Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Assessments

 

 

 

 

Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident?

Do you find it difficult to cope with the changes it has brought to your life? 

Do you experience difficulties in regulating your mood, feelings, and behaviours after the accident?  

 

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) can lead to many significant changes in your life.  While the physical effects are easy to identify, the psychological effects are not as visible and are often neglected and left untreated. This is unfortunate, because the symptoms that you may experience can be significantly reduced with support, guidance and specific psychological treatment. 

 

Many people are unaware that their automobile insurance often covers psychological rehabilitation in addition to physical rehabilitation, without a referral from their doctor. Just contact our centre and we can assist you with the process.

 

The psychologists, psychotherpists and counsellors at Simple Advice Counseling Centre can help you develop strategies to overcome or cope with your symptoms so you can start to live a meaningful and  fulfilling life again.

 

 

Signs of Depression After a Car Accident

 

Being aware of some of the most common signs of depression is very important. Far too many accident victims ignore the warning signs of depression until it has gotten to a breaking point. Only when depression symptoms are recognized early-on can the issue be treated effectively.

The following are some of the most common signs of depression following an accident:

 

In a split second, an automobile accident can turn your world upside down. The goal of recovery from emotional trauma is to restore control over your life.

 

The following are some of the most common signs of depression following an accident:

 

  • Headaches

  • Anxiety

  • Lack of interest in things that were once enjoyed

  • Lack of interest in people

  • Fatigue, tired feeling

  • Guilt

  • Suicidal thoughts or thinking about death

  • A constant feeling of sadness

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Difficulty eating

  • Feeling hopeless and/or worthless

  • Trouble making decisions

  • Issues with concentration and thinking

 

Dealing with the post-accident trauma that comes with any traffic collision is difficult. Some people have trouble dealing with the aftermath of a crash. For instance, if a driver involved in the collision was suddenly struck from the side while traveling along Hyw 404 or any other major highway, they may have a newfound fear of driving on Great Toronto highways following the accident.

 

 

Signs of PTSD After a Car Accident

 

If you've been in an accident, you might have experienced many different feelings at the time of the accident and in the days following it. Some of these feelings might have included the following:

 

  • Shock

  • Trouble believing it really happened

  • Anger

  • Nervousness or worry

  • Fear or uneasiness

  • Guilt

 

 

In addition, you might keep going over the accident in your mind. You might feel like you can't stop thinking about it.

 

Most people who have been in an accident have some (or all) of these feelings. Sometimes, though, these feelings can be so strong that they keep you from living a normal life after the accident.

 

What's the difference between normal feelings after an accident and feelings that are too strong?

 

 

​For most people who are in a traffic accident, overwhelming feelings about it go away over time. However, sometimes, those feelings don't go away or they become stronger, changing the way you think and act. Strong feelings that stay with a person for a long time and start to get in the way of everyday life are signs of a condition called post-traumatic stress. If you have post-traumatic stress, you may have some of the following problems:

 

  • An ongoing, general feeling of uneasiness

  • Problems driving or riding in vehicles

  • Not wanting to have medical tests or procedures done

  • Irritability, or excessive worry or anger

  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping

  • A feeling that you're not connected to other events or people

  • Ongoing memories of the accident that you can't stop or control

 

How can I cope with the feelings I have after my accident?

 

  • Talk to friends, relatives or a counselor about the details of the accident and how you thought, felt and acted at the time of the accident and in the days after it.

  • Stay active. Exercise often and take part in activities (anything that doesn't bother any injuries you sustained during the accident). Your family doctor can help you figure out how much you can do safely.

  • Follow up with your family doctor. Your doctor can give you referrals to other health care providers if necessary, monitor your recovery and prescribe any medicine you may need.

  • Try to get back to your daily activities and routines. Traffic accidents make some people limit what they do. It's important to try to get back to your usual activities, even if you're uncomfortable or scared at first.

  • Learn to be a defensive driver. Driving or riding in cars might be hard after the accident. You can lower your risk of future accidents or injuries by driving carefully, wearing your seat belt at all times and avoiding distractions while you're driving. Avoid driving when you're tired. Never drive if you have had alcohol or taken drugs or medicines that affect your judgment.

 

 

How to Beat Driving Anxiety After Suffering a Car Accident

 

We may not like it, but driving anxiety is a real phenomenon -- and it affects a good number of people, many of whom choose to avoid driving altogether because of it. In many cases, this form of anxiety is a result of suffering a car accident, which means that it's actually quite common.

Reasons for post-accident driving anxiety vary from individual to individual. Some people fear that they will get into another accident - even if they have been driving for years without an incident. In some cases, a mere thought of driving can cause the victim to feel anxious, which prevents them from getting behind the wheel in the first place. Other people are afraid that they will suffer a panic attack whilst driving, which they think can get them hurt -- even if that's not necessarily true. The fear of harming others is prevalent among many post-accident drivers as well.

But, regardless of why you fear driving, anxiety is rarely a good reason to quit -- because it can be treated. 

 

Here are several methods you can try:

 

Psychotherapy

 

Psychotherapy is the most obvious and effective way of beating trauma-related anxiety. So, if you have suffered a car accident, then this is the way to go. You may feel embarrassed to go through with it due to the fear of being judged by your family or friends, but it's worth it in the end.

There are many types of therapy you can try. One of them is cognitive behavioural therapy, which basically helps you learn how to "think" your way out of anxiety. Therapists usually push their clients to find ways to relax, practice realistic thinking, face fears and perform similar tasks. It's the "gentler" kind of therapy.

 

There's also something called exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, which is used to fight phobias. Therapists would usually ask their patients to perform a series of tasks that are directly related to the source of their fear. In the case of driving anxiety, this means sitting in the car, driving on a main street, entering the highway and so forth. The trick is to keep performing the tasks until they become routine and the anxiety is gone. This method may seem a little too harsh for some people since it asks you to face your fears directly.

 

Self-Love

 

Let's assume that psychotherapy is going a step too far for you -- even if it's likely to be the most effective method. The cheaper method involves taking care of yourself, which is almost the exact opposite of psychotherapy. Instead of facing your fears and dealing with them head-on, you get to take care of yourself through a healthy diet, exercising and spending quality time with family and friends. You may also considerthese seven steps for ditching driving stress if you want to make your driving experience as pain-free as possible. Sure, this may sound corny, but making sure your body and mind get what they deserve can be extremely helpful when it comes to repairing your damaged psyche.

 

Driving Courses

 

Aside from self-love, there is another self-healing method you can try -- taking driving courses. This actually works a little bit like therapy since you are essentially asking yourself to face one of your greatest fears, which is driving. By having your driving instructor walk you through driving procedures, you may gain a clearer sense of control and the environment around you whenever you drive. Plus, you may also feel like you've improved, which should boost your confidence and skill. But, regardless of anyone's mental condition, I would never discourage extra driving lessons!

 

Drugs

 

If you don't want to do anything at all, but wish to defeat your anxiety anyway, you can always resort to medication. While this method is certainly effective, it's not necessarily the best. The main reason for that is the fact that medication often treats the symptoms, not the core problem. Just remember - the only way to use anxiety medication is under the care of a doctor, so never try to pull this off on your own!

 

 

 

 

115 Apple Creek Blvd, Markham, ON L3R 6C9

​​ Tel: 416 227 1815

E-mail:  info@SimpleAdvice.ca

 

© 2006 by Simple Advice Counseling Centre. All Rights Reserved.