Because of the large number of military deployments in recent years, post-traumatic stress disorder has received extensive coverage in local and national media. Soldiers are not the only ones who are vulnerable to PTSD, though. Going through any stressful event may put you at risk of the disorder.
Car accidents and the injuries they cause are naturally stressful. While not everyone who survives a car accident develops PTSD, you should know both how to recognize its symptoms and how to obtain treatment.
When diagnosing PTSD in individuals who have gone through a single and identifiable stressful event, mental health professionals look for four specific symptoms. If you have the following, you may be experiencing PTSD:
- Nightmares, flashbacks, auditory recollections, visual memories or repetitive thinking about the car accident
- Avoidance of situations, activities and events that remind you of the car accident
- A nervous response to situations or interactions that never bothered you before the car accident
- Depression, negative mood changes or behavior modifications after the car accident
While there is much scientists, doctors and mental health professionals do not understand about the brain and PTSD, there are some options for treating the disorder. The first step in restoring your pre-accident mental health is to obtain a PTSD screen, though.
While seeing a psychologist or counselor may be necessary, your primary care physician may be able to test you for PTSD. If you receive a PTSD diagnosis, you may need counseling or talk therapy. Certain medications, like antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, may also help you manage the condition.
While treating PTSD can be expensive, you should not let financial stress worsen your mental state. After all, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the person who caused the car accident.