The trauma caused by a car or road accident runs deeper than you may think. If your loved one has been in an accident, there will be physical injuries that may require extensive treatment and physiotherapy. But even when the person is on the mend, there is another kind of problem they could be left grappling with- PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the direct fallout of an act of violence, in this case, the accident. Road accidents have a deep psychological impact. The horror and disbelief, the intensity of physical pain, the disruption of lifestyle, and the frequent visits to the hospital have terrible implications on a person’s mental health.
And it will also affect you if you are close to the person suffering from PTSD. Seeing your loved one in the grips of depression and their frequent anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, constant re-living of the incident, mood swings, and disenchantment will be painful for you. But there is much that you can do to help.
Social support is essential
Your loved one cannot win this fight alone. PTSD can make people shun others. Since PTSD is closely linked to depression, it induces people to withdraw from the external world. This can actually worsen their mental state because more than ever they will feel like they are worthless and nobody has any use for them.
So, if you really want to help your loved one, you will have to urge them to socialize. If they are feeling a little better, visit them and take them out for a movie or to the restaurant. Invite others with who your loved one is close. Make you instruct everyone to not be noisy or talk about the accident or anything accident-related as this might act as a trigger and bring on an anxiety attack. The point of socializing is to make the person understand that they are not alone. They are surrounded by people who care. Over time, this can help them regain their faith in themselves.
Don’t force them to talk
Talking about suffering can certainly help. And psychologists advise people with trauma, depression, and PTSD to connect with their loved ones. Talking helps ease the burden.
However, like everything else, it has to be done on the person’s terms. You can’t just barge in on them and demand to talk about what is bothering them. A person who is going through PTSD faces rising and ebbing phases of depression and anxiety. You have to talk to them when they are feeling like talking. You have to gauge their mood from the body language. Gentle prodding will tell you if the time is ripe for a talk. Otherwise, simply let them know that you are there and they can reach out any time they want. You don’t even have to utter the words, simple gestures, like a hand on the shoulder, or taking their meal to their room if they have deliberately skipped it can speak volumes.
But be a good listener
When your loved one who is trying to come to grips with PTSD finally opens up to you, listen. Try to understand what their worries, anxieties, and fears stem from. How deep-rooted are their grief and horror? Are they coming close to accepting the fallout of the accident? You can glean a lot about a person’s mental state from what they say.
Do not be judgemental, do not cut in with insights of your own, don’t tell them everything will be alright. This will undermine their suffering. They will never want to speak about their pain again.
Let life seem normal
If you have a person with PTSD in the house with you, you have to make sure that the household’s usual routine is not interrupted. If your loved one feels that the normalcy of the household is disrupted, they are likely to blame themselves for it. Besides, a regularized routine can help bring back a semblance of normalcy to their lives. Be cheerful, do the things you always do, keep your loved one involved, ask them to do their usual household chores.
But this can be a tricky policy. If you are too casual, then your loved one might think that their suffering doesn’t affect you. And if they feel that life will go on as before no matter what tragedy befalls them, it might push them further into depression.
And don’t tell your loved one what to do. People often tend to dictate the actions of people who are injured or ill. But being bossy can push them away even more and make them distrust you.
Be calm around them
You will be in mental agony if your loved one has been in an accident and is having a hard time coping with the trauma. But you have to learn to keep your stress in check. You can’t break down in front of them. This will distress your loved one even further. Be composed and empathetic when interacting with a person with PTSD. A tranquil and focused mind will help you take cues from your loved one’s body language and guide you on how to provide them with the support they need.
Also, it is important to be patient. PTSD can make a person angry, irritable, and likely to lash out. Try to understand that this behavior comes from a place of hurt and grief. Even if you are rudely pushed away, don’t give up on your loved one.
Learn more about the symptoms of PTSD
You need to know what you are in for. To stay by your loved one’s side as they recover from PTSD, you need to know what to expect. You will have a better understanding of what they are going through, in which areas they need help and whether they are showing signs such as PTSD and eating disorders that can cause health complications.
Recognize their need for therapy
Sometimes PTSD does not go away on its own. Symptoms deteriorate and the person can’t find the way back to a happy healthy state of mind. If you notice this in your loved one, it’s time to convince them to go for therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is immensely effective. Your loved one may have misgivings about therapy. Point out how people benefit from it. Book appointments for them and accompany them to the clinic. Wait until the session ends and bring them back home.
PTSD and emotional trauma are grounds for seeking redress. Detrimental impact on mental wellbeing counts as damages. And the insurer of the driver at fault is legally bound to compensate your loved one for the suffering caused by the accident. Contact personal injury lawyers who can explain the legal options you can avail of.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers.. we connect you with have over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and have helped clients recover the maximum compensation in claim settlements. Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay your lawyer until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org