How to care for your mental health after a medical emergency
Suffering an unexpected medical emergency can be traumatic, both on your body and your mind. While you rest, recover and recuperate, it’s important to look after your mental health, as well as your physical health.
Here at IAS Medical, we provide medical repatriation services for anyone who has had an accident or emergency abroad. While our qualified professionals take care of the physical impacts of an injury, we understand that the after-effects of medical emergencies last long after the injury is healed. To help your recovery, we have put together this guide on caring for your mental health after a medical emergency, to help you through this part of the healing process.
1. Understand your symptoms and why you’re feeling them
One of the simplest ways to take control over your mental health after an accident or medical emergency is to know what you should expect to be feeling, and how your accident has caused it.
Your emotions could range from fear and helplessness, to being worried that the accident may occur again, to feeling relieved that the outcome wasn’t worse and being hopeful for a new start. Other emotions you may not expect could include anger, as well as guilt if someone else was affected by the accident. You may also feel embarrassed that you’re feeling this way.
Usually these feelings will present themselves straight after the accident, but sometimes they can be delayed. The important thing to remember is that what you’re feeling is completely normal, and is a direct result of what you experienced, and that it will pass.
2. What to do to take care of your mental health
There are a number of things you can do to look after your mental wellbeing after your accident. We suggest trying the following:
- Get talking – You may not always feel like it, but it can be very therapeutic to talk through how you’re feeling with friends, family or someone more detached like a councillor.
- Take time – Time is the greatest healer, so don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. Note down any small improvements to your mood, so you feel like you are making progress.
- Gentle exercise – Light exercise like going on an evening walk has been proven to help sufferers of stress and anxiety, by promoting the release of endorphins.
- Get back into your routine – Getting back into your routine after an accident helps you to establish a level of normality and structure.
3. Seek professional help
If you are struggling to cope with the impact the medical emergency has had on your mental health, you may need to seek further help from a medical professional.
There are a number of indicators that could suggest you need to seek additional help. For example:
- Feeling like your day-to-day life is being heavily impacted by your trauma
- Struggling to carry out your work or take care of yourself
- Becoming more dependent on alcohol or medication
- Feeling depressed or anxious
If you are unsure whether you should speak to a medical professional or not, paying a visit to your GP is your best course of action, as they will be able to advise on the best steps to take.
There are also a number of mental health helplines that offer support and advice to people who have suffered an accident or physical trauma. These include:
- Mind: 0300 123 3393, mind.org.uk
- Assist Trauma Care: 01788 560800, www.org.uk
- Combat Stress: 0800 138 1619, combatstress.org.uk
If you have had an accident abroad, and are in need of medical transportation home, contact the IAS Medical team today. Our team is experienced with dealing with all types of medical emergency and will be able to advise you on what to do next.