Most people understand that car accident victims will likely have physical injuries. However, the panic and fear that accompany a car accident can make people feel terrified and overwhelmed. While the physical injuries suffered may be catastrophic, if the accident was bad enough, you may also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies have shown that up to 10% of car accident victims are affected by PTSD. Understanding the signs and symptoms can help you make a determination if you need to seek medical care for this very real condition.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD is a mental health condition that occurs typically after a traumatic event. In many circumstances, soldiers coming home from war would exhibit signs and symptoms of PTSD. However, other traumatic events cause PTSD also, such as being in a violent car accident. Some of the symptoms of PTSD after a car accident could include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Helplessness
  • Acting violently or having extreme anger
  • Continual flashbacks of the car accident
  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Feeling emotionally numb or detached
  • Memory loss regarding the car accident
  • Avoiding anyone or any place that would be reminders of the car accident

PTSD is a condition that must be diagnosed by a medical professional. A person must exhibit some of these signs and symptoms for over a month to be actually diagnosed with PTSD. Feeling upset after a car accident is normal, but having that paralyzing fear last longer than a month could be a sign of a serious mental condition.

Avoiding or Preventing PTSD

Some people are predisposed to develop PTSD after a car accident. Some of the conditions that can indicate an increased risk for PTSD include those people that have prior psychological adjustment problems, people that lack any kind of social support, and people with a family history of psychopathology.

While some people may be predisposed to getting PTSD, this condition can truly affect anyone. Any major car accident can leave someone traumatized to the point that they can not function normally. Some factors can help you prevent getting PTSD after a car accident, however, including visiting with therapists and counselors regarding your anxiety and fear and treating any depression or anxiety-related conditions. Learning to cope with the trauma you endured can possibly prevent you from getting PTSD.

Medical Treatment for PTSD

A PTSD diagnosis is not a life sentence of fear and anxiety. There are treatments available for those who suffer with PTSD. Some of the most common ways that PTSD after a car accident is treated include different forms of therapy including, but not limited to, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relational therapy, or group therapy.

Let Us Help You Today

If you were involved in a serious car accident, you likely suffered physical injuries. However, if the car accident was catastrophic enough, you may have been traumatized enough to have PTSD. You have the right to compensation for your physical and mental injuries due to someone else’s negligence. Contact the car accident attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Pittston  at 570-821-5717 or online for a free consultation regarding your case.


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