The trauma of a car accident can linger for months or even years. Learning to manage your PTSD and the things that trigger it will take time and patience.
Even though you might feel fearful about driving again, consistent effort will make a difference in your future driving experiences. Knowing some strategies for overcoming PTSD can help you identify your next steps.
The days and weeks following your accident may feel blurry with the balancing act of managing physical injuries, addressing insurance requests, handling property damage and dealing with psychological trauma. During this time, the Anxiety and Depression Associate of America recommends that you prioritize self-care.
Self-care could look like baking your favorite treat, scheduling a massage, spending time with a friend or meditating at the park. Eat a balanced diet and increase your intake of nutrient-rich foods. Drink plenty of water and get enough rest at night. Taking care of yourself will give you the energy you need to process the trauma you experienced.
Keep a realistic perspective
It might feel impossible to picture yourself ever feeling comfortable driving again. However, try to remember the big picture and that time could make a difference in how you feel. Do not push yourself into driving again too quickly. Start small and in an area that does not have much traffic. Ask someone to accompany you. Gradually increase the time you spend driving. If you plan to travel to a destination, give yourself double the time you will need to get there so you can enjoy a relaxed drive.
Despite the trauma you experienced, your actions might enable you to once again find enjoyment in driving.