Flashbacks after an accident
Dear Mental Healthy,
I was involved in a car accident last year. I had minor cuts and bruises but nothing serious. I was a passenger in the car at the time. I seemed o.k. when it happened but then I started to get flash-backs especially at night. I sometimes wake up screaming having had visions of myself at the moment we crashed. I am now finding it very difficult to travel either in a car or on public transport. I am avoiding many events so that I don’t have to travel. How can I stop this happening?
Mary from Chelmsford
Our psychologist's reply
How an accident affects us often depends on what the accident means to us. Accidents can shake our confidence but they can also bring on a lot of anxiety, particularly where we felt that we were going to be badly hurt or feared for our life. The raised anxiety and the nightmares might indicate that you are suffering trauma as a result of the accident.
This is particularly likely if you also feel a bit down and are generally irritable. You should consult your GP and tell them what the problems are so that they can help you make a decision on a way forward. You might benefit from therapy or medication or both. As your problems are as a result of a car accident, if your GP recommends therapy, then you might be able to access this through the car driver’s insurance company.