There’s no doubt about it: car accidents are stressful events. They can leave you with not only physical injuries but emotional ones as well. If you suspect (or are sure) you have depression after a car accident, don’t ignore it.
The mental effects of a car accident, including depression, are very real. You’ll want to pay attention to how the car accident has affected your mental health and daily life. If you were not at fault for your accident, you may be able to include pain and suffering damages in your insurance claim.
Depression Can Be Common After a Car Accident
It’s normal to cycle through a lot of emotions after a car accident. You might feel scared, shocked, angry, confused, anxious, or sad. You’re probably worried about how your injuries will impact your work, home, and financial life. You might be very angry at the other driver for causing the crash that has changed your life.
Sometimes, the emotions from a car accident don’t go away with time. If the sadness or anxiety persists, you may be experiencing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the accident. Even if you feel okay for a while after the crash, symptoms can begin weeks or even months afterward.
Symptoms of Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), depression symptoms can include:
- Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
- Feeling persistently sad, empty, or anxious
- Losing interest in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy
- Trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Thoughts of suicide or death (or suicide attempts)
- Low energy, as if everything is “slowed down,” or fatigue
- Low or loss of appetite and/or weight loss
- Overeating and/or weight gain
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Irritability or feelings of restlessness
- Physical issues like pain, digestive problems, or headaches that don’t respond well to treatment or can’t be explained in another way
Car accident victims might have ongoing memories or thoughts of the accident, constant or excessive worry or anxiety, a constant feeling of unease, or fear of seeing doctors or keeping medical tests done.
Depression or other mental health issues can also impact how you heal and recover after the accident. Research has shown psychological stress can mess with your body’s ability to heal physically. It can also contribute to chronic pain and keep your body in a constant “fight-or-flight” state that shouldn’t naturally persist.
Reasons for Depression After a Car Accident
Although we don’t have all the answers, many car accident victims experience depression and/or anxiety after the crash changes elements of their life. Life might look different for a number of reasons. For example:
- The car accident victim’s injuries might limit how they can work (or participate in other activities) after the accident.
- Socialization might be more difficult than it used to be, perhaps because of a concussion, brain injury, or others simply not understanding what it was like to be in the accident.
- The victim might fear the same type of accident happening again every time they get into a vehicle.
- If the car accident injuries changed the victim’s appearance or physical abilities, they might feel embarrassment, fear, or isolation.
Anxiety, depression, or PTSD can also come on without a car accident victim understanding why. What’s important is understanding they aren’t alone and that getting help is the number one priority. You can absolutely get depression after a car accident, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you were injured in a car accident and might have depression, contact your doctor. They will recommend a physical and psychological evaluation so you can get the right treatment for you. If you have thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harm to others, contact a mental health provider or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Emotional Damages
If you were not at fault for your accident, you’ll want to contact a trusted car accident lawyer, as well. They can help you seek a settlement for your car accident injuries—and that can include mental injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering damages, therapy, and other costs of treatment.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you experience mental health issues like depression after a car accident, don’t suffer alone or try to avoid what you’re feeling. Talk to a doctor about your symptoms, and contact an experienced car accident lawyer if you did not cause your accident. At John Foy & Associates, we can provide that lawyer for you.
Our car accident attorneys have been helping car accident victims win the compensation they need for over 20 years. We are skilled, compassionate, and here to listen to how the accident has impacted your life. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a FREE consultation to discuss your compensation options after the crash. Call (404) 400-4000 to get started.