If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be at risk of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Research shows that nearly 10% of accident victims experience symptoms of PTSD at some point in their lives.
PTSD is a mental health condition that drastically alters your perception of a traumatic situation and can increase your fear of specific activities, such as driving. Take a few minutes to understand the risks of developing PTSD, the most common symptoms of PTSD, and how you can effectively receive treatment or compensation for your pain and suffering after your collision.
Causes of PTSD After a Collision
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological and emotional disorder that develops when a person experiences or witnesses a frightening, or sometimes prolonged, traumatic event. In short, PTSD is the triggered response to a situation or memory that remind trauma victims of the tragic event.
When people experience a tragedy, such as being in a violent collision, those vivid details from the incident are automatically stored in the brain. Unfortunately, the brain can allow these memories to surface at any time, especially when a situation or person reminds them of the event. Accident victims with PTSD might often recall the feeling of being in a crash just by hearing the sound of a horn or a loud car door slam.
Risks of PTSD From a Car Crash – Jackson
Auto accidents can be traumatizing experiences. Almost 3 million people are injured in auto accidents each year in the United States. And while serious collisions are one of the top causes of PTSD in trauma victims, it’s important to note that not everyone will develop PTSD from their crash. In recent years, a team of medical experts have concluded that the following risk factors can heavily influence the likelihood of developing PTSD:
-Experienced a traumatic event in the past
-Lost a loved one in the accident
-History of mental illness in the family
-Amount of support received after the accident
-Suppression of any thoughts related to the collision
-Was the car accident life-threatening or not
If you are an accident victim, other determining factors you should consider are dissociation (which is the total lack of awareness) you experienced during your car accident, feelings of worthlessness or shame due to the crash, or excessively high levels of anxiety while riding in an auto vehicle. These factors have been increasingly known to be a strong indicator of PTSD in car accident victims.
Common Symptoms of PTSD After a Collision
If you have fallen victim to a serious car accident, you may be wondering if you have PTSD. It’s very common for accident victims who have developed PTSD to experience any number of the following symptoms:
-Nervousness while driving or being overwhelmed inside the vehicle; some accident victims who develop PTSD experience tightness in the chest, heavy breathing, or racing thoughts while being in the car
-Having frequent anxiety or paranoid thoughts while being in a car (“What if I get in an accident on my way to work?”)
-Increased awareness of other drivers on the road, such as excessively braking when other drivers are close or driving far below the required speed limit
-Avoiding driving in general; some accident victims with PTSD experience, such as anxiety, avoid the complications of driving altogether
Oftentimes, trauma victims see memories from their accident in the form of nightmares, flashbacks or panic attacks. The best way to recover or work through these anxieties from your crash is to speak with a mental health expert. If you need help finding a counselor, call an Advocate today and we can help you find the assistance you need.
When to Seek Treatment for Symptoms of PTSD
Because symptoms of PTSD can develop months to years after your accident, it’s important to at least speak with a therapist or counselor almost immediately after the crash. This way, if you do begin to develop symptoms of PTSD from the accident, a mental health professional will be able to guide you and help you conquer your anxieties.
Having PTSD from an accident can be debilitating and make it extremely difficult for you to process your fears and trauma on your own. There are numerous types of counseling options for accident victims to benefit from. The following types of therapy treatment have not only been proven successful but have also been known to work exceptionally well for car accident victims with PTSD:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment method designed to help trauma patients, such as car accident victims, reduce their symptoms of PTSD and change their negative thought patterns involving the situation or the traumatic event.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy: prolonged exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that allows trauma victims to gradually approach and address trauma-related memories, feelings or situations that remind the victim of the tragic event.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EDMR is a fairly new and non-traditional method of treatment that works well for auto accident victims. While the other methods of treatment rely on talk therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing focuses heavily on the individual’s rapid, rhythmic eye movements, which physically works victims through their trauma.
Therapy is one of the most common types of treatment methods for trauma victims. The goal for therapy is to help relieve trauma patients of their symptoms of PTSD with the intent to eliminate the disorder altogether.
Your doctor can help you determine what will likely work best for you in the long run.
How a Wyoming Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
Psychological injuries are classified as injuries to a person’s psyche or mind. While you may not be able to see injuries to the mind, damage to the psyche can be just as exhausting and emotionally painful as physical injuries. By taking early steps, such as seeking out therapy or speaking to a personal injury attorney about your pain and suffering, you can overcome the effects of your automobile accident.
Here at The Wyoming Advocates, we will make your recovery process our top priority. If you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your pain and suffering, don’t wait. Call an Advocate today at (307) 466-0003 or speak with an injury lawyer on our Live Chat right now.