The Emotional Journey
The emotional path is similar to the stages of grieving experienced with any loss. Common stages of are as follows:
- Working through
- Initially, there may be a state of shock or emotional outburst. This could last for days or weeks.
- A person may deny how the injury occurred. They could also deny the severity of injury. Itâ€™s common to deny what the future holds. For example, are there going to be possible surgeries? What about temporary or permanent disabilities? An overall concern can be what to expect for their future quality of life.
- Eventually, denial is no longer possible. At that point one may move into the intrusiveness phase.
This phase begins to deal with the permanence of the trauma. One way of doing this is by recalling or "flashing back" to the crash. Disruptive thoughts and/or nightmares of the accident may occur.
Feelings of helplessness, fear, or anxiety are common. These thoughts, though very stressful, may be critical to accepting the injury. They also mark the beginning the process of working though to change and a new sense of self.
For related information, go to The â€œPsychological Emergencyâ€