DALLAS, Texas. Truck accidents are unique because they are more likely to leave victims suffering from serious injuries, like spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and other serious injuries. These injuries can be life-altering, changing the way individuals live their lives, interact with loved ones, and work. Serious injuries can take away a person’s sense of efficacy. If you prided yourself on independence and self-sufficiency, a serious injury can leave you depending on others and needing help. This can radically change your self-concept.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to an 18-wheeler crash or due to a truck accident, you may be facing a range of new challenges on your road to recovery. You may need surgery, rehabilitation, and medications to heal. However, throughout this process, you might not receive a prescription for the one thing that can make an immense difference in your healing. What is this good prescription for healing from serious injury? More and more doctors are looking at the ways that having a community and social support can make a difference in the lives of patients.

Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries associated with truck accidents can leave people feeling anxious and stressed. Individuals suffering from life-altering injuries may also feel socially isolated. You might wonder about how you’ll pay your medical and rehabilitation bills. You may be wondering when, and if, you’ll be able to return to work. Your family circumstances may have changed if you have had to become dependent on your loved ones to receive care and to heal.

According to the American Psychological Association, social support can be incredibly beneficial when navigating stress and anxiety. According to the APA, loneliness is linked to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even increased risk of death. According to the Mayo Clinic, social support can help individuals cope with difficult and stressful situations, alleviate emotional distress, improve mental health, enhance a person’s self-esteem, and encourage positive lifestyle decisions. For example, befriending a person with traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury who is further along in the recovery process can give you a model for going forward and can help you see that there is more good to come.

The good news is that people don’t need a big group of people to benefit from social support. Having a small handful of reliable people is enough. Some people struggle with developing social support networks. If you’ve been hurt or injured, you might feel overwhelmed already—which can make growing your social support network even more challenging. So, what can you do?

First, tap into the social support network you already have. Reach out to family, friends, church members, and co-workers. If you haven’t spoken to these loved ones in some time, ask to go out for coffee or lunch. If family live far away, ask to Skype or talk on Google hangouts. Reach out to the people you have in your life.

If you still feel isolated, there are many ways that you can reach out and build new connections, even if you are in the process of recovering from a personal injury. Join a rehabilitation group or ask your doctor if there are light fitness groups available to individuals going through rehabilitation. Go online and search for others in a similar situation. The internet offers many support groups for victims of car accidents, truck accidents, and those who are recovering from trauma. The best part is that many of these online groups may also have real-life meetings you can attend to meet new people. The APA also recommends that you reach out to a wide net of people. Look to neighbors, chat with your barista, make small talk with your doctors and nurses. You can also reconnect with your interests. If you liked painting or writing before you were injured, take a class or join a group.

Finally, if you find yourself still facing difficulty making emotional connections, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The aftermath of a truck accident injury or other serious injury can be incredibly isolating. You might not be at work around the people you are accustomed to seeing every day. You may be more reliant on family and friends and these relationships may have changed as a result of your injury. Taking the time to practice self-care, reach out to others in a similar situation, and receiving the support you need is essential.

For example, if you are struggling with paying medical bills or covering expenses due to lost wages, you may want to reach out to a qualified 18-wheeler accident lawyer like the Lenahan Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Our firm can review the circumstances of your accident, identify stakeholders, speak to insurance adjusters, and fight to help you get the maximum possible recovery permitted under the law. While healing, it can help if you can focus on healing, rather than having to negotiate a claims process. The Lenahan Law Firm can help.