The day of the accident began just like any other, but it ended far differently. Instead of going home after a hard day of work, you were in the hospital after being severely injured in a horrific accident. As the days and weeks following your accident came and went, you were sure you were going to feel better. However, you still have severe anxiety about leaving the house, are scared to death of getting into a vehicle, and have unexplained panic attacks that leave you paralyzed with fear. You don’t know what is going on, but you’d like to return to your old self, both physically and emotionally.
Could You Have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term that is commonly associated with soldiers who return from war. However, the same condition can develop in anyone who experiences a harrowing event—like a car accident—or is under severe stress for a long period of time. A variety of situations can cause a person to develop PTSD, including:
- Terrorist attacks
- Childhood abuse
- Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods
- Car accidents
And although anyone can develop the condition, those who already have mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression, are more prone to experience PTSD.
The Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder commonly begin soon after the event, however, they can start months or even years later. If the symptoms last longer than a month, or cause great distress in the victim’s life, he or she could have PTSD. Some of the most common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include:
- Avoiding situations that remind the victim of the event. Those with PTSD may avoid situations in which the traumatic event could occur. For instance, car accident victims may avoid getting into vehicles for fear that they may become involved in dangerous accidents again. They may also feel anxiety or suffer from panic attacks by simply looking at vehicles.
- Reliving the event. Car accident victims may experience “flashbacks,” in which the same emotions they felt during the accidents come back. These episodes are often terrifying and can make the person feel like he or she is reliving the event all over again.
- Feeling on edge. People who experience PTSD often act differently than they normally would, and may constantly feel as though they are “on edge.” For instance, a person with the disorder may have trouble sleeping, may experience difficulty concentrating, can suddenly become irritated or angry, fear for his safety and always act like he is “on guard,” and become very startled when someone surprises him.
- Feeling numb. People with PTSD may undergo personality changes that leave them as shells of their former selves. They may no longer feel excited or happy about anything, may not have the same feelings towards those they used to be in relationships with, and may not remember some parts of the event or are unwilling to talk about it.
What You Can Do if an Accident Caused You to Experience PTSD
If you believe a car accident caused you to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, medical treatment may help. A physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist may be able to assist you with what you are experiencing, either by treatments or medication. Unfortunately, these treatments can be expensive, and you may have to foot the bill, even if the accident and subsequent PTSD wasn’t your fault. The attorneys of Wayne Wright may be able to help you receive financial compensation that can help pay for treatments, time lost from work, and other expenses related to the accident. Talk to a compassionate legal professional about your case by calling 800-237-3334 and get started on the road to recovery today.