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What does it mean to suffer from dystychiphobia after a crash?

If you get into a bad car accident -- one that has fatal or near-fatal ramifications for you or others in the car -- you could develop a condition called dystychiphobia. This is an extreme fear of accidents.

For instance, maybe you walked away from a car accident in which you were the passenger. The driver also lived, though they suffered serious injuries. However, your significant other, who was also a passenger, passed away.

Clearly, this type of event is very traumatic on multiple levels. You suffer from the emotional issues associated with losing someone you loved. You have to deal with your own injuries. You may have survivor's guilt. You cannot stop thinking about what happened, how it could have easily taken your life -- perhaps even asking why it wasn't you -- and how it could happen again. This turns into excessive worry that could make it nearly impossible for you to get into a car again.

On top of that, the accident could illustrate how much of your life is completely out of your control. You weren't driving the car you were in or the one that hit you. It all happened very fast. There was nothing you could do to protect yourself or save your loved one. That fear can be crippling in the future.

If you do wind up suffering from a clinical phobia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or any related disorders, you may need to see a psychiatrist or therapist who can help you deal with your fears and feelings. If you're seeking compensation from the at-fault driver, don't neglect the cost of any mental health treatment you might need -- potentially for a long time.

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