Believe it or not, it is common to feel depressed or suicidal after a car accident. In this post we will examine suicide trends in the U.S., depression related to car accidents, and what a person facing accident-related depression can do.
Suicide on the rise, money may be to blame
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported an alarming trend: Suicide rates are on a sharp increase in the United States. In fact the CDC is reporting that since 2010 more people in the U.S. die of suicide than die in car accidents. The majority of this surge is happening in the middle-aged of our nation.
The reasons behind suicide are complex, and nobody knows for sure what’s causing the increase. The New York Times article from May, 2013 speculates one strong suspicion has to do with financial stress. In particular the economic downturn of the past decade has made it hard for families to cope financially with the challenges of life.
Depression after car accidents
The emotional challenges of financial uncertainty are only made worse when compounded with the effects of an accident. One study by the University of Oxford’s Warneford Hospital shows that at least one-third of all people involved in a nonfatal accident have post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, depression, and phobias as long as one year after the accident.
The author of the study says that “In the past there has been an assumption that people who have more sever injuries are more likely to get psychiatric complications, but that is not so.” Even accidents which have not been serious medically can have large psychological complications.
Financial complications because of depression
One of the biggest challenges facing those who have experienced psychological trauma due to a car accident is that it can often become harder to cope with daily challenges. Even getting to work can seem impossible. When the financial burdens of medical treatment are added to this stress it can be overwhelming and literally impossible to dig yourself out.
This ends up creating a downward spiral of emotion and behavior that creates ever increasing debts and ever worsening emotions. Family relations can be affected. You might feel on the verge of tears constantly, but unable to do anything to “get over it.” Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon.
You are not alone.
Get emotional help. If it has only been a short time since your accident, you can get help that will lead to a full recovery. Be sure to get any treatment you need to repair your life. Talk to your doctor about how you’ve been feeling. They may prescribe medicines or invite you to visit with a specialist.
If it has been more than a couple months and you still feel anxious, avoid driving situations, or have persistent dreams or thoughts about the accident, you should seek help from a qualified professional. You may be experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.
Remember that a car accident causing anxiety and depression is normal. You can get help.
Get financial help. When it comes to financial burdens, remember that you always have the right to fair compensation for your injuries, as well as any psychological damage done to you. Emotional trauma is very real, and can alter a life forever. Don’t let the insurance companies try to minimize what you’re going through. A lawyer can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and help make sure you get the money needed to cover you and your family for as long as it takes to recover both physically and emotionally.
Don’t be overwhelmed with depression. If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, seek help right away.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at: 1-800-273-8255
Or visit their website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/