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PTSD and Car Accidents

One of the most underestimated and neglected effects of a motor vehicle accident is posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD,  an anxiety- related condition that can severely limit a person’s recovery after being involved in an auto accident.

Several American organizations including veterans’ organizations are marking June 27 as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day.  The day is being commemorated to make more people aware about the disorder and its effects on a person’s ability to lead a normal life after experiencing a traumatic life event.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that emerges  after a person has suffered a terrifying or life-threatening event like a natural disaster,  terrorist attack,  and even an auto accident.  The  condition may arise   if a person  has undergone a terrifying  event in which  his or her very life or physical wellbeing is threatened or at risk.

When  a person has been involved in a catastrophic car accident,  he or she may be troubled by anxiety and other symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder for days or  weeks after the incident.  In  some cases, especially those in which  the patient has not vocalized his or her feelings or has not sought treatment, symptoms may continue months after the event, making it difficult for the person to live a normal life.

After a serious  auto accident, a victim  may  suffer from symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder that include very intrusive thoughts about the auto accident.  In some cases, the person may suffer from extreme feelings of avoidance and may avoid anything to do with the accident, including avoiding driving or riding in a car after the event.  He or she may refuse to speak about the car accident and may refuse to seek help for his her symptoms, even when family members encourage him to do so.

He or she may numb themselves to thoughts about the auto accident,  and this can mean mental health problems down the line.  In other cases, the person may suffer from nightmares after the car accident. Crash victims have also been known to detach themselves emotionally from others. There may be insomnia or disturbed sleep, and the person may experience irritability or may suffer from extreme startle responses.  For example, a sudden noise may   trigger extreme fearfulness, and all of these symptoms can make it difficult for a person to live a normal life or hold a normal job after the car accident.  Interpersonal relationships may become extremely strained, as family members try to care for their loved one while trying to understand his or her emotional detachment, extreme irritability and anger outbursts.

If your loved one has recently been involved in an auto accident and is showing signs of anxiety, depression or other signs of mental health struggles, seek help from a qualified mental health professional.  Intensive therapy and counseling techniques can help car accident victims overcome symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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