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   Affiliated COUNSELING ANDREFERRAL SERVICES (ACRS)

                                                                   Dr. Michael Shery, Clinical Psychology

                                                                                                           2615 Three Oaks Rd. Ste 2A; Cary, IL 60013

                                                            www.carypsychology.com 847 275 8236 (24 Hrs); drmike@carypsychology.com

 

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Doctoral degree: University of Southern California, 1975

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Psychologist Reveals What You Should Really Do after Getting Into A Car Accident

-from McHenry, Huntley and Algonquin, IL-

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If you are in an auto accident, besides a chiropractor or physician, get assessed by a clinical psychologist. No other healthcare professionals can reduce the effects of any resulting anxiety, trauma or depression as effectively. The following are some solid gold tips for regaining your mental and emotional health after an accident in the least amount of time.

Do not forget, you pay your car insurance company for personal injury protection. You have significant dollars available through your policy for you to get well. After an accident it is going to take time for your anxiety, confusion and fear to dissipate. After a collision, if you are shaken-up, you need to get yourself evaluated by a psychologist or other mental health specialist to determine the extent of any mental health-related symptoms. Shock, fear of the future and PTSD can all be produced by the force of the dreadful impact of a collision.

Often times people do not realize pain or psychological symptoms until months or years later. The best advice is to consult a psychologist right away. If you do not, you essentially waste the funds available that you already have paid into your insurance in order for you to have peace of mind.

Do not call an attorney if you hit another person, or caused the accident yourself. In that case, you are the at fault party and there is no case, nobody to sue, so you are wasting your time and the attorneys time. Next, unless you are bleeding or bones are sticking out do not go to the hospital.

The ER will not do much for you except waste your time, give you some pain killers and muscle relaxers and tell you to go follow up with your doctor. Remember, the average ER visit plus ambulance ride is around $5000.

If you went to the ER and you are at fault for the accident, you may have unwittingly already spent half of your available resources from your insurance policy. Unfortunately, it is only at this point that many people go see an independent psychologist, chiropractor or other healthcare practitioner.

Also, do not go and see a physical therapist immediately, which in most cases is also premature and only aggravates the condition. A physical therapist may be very beneficial a couple months down the road, but not when you have acute emotional or physical symptoms.

Psychologists vary in their approach. So if you have any hint of emotional symptoms, choose wisely. If you are depressed or anxiety-ridden and you are only prescribed medication, there may be a problem. If you go there and the therapist just asks how your medication is doing, there is a problem. When your feeling of safety is destroyed or you fear for your future, which often happens in an auto accident, your confidence and sense of self must be rehabilitated and re-built or you remain weak and more susceptible to even more anxiety and distress down the road.

After an accident, psychologists are your best choice of mental health care professional. They focus on your mind AND body. Medical professionals treat only your physical pain and symptoms and neglect your emotions and feelings of depression and distress. Would you rather correct the TOTAL problem, mind and body, or just take care of the physical symptoms, while your emotional problems are just left to continue relentlessly.

Consulting a chiropractor, other physician AND a mental health professional is, without doubt, THE right choice after an accident. As your treatments go on, emotionally, you will begin to feel better and you will have good days and bad days.

Usually in about two to three months you should feel better. This is a great time to continue with your clinical psychologist and, perhaps, get a physical therapist involved in your care. The psychologist can keep you motivated, reduce any depression or anxiety and empower you to see the future with confidence and optimism.

Unfortunately, after an accident, some folks sustain permanent injuries. In these cases, everyone will need some sort of ongoing treatment because even after you are placed at MMI, (maximum medical improvement); your pain and, consequently anxiety or feeling of powerlessness will return.

Many patients with lawyers do get settlements. So, in summary, in addition to a chiropractor or physician, if you are in a serious collision, consult a psychologist or other mental health professional to be evaluated for any resulting anxiety, depression or emotional trauma. The psychologist will encourage and motivate you, in addition to helping you to eliminate any anxiety that you may experience.

Remember, that if someone hits you, getting an attorney involved is probably a smart thing to do. Your psychologist and other members of your health care team will work with other professionals to get you the best possible results for your case and your care.

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About the Author:

Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo, Woodstock and Lake-in-the-Hills. He provides domestic violence evaluations, day and evening appts and accepts all insurance. Call 1 847 275 8236 or learn more at: http://www.carypsychology.com

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