How to Recover After A Traumatic Experience

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”
― Fred Rogers


People who have endured a traumatic experience usually find that the event can continue long after the danger has passed. The experience stays with them in various ways, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. People who suffer from PTSD reportedly experience nightmares and flashbacks related to the trauma. Car accidents are a common source of trauma, and many victims may not know how to start the recovery process.

Let Your Body Heal

Most victims of automobile accidents sustain some type of injury. If you’ve been in an accident, you should always go to the nearest emergency room, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. The adrenaline that your body releases to help you cope with the accident could be masking your symptoms. Once you’ve been cleared for discharge by a physician, make sure to follow their recovery instructions carefully. Your body needs time and care to heal from your ordeal.

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

If you start experiencing symptoms of PTSD, don’t ignore them. They won’t go away on their own. The symptoms are indicators that your mind is in need of healing from the trauma it just went through. PTSD can be treated with lexapro, anxiety medication, individual therapy, group therapy, and other methods. Speak with your doctor about the option that will work best for you.

Don’t Isolate Yourself from Loved Ones

“When we feel weak, we drop our heads on the shoulders of others. Don’t get mad when someone does that. Be honored. For that person trusted you enough to, even if subtly, ask you for help.”
― Lori Goodwin

Many people with PTSD isolate themselves out of shame and guilt. It can be tempting to try to deal with your trauma on your own, but isolating yourself can actually compound your symptoms. PTSD isn’t something shameful that needs to be concealed; it’s a medical condition that requires treatment just as much as any physical injury. Be honest about what you’re experiencing with people that you love and trust. Tell them what you need and how they can help.

Don’t Blame Yourself

It’s common for victims of trauma to blame themselves for their ordeals. They feel like they should have been able to prevent the event from happening. No one deserves to go through a traumatic experience of any kind, and you deserve to make as much of a recovery as possible.

The road to recovering from a trauma is a long and difficult one. As Laurell K. Hamilton said in Mistral’s Kiss, “there are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” There is no quick fix for recovery; it’s a slow process that comes with many setbacks and disappointments. Don’t give up! Car accidents can leave victims with physical and mental burdens, but it is possible to keep chipping away at them a little bit at a time until they’re a little easier to carry.



Rachael Murphey

Rachael is an entrepreneur and writer on topics of business, finance, and economics. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie

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