Understanding: Your Journey Begins Here


We all react differently to trauma. As our bodies and brains attempt to adjust to the shock of causing unintentional harm, many people experience troubling symptoms, such as intrusive images, strong negative emotions, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, and physical problems. When these symptoms occur in the first few weeks after your accident, they are called “acute stress.” If they last longer than one month, it is called “posttraumatic stress” and psychotherapy is recommended.


After unintentionally killing or injuring someone, many people experience the upsetting feelings and thoughts known as moral injury – the distress that comes from failing to live up to our moral standards or expectations. Even though we did not intend harm, we no longer see ourselves as good people deserving of respect, support, happiness, or acceptance. We live in guilt and shame. Moral injury can pull us away from others, including those who love and care about us.

What You Can Do

Coping with PTSD

Keep in mind that you will not always feel this way. You can learn to manage your symptoms so that they will subside. We encourage you to ask for help from professionals, family, and friends. Therapy can be especially helpful in treating posttraumatic stress. Definitely seek help if you are thinking about suicide or if distress related to your accident interferes with your day to day functioning. In addition, you can take care of yourself by avoiding substance abuse, eating healthful meals, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and treating yourself kindly and gently.

Coping with Moral Injury

Guilt is appropriate when we harm someone, but it can become disabling. Consider how you can use your guilt to fuel action that makes the world a better place. Some call it making amends. We cannot make up for taking a life, but we can commit to lives of virtue moving forward. Remember that this accident, regardless of blame and fault, does not define you. We are so much more than our mistakes.

From Our Participants

“I was recently in an accident that broke my heart. The person didn’t make it. I feel depressed, numb, I can’t eat, I can barely sleep. I need help.”

“This man’s blood is on my hands forever. It’s like a stain on me that I can never get rid of.”

“Since all of this I have a little voice inside me that reminds me that I don’t deserve anything.”

 “I have so much fear and so much sadness and shame. I feel like I’ll never stop worrying. I don’t know how to move on and find happiness or purpose in life.”

Contact Us

Reach out to us to learn more about how The Hyacinth Fellowship is helping people across the US to recover, learn, grow, and thrive.