A car accident is a traumatic experience and can have lasting effects. In addition to the physical injuries you may experience in an accident, sometimes there is psychological trauma that results from a car accident. This trauma can be life-altering. You may be afraid to get behind the wheel or go near the site of the accident. You may be suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that can be triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks of the car accident
- Nightmares related to the accident
- Sleep disturbances
- Extreme anxiety
- Uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts about the accident
- Avoidance of people and places that remind you of the car accident
- Negative and hopeless thoughts
- Memory problems
- Difficulty with relationships
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Self-destructive behavior such as drinking too much or taking drugs
The development of PTSD can lead to avoidance behaviors that can have a serious effect on your quality of life. You may be afraid to get in a car or to get behind the wheel. In addition, you may avoid the area where the accident occurred, which can be disruptive if it’s a street that you are forced to encounter on a regular basis. PTSD can lead to lost time from work and the inability to enjoy life.
When to Seek Professional Help
While some people can recover from the trauma of a harrowing event such as a car accident with self-care and time, if you are experiencing the above symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help. Disturbing thoughts or feelings about the car accident that occur for over a month can be signs of a serious mental health condition that should be treated. If you feel as though you are having trouble getting your life back on track, you should seek the treatment of a doctor or therapist. The sooner PTSD is treated, the less disruptive the symptoms can be.
Contact a Trusted Accident Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you should have a trusted personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.