Auto Accidents Are The Leading Cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
When thinking of wounds from an automobile accident, most people think of the physical injuries: cuts, bruises, soft tissue trauma and broken bones. Unfortunately, a serious injury that is frequently overlooked after a car wreck is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is generally associated with soldiers returning from war, but according to a book published by the American Psychological Association called “After the Crash: Assessment and Treatment of Motor Vehicle Accident Survivors,” automobile accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in the general population.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event (flashbacks, nightmares, physical reactions to reminders of the event such as pounding heart, nausea, sweating)
- Avoidance and emotional numbing ( avoiding activities, inability to remember events of the trauma, feeling detached from others)
- Increased Arousal (difficulty sleeping, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, being on constant “red alert”, feeling jumpy)
- Substance abuse
- Depression, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, chest pain
Other non-symptomatic signs to look for following an accident are difficulties on the job or in school, problems maintaining friendships, and not being able to enjoy leisure time. Compounding the difficulty of diagnosing PTSD, these signs and symptoms do not always appear immediately following an accident. Sometimes it takes months before there are any signs of PTSD.
What Are The Treatments For PTSD?
Treatments for PTSD are varied, depending on the symptoms the victim is experiencing, but can involve individual therapy, anger management, communication skills, relaxation techniques, Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), medications, family counseling, sleep therapy, and many others.
The Consequences Of PTSD Going Untreated
Untreated, PTSD can have far-reaching consequences for the victim, their families and society. PTSD can negatively impact a person’s ability to learn as well as their social and emotional development. Additionally, physical symptoms caused by the emotional distress can often present much later and can significantly influence the course of someone’s life.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.