Auto Accidents Can Cause Life-Altering PTSD By Steve Charpentier on September 01, 2015

Auto accident on a wet streetCar accidents can cause severe and even permanent injuries. If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may now struggle with limited mobility, chronic pain, and loss of independence. You may not realize, however, that auto accidents can also cause PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among veterans and abuse victims, but it also affects accident survivors. Like many people, you may live in fear of another accident. This anxiety could affect your ability to drive, ride in a car, and complete your daily tasks. Like other victims, you may have “survivor’s guilt.” Although you were not seriously injured or, in some cases, directly involved, you are paralyzed by the memory of what you witnessed. To learn more about PTSD after auto accidents, contact our Melbourne practice today.

What Is PTSD?

Following a traumatic event, it is normal to feel sad, anxious, and scared. However, over time, these feelings should subside. If you suffer from PTSD, these emotions may not dissipate. In many cases, they can actually get worse with time, affecting your quality of life and relationships with others. No one is exactly sure what causes PTSD. Why do some people suffer from the condition when others seem relatively unaffected by the events of the past?

Experts speculate that there are several things that can raise your risk for PTSD. Risk factors include:

  • Past trauma
  • Other mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
  • Hyperactive amygdala (the part of your brain that regulates fear)
  • Loss of volume in the hippocampus (the part of your brain that controls memory)
  • Difficulty regulating neurochemicals

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can affect you in many different ways. Though the most noticeable symptoms are often behavioral, the disorder can also have cognitive and physical effects. Signs of PTSD after an auto accident include:

  • Anxiety, especially around motor vehicles
  • Hesitancy or refusal to ride in a car
  • Constant feelings of guilt
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Chronic pain

Treating PTSD

In most cases, doctors will treat PTSD with a combination of psychotherapy and medications. If you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, your care will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how you respond to treatment. You may visit a therapist twice a month, once a week, or more often. In some cases, your therapist may bring friends and/or family into occasional sessions. If your PTSD keeps you from driving or riding a car, he or she may eventually make exposure therapy a part of your regimen.

How Can An Attorney Help?

PTSD can take a huge toll on your life. In addition to emotional distress, it can also place a huge financial burden on you and your family. Sadly, mental healthcare is not always covered by insurance. Therefore, the cost of restoring your peace and quality of life can be enormous. In some cases, PTSD may have kept you out of work. For example, if your job involved significant time in the car, you may have found it too stressful. The attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm are ready to assist you. Though a careful case evaluation, we will determine who was at fault for your accident and subsequent PTSD. Then we will fight tirelessly for your financial compensation. This money can ease financial strain so that you can focus on your mental and emotional recovery.

Contact Us for the Help You Deserve

If you are suffering from post-accident PTSD, we are ready to help. Contact Charpentier Law Firm for a case evaluation.

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Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Since 1989, Stephen G. Charpentier been protecting victims' rights. Mr. Charpentier:

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  • Handles cases in many practice areas including medical malpractice, auto accidents, and wrongful death

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