Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Ways Your Family Can Recover from a Traumatizing Car Accident

Surviving a car accident can be a very traumatizing thing whether or not an individual was injured. Most people initially feel shock but may go on to feel an array of mental symptoms, such as anxiety and fear when they need to get back into the car. Here are some ways that the entire family can heal following a traumatizing car accident.

Talk as a Family

Bottling up emotions does nothing but cause anxiety. Families need to be aware that it is okay to feel a host of emotions whether or not they were injured in the accident. By talking together, families can grow closer, understand exactly what went wrong, and grieve for any losses. Symptoms following trauma can last anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the individual.

Get Counseling

In some instances, families will need to seek out professional counseling to help them get through this time. Individual counseling sessions as well as family counseling can help family members work out their feelings and find hope. Professionals, like those at Clearfield & Kofsky, know that counselors are non-judgmental and can prescribe any treatment necessary. Families who have lost a loved one as a result of the car accident can look for a support group for trauma survivors to see how others are dealing with their losses.

Follow a Routine

During this period of shock, families should be careful to stick to a routine. The sooner they get back into their daily schedule of work, school and home life, the sooner they will be able to regain a sense of normalcy. Individuals should aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily.

Maintain Healthy Behaviors

It can be easy to stop eating, stay up late and turn to unhealthy behaviors of drinking or smoking during this difficult time. However, those who have survived a trauma need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night and need to eat a healthy diet to get the necessary nutrients for physical and mental health. Regular, healthy meals can also help to alleviate mood swings and emotional concerns.

Feelings of guilt, fear and hopelessness indicate an underlying problem that may need professional help to be solved. This is particularly true for individuals who feel hopeless and who have thoughts of harming themselves. Families should feel no shame in seeking out professional help or in sharing their feelings with trained counselors who will be able to prescribe therapy or medications that can help.

Tim Esterdahl

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