Ask Amy: Tragic accident triggers trauma reaction

Dear Amy: I recently got into a car accident involving a young man who tried to commit suicide by jumping in the path of my car.

My 2 year old was in the car with me but (thankfully) didn’t seem to notice when I hit the man.

The man survived, and I learned (through the police who arrived at the scene) that a few minutes earlier he had jumped into the lane of another car.

I was just the next car.

The man confessed to the paramedics and the police that he had jumped in front of my car with the intention of committing suicide. Several officers tried to reassure me that I had no problems and that I had done nothing wrong.

Amy, I can’t stop replaying the events in my head (and unfortunately I have to repeat and relive this while dealing with my insurance company).

I feel like I’m drowning in what ifs.

I think therapy will help me deal with this traumatic event, but I don’t know where to start.

Could you direct me to some resources?

– What if

Dear What-If: Traumatic stress is a normal response to an abnormal event. Your brain will have its own way of processing this accident and your brain can also reprogram itself again to heal itself.