Surviving Injury

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Mental Impact

You may struggle with direct, personal memories of the crash. You may recall that you seemed to be moving in slow motion, believing you were going to die, while somehow reviewing much

of your life and thinking of those you love. Even though you don’t consciously choose to think about it, you may re-experience the crash in unanticipated flashbacks or nightmares. You may have night terrors – violent dreams – from which you awaken but remain frozen, unable to speak or move, even though you are aware that you are in your bedroom and awake. Although frightening, these are normal reactions after a traumatic event.

It’s common to experience vivid dreams, even if you don’t remember the crash.

You may experience moments of amnesia. Perhaps you became unconscious at the point of impact, or trauma to your brain may have affected your memory. You may not remember crash details. Sometimes a wall of denial, a protective device, takes over to keep you from remembering painful details before you are ready.

Emotional Impact

You may be experiencing feelings that seem foreign to you. You may be frustrated that you are having such a difficult time coping with your injuries, especially if you were a strong, independent person who usually saw crises as challenges. Feelings of helplessness and powerlessness may continue long after the crash. You may not only feel angry, but enraged. Your anger may focus on the substance impaired driver for having made the unthinkable choice to drive impaired. You may have vengeful thoughts and wishes about the driver that trouble you, even

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