How can you heal emotionally after an accident?

Sustaining a serious injury after an accident can cause emotional trauma. Because of more obvious physical injuries, you may not notice psychological trauma right away.

Ignoring the mental and emotional disruption of a physical injury may only create worse problems. Recognizing that emotional recovery is just as critical as physical recovery may help you to prioritize your healing where it is most needed.

Identifying emotional injuries

Emotional trauma may stem from a number of inner conflicts including the following:

  • Guilt about how your accident happened
  • Anger about the injuries you sustained
  • Uncertainty about your future
  • Grief about your physical limitations

Untreated emotional injuries may continue to worsen despite progress with your physical recovery. In fact, emotional trauma can stall your physical recovery and prevent you from enjoying optimal health. According to Stanford University, emotional injuries can trigger substance abuse, anxiety and depression.

Supporting your recovery

Therapy is one option you may consider as you collaborate with your medical team to identify a good treatment plan. Working with a mental health professional may introduce you to strategies for handling breakdowns, processing difficult emotions and responding to triggers. Having the tools to successfully mitigate emotional trauma can give you the space you need to focus more readily on your physical recovery.

Writing about your experience, joining a support group, asking your family and friends for help and prioritizing self-care routines are all other actions that can support your emotional recovery. Taking a proactive approach to your mental health needs can help you prevent trauma from destroying your life. With a newfound sense of reassurance, you can focus on overcoming your injury and planning for a successful future.

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