From musculoskeletal and brain injuries to mental health

Accidents can be Traumatic

Reviewing decades of research, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration created a definition of trauma for use in mental healthcare and the legal system:

  • There is a triggering event
  • This event was experienced as physically or emotionally harmful, potentially life threatening
  • The event has lasting negative effects on a person’s functioning and well-being.

[source: SAMHSA Report on Trauma]

It turns out that it is common for accidents to have lasting negative effects on a person’s mental health. After a car accident, people often experience anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. Some common responses to trauma are:

  • Intense, unpredictable feelings
  • Disruptions to your normal routines, like difficulty sleeping and eating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being more reactive to “triggers” in the environment, like loud noises or the smell of burning
  • Problems in your close relationships, like increased conflict and arguments, or feeling disengaged and “shut down”

[source: American Psychological Association

Learning objectives: At the end of this presentation, delegates will be able to:

  • Explain how accidents don’t just have physical effects; they can also have psychological effects

  • Describe how accidents can cause trauma

  • Identify how trauma is something that we need to heal, the same way we heal physical injuries.

There is a Solution: Trauma Recovery Care

You can try to handle things on your own, but you’re going to be more successful if you have a team of trained professionals guiding you through the recovery process. In fact, lingering symptoms of trauma are successfully treated in thousands of people every year with a combination of physical rehab, therapy, and medication.