If you have been in a car accident, you likely felt terrified and overwhelmed. Adrenaline surges through your body as a protection mechanism and can mask different kinds of pain. Along with any physical injuries you may have suffered, you may also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Studies have shown that traffic accidents have become the leading cause of PTSD in the U.S. and up to 10 percent of car accident victims are affected. Knowing more about this condition can help you decide if you need to seek additional medical help.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can occur after a particularly traumatic event. Oftentimes, soldiers coming home from war exhibit symptoms of PTSD. However, other traumatic events can cause PTSD as well, such as a car accident. Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include the following:
- Feeling extremely anxious
- Feeling afraid or helpless
- Feeling or acting angry or even violent
- Having continued flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Feeling numb or detached from others or life
- Inability to recall the traumatic event
- Avoiding people or situations that would be reminders of the traumatic event
PTSD is diagnosed by a medical doctor who understands and can identify the signs and symptoms. Typically, a person must have some of these symptoms for over a month to be diagnosed with PTSD, and not just worry or anxiety after a car accident. If you have severe symptoms that only last a month, you may have something called acute stress disorder. While just as severe, this condition does not last as long as PTSD.
How to Avoid or Prevent PTSD
Some people have an increased risk for developing PTSD, such as those who have a history of trauma, prior psychological adjustment problems, those lacking social support, and individuals with a family history of psychopathology.
You may not be able to completely prevent a car accident or avoid PTSD; however, there are some people who have a higher risk of developing PTSD. Some of the factors that can help you avoid or prevent PTSD after a car accident include talking to other people and seeking professional help after the traumatic event and treating any anxiety or other health-related conditions.
Treatment for PTSD
If you are diagnosed with PTSD, there are several options for help and therapy. The type of treatment recommended by your medical team will depend on how severe your PTSD presents itself. Some sufferers of PTSD will need medication, while others can utilize different forms of therapy including psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relational therapy, exposure therapy or group therapy.
Contact an Experienced Car Attorney Today
If you were involved in a serious car accident, it was likely a traumatic event that could have led to PTSD. You have the right to compensation for your physical and mental injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact the Lowenberg Law Firm at (832) 990-6893 or online today to help you discuss your next steps.