If you have struggled with crippling anxiety at any time in your life, you know how scary too much stress can be. Having panic attacks takes general anxiety to stratospheric levels, though. Indeed, during a panic attack, you may experience chest pains, difficulty breathing, tremors and nausea.
According to the Mayo Clinic, any stressful event can bring about a panic attack. Because car accidents are stressful, you may experience an attack in the aftermath of one. Luckily, you will not die from an accident-related panic attack. This does not mean you should not take your panic attack seriously, of course.
Masking injury symptoms
You certainly should take steps to manage any panic attack you are experiencing after a car accident. After all, ignoring one of these attacks can be dangerous for your overall mental health. It also can cause you not to realize immediately you have a physical injury.
The physiological effects of a panic attack can hide injury symptoms. That is, while your brain is desperately trying to regain control of your stress response, it may overlook a head injury, broken bones, internal bleeding or other potentially catastrophic injuries.
Protecting your health
To increase your chances of making a full recovery after your motor vehicle accident, it is imperative for you to go to the emergency room. Doctors at the hospital know how to recognize the signs of a panic attack. They also have diagnostic tools they can use to identify physical injuries you may not realize you have.
Ultimately, even though your panic attack is likely to go away on its own, you want to have prompt and professional medical care for any other injuries you suffer in the accident.