A car accident can be a terrifying event. You may find yourself pushed off the road and into a building or a ditch. If someone hits you right, your vehicle might even roll over. Everything around the crash can seem like a surreal interruption to your life. But how long before you feel back to normal?

Physical injuries from an accident are generally easy to see. Even if they are internal or take time to appear, scans and tests can show them. But a car crash can affect more than your body. You may struggle to deal with the invisible effects on your mental health as well.

An accident can injure your mental health

You can suffer from many different mental health issues after an accident. Since these aren’t obvious physical injuries, you may struggle to deal with them openly. And if you don’t recognize the warning signs and get help with them, they may overwhelm your life. Some of these include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD after a car accident can cause you to change your behavior. You may get insomnia or have nightmares. Or you may lash out at loved ones. You may continuously replay the accident in your head, even if you don’t want to.
  • Anxiety – You may develop anxiety over being in a moving vehicle. If you sit behind the wheel, you may feel uneasy or start to panic.
  • Fear of driving – After being in a crash, you may have a fear of driving a vehicle. This may limit your ability to go to work or visit friends and family.

These symptoms can affect your ability to participate in life. And if you can’t drive to work, you may lose your job. Despite mental issues being invisible, they can still impact your life.

Mental injuries need treatment too

When these feelings become overwhelming, you may need to speak with a doctor. Just like physical injuries, your emotional or mental injuries need treatment from a medical professional. And if the other driver caused the accident, you may be able to file a claim against his or her insurance to cover your bills.

A car accident can leave you with multiple physical and mental injuries. Even if you can’t see them, you may still need treatment.