Car accidents happen every day, all over the country. It is almost impossible to go through your entire life without ever getting in one, even if you are an excellent driver. No matter how fantastic your driving skills are, it doesn’t mean that some other careless individual will not hit you.
If you have a car accident, you might feel anxious afterward. That is perfectly normal, but it can be challenging trying to deal with that anxiety. You’ll need to find a way to get past it if you want to resume your life the way it was before.
Let’s talk about ways you can get past car accident anxiety in the days, weeks, and months after a wreck.
See a Professional Therapist
On average, a driver experiences an accident every 18 years. This means that, if you’re in one, it is statistically unlikely that another will happen again soon. Still, it’s hard to tell yourself that if you’re shaking from nerves every time you try to start your car in the days after a serious wreck.
One helpful thing you might do is go to see a professional therapist. There are some that deal with traumatic events and getting people past them. A car accident would undoubtedly qualify.
Once you go and talk to the therapist about how you feel, they can give an opinion as to whether you have general anxiety or something more serious, like PTSD. You must talk to a professional because seeing a doctor to figure out what’s going on with you physically after a crash is only part of the story. You need to know about your mental and emotional condition as well.
See if They Can Prescribe Medication
The therapist might put you on antianxiety medication for some time after the crash. You probably won’t need it permanently, but it may be able to mellow you out for a while until you’re in a better mental place.
You can also see the therapist multiple times until you feel like you’ve reached a better headspace. That might take a different amount of time for different people. If the wreck was very bad, such as if you killed someone or seriously injured them in the crash, that’s not something you’ll likely to get over very quickly.
They Might Recommend Meditation
Aside from medication and talking about what happened, some therapists will tell you to meditate when you feel anxious. Meditation and working on your breathing can calm you down, and that might be the answer if you’d prefer not to try a pharmaceutical solution to your problem.
You can meditate in the mornings before driving or in the evenings when you get back from work. You can make sure your family gives you some space during these sessions. Maybe you can go to the basement or lock your bedroom door, so nobody disturbs you.
You May Avoid Driving for a While
If the crash was so traumatic that you don’t even feel like you can drive for some time afterward, you might have to wait until you feel comfortable enough to get back behind the wheel again. You may decide to take public transportation like the train or bus until you work out your anxiety issues. You also might ask a family member to drive you to and from work if that is possible.
You can work your way back to driving again, but it might take weeks or months. You can work with the therapist, and they can advise you on the best strategy for getting back to where you were before. You might start driving again by simply rolling around a deserted parking lot rather than immediately getting back on the highway, where you’ll have to contend with rush hour traffic.
It will be critical for you to understand that most people do get past car accident-related anxiety, even if you get in a bad wreck with injuries or fatalities. You will need to get past what happened eventually unless you want to give up driving entirely for the rest of your life.
Some people can manage that, but for most, it’s just not practical to do. That’s up to you, though. If you feel like this crash was so bad that you’ll never be okay driving again, you can probably find ways to make that happen.
One way or another, though, you’ll need to get past your anxiety, or else it will paralyze you.