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What should you do when a personal injury creates ongoing trauma?

Sustaining a personal injury can leave you feeling fearful of your future. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may face daily reminders of the trauma you experienced as you receive ongoing medical care and treatment.

With recurring emotional distress, you could develop worsening conditions including depression and severe anxiety. Your understanding of ways to cope with your experience may allow you to maintain control over your future despite the circumstances you find yourself in.

Identifying emotional trauma

Your body’s response to trauma will look different than someone else. In fact, you could compare your situation to other people in similar circumstances and each of you will react differently. Perhaps the most effective way to identify emotional trauma is to analyze how you feel. How do you react to stress? What feelings do you have when you remember your accident?

According to the American Psychological Association, emotional trauma could cause you to suffer physical ailments including headaches and chest pain. Preexisting medical conditions may worsen. Loud noises, certain smells or specific situations could cause you great anxiety and fear if they conjure memories of your accident. You may suffer mood swings and noticeable differences in your behavior. Once-thriving personal relationships may suffer or you may experience increased conflict and have difficulty connecting with others.

Managing the triggers

Coping with your situation will require the support of others. You may find this support in your family, your circle of friends and even within professional relationships. Consider working with a therapist who will listen to your concerns and help you identify effective strategies to navigate your situation with confidence. Recognize that your situation will take time to overcome and allow yourself grace to process and learn how to live comfortably and happily with your new circumstances.

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