I was in a bad car accident on Monday night. A man hit me from behind going about 45 miles an hour. I was stopped at a stop light with about five cars in front of me. I saw his headlights coming at me really fast from behind and I attempted to change to the lane to my right but I wasn't fast enough and he hit me and my car went like 30 feet towards the right almost hitting a pole. I was told by the cops and firefighters that I was extremely lucky because if I hadn't moved them I may have been sandwiched between the car that hit me and the car in front of me and my injuries could have been serious or even fatal. I had a 2003 Honda Civic and it is totaled.
I was taken to the emergency room with just minor injuries, bruises, scraps and whiplash and back pain. I was released that night but ever since it has happened, I can't sleep through the night, I keep thinking about the accident over and over again and I keep thinking about what I could have done differently or what might have happened if I didn't see him and attempt to move my car.
I am having trouble sleeping, I hurt all the time, I keep have crazy dreams about the accident and I feel hopeless, trapped in my own home and when I get in the car, I am so tense that it makes my body hurt. I have driven 2 times and I am constantly scanning my surroundings and I often start to cry, have trouble breathing and if I have a few places to go, I can't get to them because all I can think about is getting home. I also can't even begin to think about driving at night. I went to the doctor for a follow up and she prescribed me Xanax to help me sleep and to help my mind relax. She also said to come back in about a week to see if I will need PT and to call a counselor if I need it. She also said that it sounds like I am having symptoms of PTSD. I called the counselor today because I need to be able to get back on the road and get on with my life, I can't keep being a prisoner in my house.
I just needed to get this out because I am having a really hard time dealing with this and I feel stupid talking to people about this because I wasn't seriously hurt so I don't want people to think I'm lying about how I am feeling.
Yes you do have symptoms of PTSD, and also anxiety, and agrophobia...Agorophobia is a fear of leaving your safety zone(your home) I had a car accident about 9 yrs ago. I hit ice, lost control of my car for about 100 ft, regained control, hit ice again. I spun out of control, my car did a 180 I crossed the yellow line, and hit a tree backwards, doing about 45. Because when you lose control on ice the cop said that you actually accelerate your speed. I couldn't get out of bed for 4 days without help. I also have Fibromyalgia so it didn't help either.
You are right when you say that you NEED to get over this and get on with your life. Take little steps to do this. FACING your fear is the only way to overcome it. Drive short distances. come back home. Do it again and agin adding small distances everytime. Keep your self in the here and now. Everytime you start to panic and relive the car accident..... TELL yourself that you are OK, the accident is OVER, you survived, and you are in the here and now, and are ok......Deep breath while you are doing this, and keep the breathing at a even level. Don't let yourself hyperventalate.
The zanax is ok, but DON'T depend on it to cure you....IT WON'T it only helps to get rid of the anxiety for the time being, but YOU have to get rid of the anxiety for GOOD.........
Going to therapy will help too....They may teach you ways to deal with your problems....
Come back as often as you need....I wish you the best, and I PRAY that you get over this quickly.... PTSD is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.(if I had a worst enemy)
Thanks so much for your replies. It means a lot to me when other people can relate to how I am feeling. I feel that people I have been talking to about his, my family and friends just can't relate because they have never been in a serious accident. I hope to start therapy next week because I really need to get on with my life. I have vacation plans to go to Europe and I was so excited and now I really could care less about going because I dont want to leave my house! This sucks so bad and thanks for your support.
But you know that you have to leave your house, and that what you are feeling is ABNORMAL. So even if you start by just standing outside of your door for a few minutes will help. increse the amount of time every few times, and then increase the distance FROM your door. keep telling yourself that it's OK, and that you are OK. The feeling WON'T hurt or KILL you. They are just emotions brought on by the accident. But you are ok.......... Try this and let us know how you are doing ok... Please try this, it's the only way to get over the fear..... You have to FACE IT!!!!!!
Perkinssl, I too can relate. I can only assume, from what I have read about returning to driving after an accident, that I was fortunate. I couldn't physically drive a car for four months after my MVA in late 1994.
When I finally was able to drive and replaced my car, it was the oddest feeling, driving again.
Sid already told you that you are in the right place to find those who can understand how you feel.