they are feeling better, they can put the accident behind them.
But is this the truth? Or are there some long-term effects that people are struggling with, even if they weren’t injured in the accident? This is everything that you need to know about the long-term effect of a car wreck.
Your injuries after a car accident may not be physical injuries at all. They may be emotional injuries that may take a long time to heal. Children struggle with the emotional aspect of car accidents far more often than adults.
Table of contents
- 1. Emotional effects
- 2. Injuries in the long-term
- 3. The death of someone close
- 4. The loss of your vehicle
- 5. Struggling with PTS
- How to minimize the long-term effect of the accident
1. Emotional effects
There are lots of emotional effects that you can struggle with, after an accident. And, if you think that this is going to last just for a short while, then you should think again. The emotional effect of a car wreck can last for weeks.
Especially, if you were responsible for the accident and there were deaths because of you. Emotional effects of an accident don’t go away overnight. Most common Emotional effect of a car accident is depression.
Depression is a common disorder that affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. It can manifest in various ways and can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of depression include:
Persistent sadness or feeling “empty”:
Feeling down, hopeless, or experiencing a sense of despair that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Losing interest in hobbies, activities, or social interactions that were once enjoyable.
Changes in appetite or weight
Significant changes in appetite, leading to weight loss or gain.
Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping).
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feeling tired or lacking energy, even after a full night’s sleep.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Persistent feelings of self-blame, worthlessness, or excessive guilt over past actions or perceived failures.
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Trouble focusing, remembering details, or making decisions, even about simple matters.
Headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain without a clear physical cause.
Thoughts of death or suicide
Recurrent thoughts of death, suicide, or suicide attempts.
It’s important to note that experiencing some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean someone has clinical depression. However, if these symptoms persist for an extended period and interfere with daily functioning and well-being, it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment for depression may include therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches.
It is important that people that are struggling with the emotional part of being in an accident or being responsible for the accident should get professional assistance as soon as possible. The problem will not go away by itself, and it can just get worse. You need to look for signs that the person’s personality is changing and when he is getting depressed. Then seeing a professional is essential.
2. Injuries in the long-term
Injuries can also last a very long time. Especially, when you had a head injury, or you were seriously injured in the crash. It might feel that you aren’t going to recover ever, and you might feel that the nightmare isn’t going to end. However, this is normal to feel this way. And you need to make sure that you are just focusing on getting better.
Long-term injuries can lead to various complications, both physical and psychological. Some common complications include:
Long-lasting pain from the injury site, which can affect mobility, sleep, mood, and overall quality of life.
Severe injuries may result in permanent physical disabilities, such as paralysis, loss of limb function, or impaired mobility.
Reduced quality of life
Long-term injuries can impact an individual’s ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed, leading to a decreased quality of life and feelings of frustration or isolation.
Coping with a long-term injury can lead to psychological challenges such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or adjustment disorders.
Dependency on medication
Some injuries may require long-term medication use to manage pain, inflammation, or other symptoms, which can lead to dependency or addiction issues.
Secondary health problems
Prolonged immobility or restricted movement due to injury can increase the risk of developing secondary health problems like blood clots, pressure sores, muscle atrophy, or infections.
Impact on relationships
Long-term injuries can strain relationships with family, friends, or caregivers due to changes in roles, responsibilities, and emotional dynamics.
Loss of independence
Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals may experience a loss of independence and autonomy, requiring assistance with daily tasks and activities.
Difficulty participating in social activities or maintaining social connections due to physical limitations or psychological effects can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Managing these complications often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving medical care, rehabilitation, counseling or therapy, social support, and lifestyle adjustments. It’s essential for individuals with long-term injuries to seek appropriate medical and psychological support to address both the physical and emotional aspects of their condition.
3. The death of someone close
One of the hardest parts of being in an accident is someone else close to you has died. This is the one thing about the accident that will never become normal again. A long-term effect that can’t be undone and that can’t be changed.
The loss of someone special is always hard, but if you were in the same accident and you have survived and the other one not, this makes it even harder. You might deal with guilt, emotional scars and even some long-term injuries that you still need to recover from. This is the tragic part of an accident. To get over the fact that you have lost someone dear to you. This isn’t just a long-term fact; this is something that will be with you for the rest of your life.
4. The loss of your vehicle
We are getting used to our vehicle. We have paid long and hard for it. And so many people don’t really have the money to purchase another one. When you are in an accident and your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, you are going to be angry, sad and frustrated. There are some people that feel that you have lost someone dear to you.
This is normal, especially if you have had your vehicle for a very long time. Even those cars that can be repaired may not ever be the same again. And the owners of damaged vehicles don’t feel the same about their cars ever again. In some instances, after the car is fixed, it is sold.
Although a car is just a car, some people look at it more than that. A car for one person may just be transportation, for another it may have its own special name. Insurance adjusters do not care what you name your car, it’s just a car to them. But for you it’s much more
5. Struggling with PTS
You might feel fine just after the accident. Even a couple of days later you are still feeling fine. But then it hit you. Long and hard. This is what we are calling PTS or post-traumatic stress. When you are getting the feelings and reacting to the accident a while after it happens. This is the most serious long-term effect that you can have after an accident, and it can be serious.
Children really struggle with this long term. They may be afraid to even get into a car after they have been involved in a car accident. They may have trouble sleeping at night or have dreams. You may need to monitor your children frequently if they have been involved in a car accident. These issues usually stem from more serious accidents, not just a minor fender bender.
How to minimize the long-term effect of the accident
There are ways that you can minimize the long-term effect of an accident. If you know what to look for, and whom to see. These are some ways that you can minimize the long-term effect of the accident:
• Make sure that you are going to see an accident doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you are going to see the doctor, the faster you will recover from any injuries. And the faster you are going to heal again. Take note: You should see a doctor a that specializes in auto injuries.
• If someone has died from the accident, get emotional assistance from a professional right away. The sooner you are going to get help, the faster you will recover emotionally.
• Get your car repaired as soon as possible. Or purchase a new car as soon as you can. The moment that you purchase a new car, you will feel better and will make sure that you aren’t going to think back on the previous car.
• Talk to other people about the accident. Don’t say that you don’t want to talk about it. The more you are going to talk about it, the less emotional problems you are going to have. And it reduces the risk of PTS.
If your car is repaired and you are healed from your injuries, people think that all the trauma and long-term effects are gone. However, this isn’t the truth. There might be many things that keep reminding you of the accident and the loss that you might have had.
With all this information, you will know what to look for, if you think that you might have some long-term effects of the accident. And, you will know how you can prevent this from happening again. It’s important to make sure that you are recovering emotionally and physically as soon as possible.