Anxiety following a car accident is not at all uncommon. While not every accident is serious many have the potential to cause long-term anxiety including new driving phobias and fears.
An article on Web MD's Mental Health News, highlighted a British study suggested that at least one-third of all people involved in non-fatal accidents develop, "post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, depression, and phobias one year after the incident." This study was featured in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Study researcher, Dr. Richard Mayou, noted that, "rather large psychological complications even when the motor vehicle accidents have medically not been in the least bit serious. In the past there has been an assumption that people who have more severe injuries are more likely to get psychiatric complications, but that is not so."
"More than 1,000 men and women in the study who had been taken to a hospital after an accident recovered from the psychological impact within three to 12 months. Others had persistent problems or suddenly developed anxiety and other symptoms months after the accident. Interestingly, most people with persistent anxiety were passengers in the accident rather than drivers."
Dr. Mayou says, "Anxiety about travelling may mean feeling anxious when driving or riding in cars or avoiding cars altogether. You also may feel nervous or anxious when passing the site of the accident, seeing similar road conditions or traveling in the vehicle involved in the accident or a similar type or color of car."
If you have experienced anxiety following a car accident it is important that you speak to a medical professional openly and frankly about your concerns, as there are many options to control and diminish anxiety.
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