Every collision is a frightening experience but collisions causing injuries are particularly traumatic. In addition to the initial pain, the financial burden and time off work, victims often have emotional scars that take weeks or even months to heal. The symptoms can be debilitating – affecting a person’s career, relationships and enjoyment in life.
6 Signs You Might Be Suffering from PTSD after a Collision
Some people are more likely to suffer PTSD than others. These risk factors can affect a person’s susceptibility to the condition:
● Lacking a support system of family and friends;
● Experiencing other mental health issues such as anxiety;
● Having a job that exposes the person to traumatic events; and
● Having a family history of mental health problems.
Just because these risk factors do not apply to your situation does not mean that you are immune to PTSD. You should be concerned if you notice these symptoms after a collision:
1. Re-experiencing the crash though flashbacks and nightmares;
2. Feeling fearful of driving to the point where you are physically incapable of driving;
3. Anxiety that affects your ability to sleep or concentrate;
4. Blaming yourself or feeling a sense of guilt or shame;
5. Not being able to recall details about the collision; and
6. Persistent feelings of mistrust, betrayal, depression or hopelessness.
Treatments for PTSD
There are two common approaches to treating post-traumatic stress disorder: medication and psychotherapy. Both can treat the depression and anxiety that often accompany PTSD. Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are effective for PTSD sufferers. CBT teaches you how to identify and change negative thought patterns. Exposure therapy helps you overcome irrational fears by letting them confront the source of their PTSD in a controlled environment.
PTSD is a common emotional disorder that can be linked to the physical and emotional trauma of motor vehicle collisions, as well as chronic physical pain disorders as they impact upon the control of your life and environment. If not recognized, PTSD can take on the characteristics of other emotional or physical maladies. Early recognition and conservative management through cognitive therapy and prolonged exposure therapy to the trauma memories can reduce the functional impact upon victims.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician’s advice. Please always consult your physician for your medical needs.
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