Post-Traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident

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    Getting into an accident is a traumatic experience, and this trauma should not be taken lightly over the course of your recovery. Post-traumatic stress is a serious issue for millions of Americans for a variety of reasons, and have long-term impacts that can be extremely difficult to live with. Just like you need to see a doctor for a broken bone after a car accident, you may need to work with specialists to treat this psychological wound; otherwise, you may be saddled with symptoms such as intrusive memories, avoiding the topic, negative shifts in mood and temperament, and significant changes in both emotional and physiological reactions to stressors.

    Symptoms of post-traumatic stress may emerge within weeks of the traumatic event, but for many people it may take a year or more to begin to experience these serious, life-changing emotional impacts. Whether you experience these troubling symptoms during your insurance claim or after, it is important that you work with a lawyer who can help you make sense of your legal rights for compensation for these types of damages. Visit to get connected with an experienced personal injury attorney who has years of experience taking on insurance companies to get victims the money that they deserve.

    What Causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Many people understandably think that PTSD is something that only soldiers experience in the high stress of combat, but the reality is that this disorder is a natural reaction to a terrifying, violent, or dangerous experience no matter who you are. A car accident, for example, is a terrifying and shocking event that causes the brain to get stuck in “fight or flight” for a prolonged period of time. As the brain continues to release stress hormones long after the initial incident, your brain will put many “secondary” functions aside, such as the regulation of your short-term memories.

    As the impacts of PTSD continue, your brain may undergo permanent changes, such as a shrinking hippocampus that can cause permanent limitations on your ability to store short-term memories. It is important that you seek treatment from the moment that you first recognize the symptoms of this disorder.

    Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    The specific effects of PTSD on a victim are highly specific to the person, the trauma, and a variety of other factors such as genetic predisposition to depression, physical disorders, and more. However, some of the most common effects of PTSD, regardless of the incident that caused it, are as follows:

    • Flashbacks
    • Nightmares and trouble sleeping
    • Emotional numbness and extreme apathy
    • Physical and emotional outbursts
    • Inability to talk about the incident
    • Loss of interest in things once important to the victim
    • Memory loss
    • Chronic depression and extreme irritability

    Keep in mind that the best way to understand whether or not you are suffering from the effects of PTSD is to work with a licensed professional who can help you make sense of your situation and develop a plan to help you move forward. These specialists can be costly, but luckily you will be able to include the cost of treatment in your insurance claim, with your attorney helping you fight for what you deserve.

    Is There a Cure For PTSD?

    There is no “cure” for post-traumatic stress disorder in the same way that there is a cure for a bacterial infection with antibiotics, but with treatment and focused attention to your symptoms and recovery with the help of an experienced professional, there is a path forward. Practices such as Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are effective methods for retraining the brain, and helping it move from continuous “fight or flight” and into a normal operating mode.