It Won’t Be Like This Forever: Right Now, You May Be At Your Low Point After Your Auto Accident in North Carolina

January 17, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

Your North Carolina auto accident happened out of the blue.

Whether you were rear ended at a stop sign near a Duke University frat, or injured when a big rig slammed into you on I-95, you feel like your life has been shattered. On a literal level, you may have been “shattered” — suffered broken bones, internal bleeding, and other physical insults and injuries. On a metaphorical level, you might also feel “shattered” — emotionally devastated, financially bereft, and isolated and alone, despite the goodwill of loved ones and the care of your physician.

Life right now just seems really hard. You’re not sure where the light at the end of the tunnel is, if such a light exists at all.

There IS a reason to take heart, and it in no way, shape or form is pollyannaish. The phenomenon has a name and powerful scientific data behind it. It’s known as “hedonic adaptation.”

Human beings process events (both good and bad events) in very counterintuitive ways. Life’s turmoils and delights do not impact our long term levels of happiness nearly as much as we think they should. We are effectively “buffered” against getting too low or too high, emotionally.

This “hedonic adaptation” explains why many people who win the lottery experience immediate euphoria but ultimately return to the baseline level of happiness that they had prior to hitting the big pay day. Hedonic adaptation also explains why people who suffer devastating injuries, such as total paraplegia, feel immediately depressed but ultimately rebound to their baseline happiness levels.

So winning millions of dollars in the lottery won’t make you happier… and suffering something as extreme as paraplegia won’t make you unhappier, at least over the long-term, at least in a statistically measurable way! This is counterintuitive and somewhat dismaying. But it should also hearten you, if you’re currently experiencing a really tight and tough situation right now.

Hedonic adaptation suggests that, if you’re incapacitated or overwhelmed right now, you won’t be that way forever. In our next blog post, we’ll talk about an interesting, scientifically supported strategy for how to “speed up” this hedonic adaptation process, so that you’ll start to feel better and more in control, even before your internal “emotional immune system” starts to kick in.

For help understanding your case, call the team here at the law offices of Michael A. DeMayo for a free case evaluation.


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