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PTSD: Long-term effects of a car crash

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Experiencing a motor vehicle accident can lead to severe physical injuries and long-term psychological impacts. The immediate aftermath of an MVA usually focuses on physical damage and injuries, but it’s crucial to recognize that psychological trauma might emerge later. One mental health condition that may surface post-MVA is post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is characterized by various symptoms, including intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event, changes in emotional reactions, a tendency to avoid trauma reminders and shifts in mood and cognition. Individuals with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and difficulty returning to everyday driving routines.

Understanding symptoms and diagnosis of PTSD after a crash

Symptoms of PTSD following a wreck can be diverse and differ significantly from one person to another. Some individuals may struggle with recurrent, distressing memories or dreams of the accident. Others may exhibit solid and adverse reactions to triggers that remind them of the traumatic event, such as particular car types or the sound of screeching tires. They may also have feelings of detachment, sleep disturbances, irritability and concentration problems.

To be officially diagnosed with PTSD, these symptoms must persist for over a month and cause significant distress or disrupt the person’s daily life. A mental health professional typically conducts a comprehensive clinical interview and uses specific diagnostic tools to assess the presence of PTSD.

Treating PTSD typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication or both. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often effective in this context as it helps individuals identify and alter thought patterns that trigger negative feelings, behaviors and physiological responses.

PTSD can make living a normal life challenging and  treatments can be costly. Victims of crashes may opt to pursue a claim for compensation that holds the liable party accountable for the financial damages. This is a time-sensitive matter that must be handled swiftly to protect your rights. 

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