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Psychological Treatment after a Motor Accident

By July 10, 2019 No Comments

In any one year over 600,000 motor vehicle accidents occur, from major fatalities, to minor collisions. 

Minor car accidents and fender benders are all so common we tend to regard them as everyday events.  However, for those involved, the accident can become so much more.  People involved in even a minor accident may find that they have trouble sleeping, experience mood swings, suffer with low moods, anxiety and can undergo unexplained physical pain.  These can all be related to the accident, even years later.

Research has shown that there is a strong psychological component involved in recovering from a motor accident, even a minor one.  Trauma can be caused by a stressful event that that you are unprepared for and unable to stop.  All these things describe a car accident perfectly!  It is possible to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after even a minor car accident, along with emotions such as guilt and anger at both the situation and their self.

No two people will respond to trauma in the same way.  Some people appear to have the ability to shake it off and recover quickly, while others struggle with symptoms both consciously and unconsciously.  When facing a dangerous threat, the body has three options – fight, flight or freeze.  In order to carry out these, the nervous system becomes aroused and ready to do whatever it takes to keep you alive.  These are the mechanisms that occur in a traumatic situation like a motor accident.  The problem arises, when the nervous systems is unable to release that arousal and bring things back to normal.  This is like you trying to drive with both the accelerator and the brakes on at the same time!  To help the nervous system regain control and do its job, a qualified professional can guide you through strategies and meditations, in order to relax and diffuse the thoughts and feelings that are sending the nervous system into overdrive.

Some people find that they experience flash back memories of the accident.  This may be triggered by circumstances that link memories to the car accident.  The colour of the other car involved, the place where it happened, other vehicles involved, even the environment of the car such as the seatbelt of airbag.  All of these triggers can cause the memories of the motor accident to be relived again and again.  With the help of a qualified professional, these triggered can be uncoupled from the unpleasant memories, allowing you to move on and overcome the trauma experienced.

Margaret McDonald has over 30 years experience helping people understand and resolve trauma that has occurring in their lives.  Margaret has worked with many CTP providers, helping their customers recover from an accident in a positive, life enriching manner.  To make an appointment to see Margaret, please don’t hesitate to contact our office on 3862 8833 or email reception@mmcdonald.com.au.