Trauma after an accident

It's often shocking, sudden and unexpected when we are involved in a road traffic accident or an accident at work. You may well experience symptoms of trauma after an accident.

In the initial weeks you may be recovering physically and just making sense of what has happened to you. And you need to take time to recover in this way. Rest is really important during this period.

However as time goes on, you might start to notice the following difficulties. They are all typical symptoms that you might have of trauma after an accident.

Intrusive thoughts

You might find that you have trouble sleeping. Maybe dreams and nightmares about the accident will awake you. We know that sleep is reparative so not getting enough sleep doesn’t help us heal from the trauma we have experienced.

Maybe you have thoughts about the accident that pop into your head. This could be if you are triggered by any reminders of the accident. For example if you have experienced a car accident you could be triggered anytime you are near a road, or in a car or close to any reminder of the accident.

You might find yourself overwhelmed with fear and feeling unsafe. Perhaps you are unable to drive, unable to return to work or unable to go near to where the accident happened. You might often feel overwhelmed.

Often this becomes generalised so not only are you anxious as a driver, you also become anxious as a passenger too.


Increased emotions

Many people who have experienced accidents notice an increase in strong emotions such as anxiety.

You might notice you are breathing fast or sweating when you are reminded of the accident. Often people report noticing butterflies in their stomach and having an awful feeling of being on edge and as if something awful is about to happen.

Many people I see find themselves having awful, frigtening thoughts. Such as “I will be in another accident” “my family/friends will be in an accident and will die” “something awful will happen”. It’s really frightening when these thoughts are so powerful and so loud. 


Many people I see after an accident have started to avoid so many things. Maybe it’s being a passenger, they are happier driving as they feel more in control. Often they avoid certain journeys. Many people start avoiding anything that reminds them of the accident. This often then generalises and people gradually start avoiding more things in their life. “I won’t go for a walk tonight with my friend in case she asks me about the accident” “I’m not going to the cinema, the dark rooms scare me” “I won’t go to the gym today, the loud noise in class unsettles me”

Often after an accident it can feel as if your world is shrinking as you do less and less because of the trauma symptoms you are experiening.

If this sounds familiar, know that there is help for you.
Book a free 15 minute consultation now.