A devastating accident can change your life. If a semi-truck hit your car or your vehicle flipped over a guardrail after hydroplaning, you might be lucky to be alive. Yet the reality of adjusting to life after a serious accident injury isn’t always easy.

Accident victims who are paralyzed, broke several bones or have a serious traumatic brain injury will face months of recovery. Because of a traumatic brain injury, you could now be prone to making angry outbursts or having seizures. If you are now a paraplegic or face a long recovery after breaking several bones, you can battle depression. These realities will impact your relationships: with your spouse, family, friends and coworkers.

An accident’s impact on a spouse or significant other

For a spouse or significant other, it can be physically and emotionally draining to serve as your caregiver while you recover. You also may struggle feeling so dependent upon your spouse – like they have become your parent and you their child.

If you experience having angry outbursts, severe migraines, chronic pain or seizures after an accident, your spouse may feel your personality and health have changed so much you no longer are who you once were. If you had serious burns and disfigurement in the accident, your spouse may not be able to look past that and struggle to find intimacy with you.

It’s not surprising that many accident victims with serious injuries have their romantic relationships end afterward because of how their life has changed.

An accident’s impact on family members

Your injury recovery also can cause significant changes in your family relationships. You may no longer be able to provide for your children as you once did. They may need to help with your care or performing tasks you once took care of for the household.

Your parents also may need to serve as your caregivers for a while or take over your home’s lawn care or cooking and cleaning. If they are retired, they may feel like they have a job again: helping care for you and your family.

An accident’s impact on friends and coworkers

Initially, you may receive lots of well wishes from friends and coworkers. Yet if your recovery lasts months, you may not see friends and coworkers that often after a while. They can feel awkward if you are now confined to a wheelchair or have memory issues from a brain injury. You may have a hard time relating to your coworkers if you haven’t been at work for months and maybe will never return.

Getting help

You may want to seek the help of a counselor if you need to process how your injury has impacted your life and your relationships. There’s no shame in getting help for your depression or anger. You may need emotional support beyond what your friends and family can give.