Auto Accidents and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder they Can Cause

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Compensation for PTSD caused by auto accidents is on the rise in the United States as PTSD becomes increasingly familiar as a trauma that is significant.  In 2019 over 15% of all auto accident compensation claims had an element of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from car accidents.  Because of the increased occurrence and harm linked to auto accidents, this has become the leading cause of PTSD in the United States.

What is PTSD

PTSD is a disorder of anxiety that advances following stressful, frightening, or stressful events. It is categorized causing:

  • Intense fear;
  • Stress;
  • And helplessness.

This affects normal life and daily interactions of the patient. Treatments include psychotherapy and medications, either alone or both at the same time.

Symptoms

It’s commonplace to experience PTSD symptoms following a car accident, no matter how minor. These PTSD symptoms can include:

  • Emotional numbness with avoidance of places, activities or people that are recaps of the trauma;
  • Re-experiencing this trauma by distressing memories of the accident, flashbacks, as well as nightmares;
  • Increased arousal such as problems sleeping as well as concentrating, feeling jumpy and easily angered.
  • Hypervigilance.

Chronic trauma

Chronic trauma can cause lasting damage to regions of the brain linked to anxiety and fear.  Earlier imaging studies of those with PTSD have shown that brain regions can under-or over-react in reply to tasks that are stressful, such as remembering a traumatic event or countering to a photo of something that is threatening.

Recovery

Recovery from PTSD is a gradual process that might be ongoing for many years.  Healing does not occur overnight, nor do the trauma memories ever disappear totally.  This can make life very problematic at times.  But there are many ways a person can manage lingering symptoms or decrease fear and anxiety.

Minor or severe accidents

Even in those accidents causing only minor injuries the possibility for PTSD exists since it is judged to be calculated by a victim’s reaction to an event rather than the physical event itself.  Car accidents involve serious life-changing injuries and fatalities invoke traumatic responses in victims like those that troops get in combat. And this problem can last for years.

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