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Depression After a Car Accident: Common Causes and Symptoms

Written by Tom Crosley
Feb 14, 2022 Brain Injuries, Catastrophic Personal Injury, Personal Injury
  1. 1. Common Mental Health Issues Caused by Car Accidents
  2. 2. Symptoms and Causes of Depression in Car Accident Victims
  3. 3. Crosley Law: Supporting Car Accident Victims Who Suffer From Depression in Texas

A car accident can turn you and your loved one’s lives upside down. Car accidents can lead to financial, physical, mental, and emotional hardships for victims and their families. After you experience a devastating accident, it is important to call an experienced personal injury attorney so you can get the compensation you deserve to help get your life back to normal.

At Crosley Law, we have seen the effects that depression caused by car accidents can bring on those who suffer from it. We fight back against your insurance company when it denies you the help you need. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and related conditions of depression after a car accident can be crucial to the success of your claim. In this article, we will discuss an overview of the mental health issues caused by car accidents, as well as symptoms and common causes of car crash-related depression.

Common Mental Health Issues Caused by Car Accidents

After suffering a car accident, it can be hard to know exactly what to do first. It is important that your priority is the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Seeking immediate medical help can help to prevent and diagnose other mental health issues caused by car accidents. There are countless different ways you could be injured during a car wreck, but many car accident victims suffer from one of the following three mental effects.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is extremely common in car accident victims, as car accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD tend to develop within three months of an accident occurring and can eventually interfere with everyday life and relationships if untreated. PTSD can cause victims to have flashbacks of their life-threatening accident and avoid operating normally out of fear. This mental trauma from an auto accident can be devastating, so it is important to seek help early on for any out of the ordinary feelings or behaviors.

Persistent Anxiety

Anxiety can be caused in many ways and can even be pre-existing in other forms prior to a car accident. But for those who experience anxiety after an auto accident, the side effects can be difficult and debilitating. Anxiety can lead to other conditions such as the development of phobias, panic attacks, sleep disorders, and even physical pain and symptoms.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the United States, so it is important to get the help you need when you feel anxious. If you believe you or loved one are suffering from anxiety, seek treatment or visit here for more information.

Major Depressive Disorder (Depression)

Depression can be caused by a car accident for several reasons. Economic hardship from medical bills can cause stress, physical injuries can cause a severe change in everyday life, or mental anguish can lead to long-term side effects. Depression is serious and signs and symptoms should not be ignored, especially after suffering from traumatic events. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression, seek help from a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible to prevent any further psychiatric complications.

Related: Cutting Edge Tactics Result in a $16M Jury Award: Jerry M.’S Story

Symptoms and Causes of Depression in Car Accident Victims

Major depression is more than feeling sad or blue. Depression after a car accident can cause long-term issues if not diagnosed and treated early. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from depression:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and sadness
  • Anger, irritability, and frustration
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Excessive worry
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities
  • Excessive fatigue and lack of energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Appetite changes
  • Problems with concentration, memory, and decision-making
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Unexplained headaches, back pain, stomach pain, chest pain, or other symptoms

Although there is no one cause of depression after a car accident, it can be a side effect of several other direct factors. This can include severe physical injuries, emotional distress, physical pain, and mental trauma. No accident will lead to the same response, so it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. A psychological evaluation from a qualified mental health provider will help you better understand the source of and solution to your symptoms

If you’re having thoughts about suicide, self-harm, or harming others, please seek immediate treatment at an emergency room, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Know that you are not alone, and that confidential help is available for free 24 hours a day.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of disability and even death in the United States, with nearly 3 million people being injured each year. While physical and cognitive rehabilitation programs are essential for recovery, victims must also address their emotional symptoms. Major depressive disorder is one of the most common and disabling psychiatric conditions associated with TBIs after traffic accidents. If left untreated, patients can suffer from slowed or incomplete recovery, decreased cognitive function, and increased healthcare costs.

Many factors can contribute to TBI-related depression. For example, physical damage to your brain can impact its function and cause mood changes, anger, or other symptoms of depression. Additionally, the physical, mental, and emotional struggle of dealing with a TBI can cause or worsen depression and anxiety.

Related: Watch for These Emotional Signs and Symptoms of a TBI

Physical Changes and Limitations From Physical Injuries

A severe physical injury forces victims to adapt their daily life to reduce the chronic pain they may experience. Injuries can prevent victims from getting the physical exercise they need to keep their mental health in check, or even rely on others for help, causing mental damage. Depression can stem from this inability to enjoy life and lead to further issues.

Lack of Work and Socialization

Physical and mental injuries often lead to lost wages and a lack of social opportunities. Injuries can prevent victims from traveling and going to work, which leads to emotional, mental, and financial strain. Mental health issues can also make social interactions more difficult due to a lack of awareness, mood changes, or an overall feeling of being misunderstood. Physical injuries may cause a visual change as well that can cause victims to feel self-conscious around others, leading to depression and isolation.

Fear of Driving

After an accident, victims can feel afraid that every time they drive, an accident may occur again. This fear can lead to isolation, which can then lead to depression. Fear can also cause users to feel powerless and out of control of their own lives, which can result in further mental health issues like anxiety and PTSD.

Related: Crosley Law Gets $4.9 Million Settlement for Trucking Accident Victim With TBI

Crosley Law: Supporting Car Accident Victims Who Suffer From Depression in Texas

At Crosley Law, we know the toll that depression can take on you and your loved ones after a crash. We work with renowned experts who help us assess and identify the causes of our clients’ cognitive and emotional symptoms. We pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional client experience. To schedule a free consultation of your personal injury claim and learn more about our approach to cases, complete our simple online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.


Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA

National Institute of Mental Health. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. NIMH » Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (nih.gov)

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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