AUSTIN, Texas. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may be facing a range of new stressors. You may have a long recovery ahead of you, or may have to miss time from work while you heal, and this might be making it hard to pay the bills. You may have to deal with insurance adjusters, and demand letters, and a range of other issues related to your personal injury recovery. If you are suffering from anxiety after your car accident, you are not alone.
However, anxiety, if left untreated, can take a major toll on your health. According to WebMD, a little worrying and anxiety can be protective. If you are on high alert while driving in traffic, that state of increased arousal can help you prevent an accident. However, if you find yourself anxious about small details and things you cannot control, it may be wise to think about the ways in which anxiety may be impacting your health. Stress hormones can leave you feeling physically sick and can make you more prone to sickness. You might experience a faster than normal heartbeat, feel dizzy, suffer from fatigue or headaches, experience muscle tension and aches, and, over the long term, chronic stress can lead to heart disease and put you at greater risk of a heart attack.
So, what can you do if you suffer from anxiety after a car accident? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Listen to your internal narrative. When we become anxious, our minds tell a story. The story after a car accident might be that you’ll never get better or that you’ll never be able to go back to work, or that you’ll go bankrupt from medical bills. According to Goop, the key is to avoid falling victim to the stories your brain is telling you. Thoughts about the future following your car accident can consume you and leave you feeling stressed, but the level of stress you might be feeling is not correlated to the likelihood that any of these bad things will happen.
- After listening to your internal narrative, think about what you can control. Following a car accident, there will be things you can control and things you can’t control. Make a list. For example, if you broke your leg, you won’t be able to control that you’ll be wearing a cast for six weeks and out of work. But what can you control? Perhaps you can reach out to a personal injury lawyer like the Robson Law Firm in Austin, Texas who may be able to assist you with making a claim for lost wages? Maybe you can’t control that your insurance company denied your claim, but you may be able to control how you choose to fight back.
- Avoid making rash decisions based on anxiety, instead, call a friend or professional. Anxiety can make the need to do something feel urgent. However, rash decisions after a car accident can make things worse. Don’t call the insurance company to complain about a denial without the assistance of your lawyer and don’t post on social media about your crash. Instead, reach out to your personal injury lawyer or call a trusted friend to discuss your concerns.
- Give yourself space. The temptation might be to overcommit after a car accident. You might throw yourself in rehabilitation, might be looking for a new job, or may think you can take on negligent parties all by yourself. Don’t overcommit. Healing should come first now. The Robson Law Firm are car accident lawyers in Austin, Texas who may be able to help you handle the legal aspects of your claim so that you can focus on getting better.
- Don’t push anxious thoughts away. Sit with them. Pushing these thoughts away will only make them worse. If the thoughts are recurrent, consider speaking to a counselor. You may be entitled to seek damages for the costs of counseling as well.