Coping with Injury

someone that encourages the victim/ survivor to take care of himself/herself as much as possible and then assists with the rest. Try to be aware of the needs of the victim/survivor and offer your assistance without insisting on it. • Work toward normalizing the victim/ survivor’s experience, not minimizing it. Making light of the seriousness of their injuries or intensity of the pain can be cruel. Helping the victim/survivor understand that others with similar injuries have the same difficulties helps them feel normal. • Learn to be comfortable with rage and despair, and encourage expression of them. Understand that talking about the darkest of human emotions is far healthier than stewing about them inside. Understand that vengeful fantasies and wishes are harmless, and can even be therapeutic. Remove the phrase, “You shouldn’t feel that way” from your vocabulary. • Expect guilt, especially if someone

else was killed in the crash. Gently encourage the victim/survivor to approach his/her feelings of guilt with rational thinking. If there are

components of the crash for which the victim/survivor may legitimately be guilty, help him/her understand that this component is only a small part of the complexity of the crash. • Expect anniversary reactions. No one can explain it, but injured victims/ survivors often experience a resurgence of the physical pain as well as depression on or near the anniversary of the crash, even though they may not


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