Car Accidents Can Lead to More Than Just Physical Pain: Understanding Post-Collision PTSD

When you think about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—a psychological anxiety disorder brought on by stress—you generally associate it with soldiers who have witnessed traumatic events during battle. However, PTSD isn’t that selective. In fact, PTSD can manifest itself in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. Although traumatic experiences often involve a personal threat to one’s life or safety, it can also be caused by any situation that causes a person to feel overwhelmed, helpless, or otherwise alone.

PTSD in Car Accident Victims

Suffering a catastrophic car accident is definitely a situation where PTSD can take hold. In addition to the initial fear and stress that a collision can cause, the added pressure of paying medical costs and having to deal with insurance carriers is enough to make anyone anxious, but for some, this additional anxiety can lead to debilitating cases of PTSD.

PTSD can cause an array of physical and emotional symptoms that you aren’t able to control. These effects are natural reactions to an abnormal and traumatic experience. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel defeated or weak if you experience the following PTSD effects following your car accident; you do, however, need to recognize that you may need help.   

Common effects of PTSD include:

  • Functioning disabilities. PTSD can cause you to easily lose focus and make it hard for you to accomplish daily activities such as work and family responsibilities.
  • Emotional problems. Severe fear, anxiety, paranoia, and depression are only a few of the emotional effects that PTSD can have on the brain. It’s important to realize that your brain is constantly trying to make sense of everything you do and everything that happens to you. Sadly, making sense of a traumatic event can be impossible. Therefore, your brain manifests an alternative way to cope and protect itself, which ironically tends to lead to emotional insecurity. 
  • Avoidance syndrome. The fear and anxiety that PTSD causes lead victims to actively avoid anything that may remind them of the accident. This includes cars themselves, specific routes, and other victims who may have been involved. Subconscious reminders, such as the smell of gasoline or a child crying, can also cause PTSD to flair, and cause the victim to try to escape that reminder.
  • Social anxiety. Due to functioning disabilities, emotional issues, and the need to avoid collision reminders, PTSD victims generally become antisocial and closed-off and are often unable to form close, satisfying relationships.
  • Flashbacks. Nightmares, terrifying memories, and flashbacks are extremely common for PTSD victims as they continuously relive the event that caused them their pain.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse. Many PTSD sufferers try to cope with their stress by using drugs and alcohol to mask their pain. By overloading the senses, the feelings of despair and fear are momentarily pushed into the background giving the sufferer a moment of peace. However, the effects of the drugs are not permanent which causes victims to abuse the substances without curing the underlying problem.

Taking Back Control

PTSD is a very real illness that can negatively affect your entire life if you ignore it. Don’t you think you’ve suffered enough? Contact us today to see how we can help you file an emotional injury claim against those who were liable for your car accident. Just because your trauma caused invisible pain and suffering, doesn’t mean that you should be compensated less. Allow us to help you get through this ordeal by helping you get the help and compensation you deserve for your PTSD.

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