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How PTSD Can Affect Accident Victims
No one wants to repeatedly relive the worst thing that ever happened to them, but that’s exactly what happens to many people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reminds us Personal Injury Attorney Ramiro Rodriguez. June is National PTSD Awareness Month, and the condition is often misunderstood by people who have never experienced it. For example, PTSD is commonly associated with soldiers returning home from war or victims of violent assault, but any traumatic incident can spark the condition — including an accident or injury.
We all experience bad events, but we usually find a way to cope and carry on. For people suffering from PTSD, it’s not that simple. Many emotions are healthy after an accident — shock, fear, anger, guilt, and sadness. But PTSD is something more. These feelings don’t dissipate with time, and they might even worsen, often to the point where it’s difficult to live normally.
Symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person, but they often include mood changes, depression, anxiety, and irritability.
Some people experience intrusive thoughts they can’t stop or experience flashbacks of the traumatic event. PTSD can also affect sleep, energy, and the ability to concentrate. Sufferers often try to avoid things and places that remind them of the incident, and they may refuse to get in a car or visit certain locations.
Some accidents are more likely to cause PTSD than others. The worse the accident was — or the worse the victim perceived it — the higher the risk. Serious injury to yourself or others involved also increases the odds of developing PTSD. Those who previously suffered from mental health issues like depression or anxiety may be more likely to develop the condition. Also read: Types of Medical Complications Due to Car Accidents
Though PTSD can be debilitating, many people suffer in silence, afraid to tell others what they’re experiencing. It can be difficult to share when you’re struggling with your mental health, but treatments for PTSD are available, including exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication. A trained therapist can help you get through this and feel more like your normal self.
Accidents change lives.
But while things may get hard, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of PTSD after your accident, please don’t wait to contact your doctor. They’ll put you in touch with an expert who can help you find peace and move forward.