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Depression and dealing with life events

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    To briefly introduce, I developed my first episode of depression when I was 9 years old, another when I was around 11/12 and then for the past 5 years (14-19) I have had depression, ranging from mild to severe in that time. In my last psych appt I was thought to be moderately depressed - much better than I have been, but still struggling a fair amount. I'm on Citalopram, in therapy etc.

    Basically, a couple of days ago I was involved in a car accident. Neither of us involved were seriously injured. The driver of the other vehicle was fine; I have some facial bruising and whiplash and I had concussion.

    I feel like I'm having a more extreme reaction to this than most people. I know it's normal to be shaken up afterwards. I couldn't stop crying for about an hour, and I don't remember anything for around 5 minutes (while the accident happened and before). I have been told that is as a result of shock and possibly the head injury.

    My main problem is that I keep thinking it over and over and wondering whether it could have been my fault. The police told me it wasn't, but I keep thinking that maybe they were wrong and maybe I did something stupid and could have seriously hurt the other driver. I'm trying to do as much research as possible on the positioning of cars after accidents to try to figure out if I was doing something wrong, but people are telling me that I should let it go. I keep trying to remember what happened but I just can't.

    I don't know whether this is on the spectrum of normal reactions or whether depression is making me react badly. If anyone else has dealt with a somewhat traumatic experience during a period of depression, I'd like to hear what happened. I'm not sure whether the depression will just exacerbate my initial period of shock, or whether the trauma could cause a real setback in my recovery.
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    I'm sorry something like that happened to you, it sounds tough. I think trying to analyse what happened and why could be a normal reaction, but it depends to what extent it is affecting your life after the accident. It is understandable to want to know what happened, but if it is seriously interfering with your day-to-day functioning, then it might be a more severe reaction than would be expected. I couldn't say whether the trauma might affect your recovery from depression. My advice would be to mention it to your therapist, and see if they have anything to say about what might help you feel better about it, because they will know you much better than we do and have a better idea of what to do.

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Updated: July 18, 2012
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