Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly associated with war veterans. However, PTSD can happen to anyone who has undergone a traumatic event, including car wreck victims. As the American Psychological Association has noted, among non-military individuals, car accident victims are most likely to present symptoms of PTSD. For this reason, every person who has experienced a vehicle collision needs to understand their risks when it comes to developing PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
Unlike a broken nose or a bruised rib, PTSD cannot be seen after a car accident. Therefore, it is a completely invisible injury that may not make itself known for days, weeks, months, or even years after the event.
PTSD does not happen to every car accident victim, but it does happen routinely to many. Because the car crash is so intense, it causes a fight-or-flight adrenaline rush and reactions. Yet often, the brain becomes so overwhelmed that it cannot shut off the resulting behaviors. Put simply, someone who suffers from PTSD feels like the trauma is happening over and over again, which can interfere with everyday enjoyment.
Symptoms of Post-Accident PTSD
How do you know if you or someone you care about has PTSD after being in a car accident? You might notice some of the biggest indicators of PTSD.
- Numb feelings. Many PTSD sufferers report feeling like they are in shock all the time. They see the world as something out of their reach, because they no longer feel a connection with others. Their emotions are completely out of touch and buried.
- Hallucinations and recollections. One of the most troubling aspects of PTSD is that it can cause the victim to recollect the accident again and again. Not surprisingly, undergoing the psychological feeling of being in a crash all the time is jarring and depressing.
- Sometimes, a PTSD sufferer will develop new phobias, such as the need to avoid certain places; or compulsive behaviors, such as the need wash their hands a certain number of times after using the restroom. The behaviors give them stability, even as they reduce their healthy ability to respond to normal situations.
- PTSD post-accident victims may feel like the world is out to get them. They may display hyper-vigilance and stay up at night, concerned about what is happening. They may not be willing to get behind the wheel of the car, or take any type of transportation, for fear of a repeat of their collision.
Treatment for Post-Crash PTSD Sufferers
The good news for any person who has been in a wreck and subsequently diagnosed with PTSD is that treatment is available. Usually, treating PTSD involves some type of psychological therapy, and may even include temporary or permanent prescription medications to ease symptoms. With time and patience, PTSD victims can regain hope, wellness, and personal enjoyment.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Work With Post-Accident PTSD Victims to Recover Damages
Recovering from PTSD can be a slow, expensive process. A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you or your family member recover damages to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to post-crash PTSD. Call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 to arrange a free consultation to discuss your situation. You can also submit an online inquiry.
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