Car accident is taking a toll on me

Posted by Ry @rejectionissues, Jul 5, 2017

I’m 17 years young! I have a job and have been saving up for a car for a long time. I bought it 3 days ago. But I got in a car accident 2 days ago (yes the day after buying it) and it was terrible (to me, at least). I have a question and it is so: is it possible for me, a licensed driver of a little over a month, to be traumatized even tho I didn’t really get hurt and it wasn’t life threatening? I have been having some really bad flashbacks and crying a lot. My grandparents want me to get driving again so I tried to do it and had a flashback of the accident and started panicking. As of right now, I would do anything to avoid driving. I haven’t had that much sleep because it’s hard for me to actually fall asleep. I’ve also been stress eating like crazy. On top of this, I don’t wanna talk to anyone and the people I do talk to I end up lashing out at. I am going to go to a psychiatrist on Friday but I just wanted to know if it’s possible. Thank you (:

Hello @rejectionissues and welcome to Mayo Connect. I am pleased that you found this online patient support group. I am so sorry to hear of your recent accident and right after getting your first car, how disappointing and traumatic. Yes, traumas do come in all sizes and at all ages. It doesn’t have to be a life/death event – just something dramatic and/or unexpected. I am glad to hear that you have an appointment with someone on Friday to discuss your feelings and get help, that is so wise. Please feel free to share your feelings with us as you are comfortable doing so. How can we support you until your appointment on Friday? Teresa

I just needed validation on whether or not it was a trauma because everyone keeps telling me it could’ve been worse. I think I’ll be okay, but thank you so much for the reply!


I just needed validation on whether or not it was a trauma because everyone keeps telling me it could’ve been worse. I think I’ll be okay, but thank you so much for the reply!

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@rejectionissues During this time feel free to write down your thoughts about the accident and all the feelings that accompany the trauma. Writing can be very therapeutic. Have you ever kept a journal before? Teresa

Hi, @rejectionissues, I am really sorry about your car accident and how it has affected you. I am a Connect moderator, but here I’m responding from my own personal experience. I had a bad accident on an interstate many years ago, and I remember going through some of the same experiences you described. I had tried to avoid hitting a dropped piece of truck tire, and I caught my wheel in the gravel beside my [left] lane in the process of swerving around it. Then my car spun out across the median and over 2 lanes of oncoming traffic. I hit a car, just barely, as my car spun over the lanes, and then my car hit the guardrail on the other side.

In the days after the accident, I felt pretty shaken up and emotional, kept ruminating about the accident, and I was very fearful about having to talk to my insurance company, as I didn’t want to relive it all again. Some relatives and friends just basically told me to “get over it.” However, one other person acknowledged that this truly was a traumatic experience to go through a car accident and that it might be a good idea to talk to a counselor about it. That really made me feel a lot more normal.

I’m glad you, too, are seeing a counselor.

I also like Teresa’s idea of writing things down. That would also help you as you prepare for your appointment.

Please let us know how it goes.

Hi there …. I just read your post, and hon, you’re experiencing PTSD. Sure, not like the soldiers in war do, but often the internal emotions are the same. I understand this because I’ve been there. When I was about 30 and my husband was 34, we took our 2 little girls (4 and 2) out to western MD for just a weekend. We got a motel because I just knew what those little ladies would try to get into during the night. I was sound asleep when out in front of our motel there was a big bang …. there had been an auto crash. I woke up terrified, and could hear everything going on … I don’t think anyone was hurt too badly, but the cars were a mess. Well, that was just enough to set off PTSD in me, although I didn’t know what it was at the time. I couldn’t sleep, I was having panic attacks, any noise outside scared me to death, and I never, ever, wanted to go back out there again ….. and I never have. You’re not alone – there are a lot of us who have had to deal with this. I’d suggest seeing a therapist for a few times .. possibly one that practices Cognitive Therapy …. I doubt it would take very long to get passed this. You already know the “why” … now a therapist can help you deal with it. You’re going to be fine …. just give yourself the gift of some therapy to get through this.
Take care,

Hello @rejectionissues I hope you are doing better. Did your Friday appointment go well? Teresa

Hello @rejectionissues

It has been a few weeks since we last heard from you. I hope that the effects of your accident are less severe.

Are you able to drive now?


Hello Ry @rejectionissues

I hope that all is going better for you now! Feel free to post and let us know how you are doing.


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