There are many things that people talk about after a car accident. Dealing with physical injuries (or even death), recovering compensation, and coping with out-of-pocket expenses are a few of the most common subjects. While these are all important topics, there is something that is rarely discussed but often experienced by car accident victims: Depression.
A car accident is a violent and frightening event. It can trigger serious psychological trauma that may impact an accident victim for months, even years, after the initial event. In many cases, accident victims don’t understand that their depression stems from the accident, or if they do, they are afraid to talk about it.
Mental illness is often stigmatized, which prevents people from getting the help they need. At The Benton Law Firm, we want to help shed light on the issue of depression following a car accident. Here’s what you need to know about the condition and how a car accident can lead to depression and other mental health conditions.
What Is Depression?
Depression is categorized as a mood disorder. The condition can impact the way you think, feel, and interact with others. It can even cause disruptions in how you handle social interactions and manage daily activities. Depression is often equated with sadness. However, the disorder is much more complicated than just feeling a little blue. Depression can manifest as a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness.
To be diagnosed with depression, a person typically must experience depression symptoms for at least two weeks. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. and can be caused by a variety of factors. Some forms of depression may be genetic, while biological or environmental factors can also cause depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Again, depression is more than just feeling sad or out of sorts. Depression is a serious mental health disorder. This condition needs to be addressed and managed by a physician. Not only can depression have an impact on your thinking, feelings, and interactions with the world, but it can also result in physical symptoms that can make managing everyday tasks challenging.
Being involved in a car accident is scary. You may lie awake at night worrying about your job, medical expenses, and how the accident will impact your life. Over time, your sadness and anxiety remain consistent or only seem to grow. These thoughts, along with other symptoms, may indicate you are suffering from depression. While not everyone will experience depression in the same way, be aware of these common symptoms:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, or numbness
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Changes in eating patterns
- Outbursts of anger or crying
- Changes in the way you think or impaired concentration
- Trouble remembering things
- Feeling worthless
- Thoughts of suicide
- Physical pain unrelated to your accident-related injuries, such as headaches, back pain, or unusual aches or cramps
Depression can masquerade as other ailments. You may think that body aches after a car accident are a sign of a physical injury. Trouble concentrating or remembering things can also be a sign of concussion. It is crucial that you keep in contact with your doctor after a car accident and update them on how you are feeling as you recover.
Depression After a Car Accident
Depression can be triggered by major life events. Being involved in a car accident is a major life event, especially when serious injuries are involved. You may be anxious about your future. You may be rightfully worried about your physical recovery, whether you will be able to get back to work, whether you will enjoy the activities you used to love, or whether you can financially recover from the incident. One British study suggests that at least one-third of people involved in nonfatal accidents will suffer from anxiety or depression up to one year after the initial accident.
Do not feel ashamed if you are having a difficult time mentally coping with the aftermath of a car accident. You are not alone in your struggle, and there are resources out there that can help you deal with depression after a car accident. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional immediately. A professional will be able to give you a diagnosis and the tools you need to manage the condition. If you don’t know where to turn for help, consider the following resources:
- Mental Health TX
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Talk to an Experienced Dallas Car Accident Attorney Today
Depression is a real medical condition. Do not let the insurance company or those around you downplay your mental health. You need professional treatment and support during this difficult time. If you don’t know where to turn, reach out to our team at The Benton Law Firm. We take your health and well-being after an accident seriously. Not only can we help you pursue the compensation you deserve, but we can also provide a supportive shoulder to lean on.
Find out how we may be able to help you. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a negligent driver, contact us online, or call our office at (214) 777-7777. Let’s set up a free consultation to talk about your situation.