When we first learn how to drive a car we are taught the dangers of driving and the damages that can result from accidents. We all accept the fact that accidents can happen, though many of us go through life never really understanding the full scope of potential damages that can come from a car accident. When we do think about potential damages, we tend to only focus on the physical aspect- the hospital bills, the price to repair damages to the car, or even the price of a new car. Unfortunately, there are also mental damages associated with car accidents that victims and their loved ones may not be able to see.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are struggling with intrusive thoughts and negative emotional changes, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to that initial traumatic event, this being the car accident. People who are in grave car accidents in which medical attention is needed are at the greatest risk for developing PTSD. To better understand how to treat PTSD and what to do if PTSD affects you, it is important to understand what PTSD is and the symptoms.
PTSD Definition and Symptoms
The National Institute of Mental Health defines PTSD as a “disorder people develop following dangerous or shocking events.” It is an intensification of the fight or flight response causing people who have PTSD to experience fear, stress, and anger even when they are not in situations that may call for those responses to be necessary. Often, signs and symptoms develop within three months of the event. Some common symptoms include:
- Flashbacks to the event,
- Avoiding similar situations that remind you of the traumatic event,
- Continued feeling of being tense,
- Bad dreams and/or difficulty sleeping.
Though it is common to visit a physician after a car accident to be sure you are in good health, you should also specifically seek out a mental health professional in the wake of an auto collision. You or a loved one may be suffering from PTSD and not be aware of it. A mental health professional would be able to help you through this traumatic experience.
In addition, seeking legal counsel is vital after any automotive accident. Your local car accident lawyer such as Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC is experienced and committed to the victims of car accidents and would be eager to work on your behalf, to help you recover along with getting you the justice and compensation you deserve.