You may have been headed to a Florida grocery store or commuting to work when a drunk driver slammed into your vehicle and changed your life forever. When you heard the trauma center physician say that you had suffered a catastrophic injury, you may have felt scared, sad and worried, all at the same time. Recovering from a traumatic spine, neck or brain injury is physically daunting and mentally distressing.
There’s basically no way to recover from a severe injury without relying on support from others. In addition to your medical team, close friends and family members, as well as physical therapists and legal advocates may also fulfill key roles in your recovery. The mental strain that results from a catastrophic injury can intensify the challenges you encounter in recovery.
Keep these helpful tips in mind
There’s no way to undo what someone has done. If another person made an irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and that decision caused you to suffer a catastrophic injury, no one can change that. What you do have control over, however, is how you cope during your recovery. The following list includes three ways to help lessen mental distress as you strive to achieve as full of a recovery as possible:
- Set measurable and achievable goals for yourself each day.
- Focus more on the present moment than the distant future.
- Build a strong support network and ask for help, as needed.
Walking from a bedside to a nearby bathroom might not seem like a big deal to most people. If you complete this task after suffering a catastrophic injury as a result of a motor vehicle collision, it is definitely a cause for celebration. Setting small goals gives you something to strive for and helps you gain a sense of accomplishment when you’re able to achieve a goal.
It’s impossible to predict the future, so it’s less mentally stressful to focus on the present during recovery from a car accident, especially one that involved a catastrophic injury. Also, acknowledging that you can’t do everything yourself because your injury has disrupted your daily life is a valuable coping skill that can help lessen the mental strain associated with your condition.
Coping with the fact that a drunk driver caused your injuries
You might feel frustrated or angry to learn that the collision that resulted in your injuries was likely preventable were it not for the other driver’s choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Recovering from a brain, neck or spine injury can be physically painful. The emotional trauma and mental frustration of such situations are painful in another way.
Many recovering accident victims find it therapeutically helpful to seek restitution against a person or group deemed responsible for their injuries. Not only has this provided many people peace of mind by knowing there was justice, it can also be a means of obtaining funds to help cover medical expenses and other financial issues associated with a catastrophic injury.