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The Reality of Surviving a Frightening Car Crash: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD after car accidentYou just can’t seem to get the image out of your head: the moment when that pick-up truck ran a red light and crashed into the side of your vehicle. You keep thinking about how it felt when the massive vehicle T-boned your car, and how it sounded when the glass shattered, your vehicle was lifted off the ground, and the airbags deployed. The range of emotions you felt during and after the accident just won’t go away, and now you can’t get back to your normal self. Unfortunately, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that can occur after a person experiences a stressful event, such as a car accident. Soldiers who come back from war may experience PTSD, often caused by the stress of constantly feeling like their lives are in danger. They may also experience the disorder after losing fellow soldiers or watching horrific events occur.

People who are involved in car accidents may also undergo the same stress and develop PTSD. The thought that their lives may have been lost, or coping with the death of someone involved in the accident, is too much to bear, and the accident victims may become consumed with anxiety and depression.

Who Experiences PTSD?

Just about anyone who experiences a traumatic event is susceptible to developing PTSD. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common traumatic events experienced by Americans. In fact, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, car accidents are the traumatic event most often experienced by men and the second most-frequent traumatic event experienced by women in the United States. Studies of the general population have shown that about 9 percent of motor vehicle accident survivors experience PTSD as a result.

Risk Factors for PTSD

Some motor vehicle accident survivors are more prone to experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder than others. Accident victims who already have certain pre-existing conditions, such as a poor ability to cope with traumatic events, poor social support, and the presence of pre-accident mental health problems, have higher chances of developing the condition.

Furthermore, one study found that 53 percent of motor vehicle accident survivors who seek treatment for PTSD already have mood disorders, such as depression. Additionally, in one large study of accident survivors who sought treatment, 27 percent had anxiety in addition to the PTSD, and 15 percent reported a phobia of driving.

The amount of physical injury that occurs with the accident is also typically an indicator of just how likely the odds are of developing PTSD. Most often, survivors who experience serious injury are more likely to develop PTSD than those who suffer minor injuries. Additionally, the presence of loss of life among those who were also involved in the accident plays a significant role. For instance, if other passengers in the vehicle died, the survivor has a high chance of experiencing PTSD.

Fortunately, you can take steps after an accident to prevent PTSD from occurring, or at least lessen its effects. The level of active engagement at work or among friends can play a role in the prevention of PTSD. Typically, the more support a person has, the lower the chances are of developing PTSD.

PTSD Has Physical, Emotional, and Financial Effects on Accident Victims

Even when accident victims are grateful to have survived a horrific accident, they are still at risk for developing PTSD. Not only can PTSD wreak havoc on a person’s life, it can also affect his bank account. PTSD victims may not be able to go to work and will often incur medical debt as they seek treatment for their various symptoms. The attorneys of Wayne Wright can help you recover the compensation you need to get better. Contact us today by calling 800-237-3334 to find out how we may be able to help.