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PTSD Caused by a Car Accident

If a car accident victim is unable to move past the trauma of a car accident, it can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder.

post traumatic stress disorder

A car accident can be a physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatizing experience. It can leave a person frightened and overwhelmed; however, if the emotions do not subside and become more overpowering with time, it can indicate a serious problem. If the person is unable to move past the trauma of the car accident, it can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic event that the person has no control over. It can result from highly stressful or catastrophic situations that are emotionally devastating and unpredictable. PTSD can occur after events such as war, death of a loved one, motor vehicle accidents, childhood abuse, kidnapping, assault, or natural disasters.

Car Accidents and PTSD

A car accident is a common type of event that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. According to research conducted by Georgia State University, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of PTSD. Research shows that 25-33 percent of car accident victims experience PTSD. By conservative estimates, there are about 2.5-7 million people affected by motor vehicle accident-related PTSD.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

A person may be developing PTSD if he or she experiences:

  • reliving the traumatic event
  • acute anxiety
  • avoiding any reminders of the traumatic event

If a person experiences any of the above symptoms, he or she should get in touch with a medical professional. Not all people experience PTSD alike. Victims tend to experience different symptoms including:

  • nightmares and flashbacks
  • physical response to the memory of the event
  • feelings of detachments
  • fear of driving or riding a car
  • disinterest in activities
  • substance abuse to cope with the anxiety
  • angry outbursts
  • sleep disturbances
  • excessive guilt or shame
  • chronic pain
  • headaches
  • suicidal thoughts

Long-Term Effects of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can have adverse implications for a lifetime. It can affect the victim’s ability to perform at work, cope with life, and take care of loved ones. It is a serious disorder that can affect the victim’s relationship with family and friends.

Post-traumatic stress disorder requires mental health intervention and treatment. If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries in a car accident and is showing signs of PTSD, it is important to make an appointment with a mental health professional. Proper treatment can help patients cope with cope with the condition and overcome its adverse effects.

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