When someone experiences physical trauma such as a car accident it can have a profound effect on their state of mind, and family members should be prepared for changes in their moods and behaviours.
Its common for people who have suffered a traumatic event, to become distant or shut others out and it can be difficult to know what to do. Traumatic experiences can leave residual painful memories which are difficult for the sufferer to process. They may, therefore, be irritable, sad, unmotivated, lethargic, numb or moody a lot of time following the incident.
They may also remain in denial, refuse any assistance or resort to substance abuse to avoid uncomfortable feelings and memories. These are often signs they are not coping but are finding it difficult to ask for help.
Supporting someone who has experienced trauma can be demanding and draining and your own physical and mental health can suffer. If you don’t look after yourself you won’t be in a good position to help someone else. Therefore its vital for family members and especially spouses, to get the support and time out that they need.
Aside from simply being there to love and support your friend or family member, there are some practical steps you can take to assist them physically and emotionally in their recovery.
Talking with your loved one about their traumatic event can be either healing or harmful depending on how it is done. Here are a few tips for beneficial communication.
There are many government and not for profit organisations in Australia that can provide help and support in dealing with past trauma with support groups, training, trauma counseling and a range of other services. Whether you are the one suffering from trauma or if it is someone you love, seek out options for further support, before you need it.
The following organisations operate in South East Queensland:
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
Find out how to access hospital accommodation for family, charity services such as Ronald McDonald House and see listings for paid accommodation.
Tips on what to do and what to avoid to support a partner or loved one who's suffered from a physical injury or accident.