If you have been injured in an accident, hopefully you received prompt attention and medical treatment for your physical injuries. Nevertheless, there is increasing evidence that physical injuries are not the only suffering that accident victims may endure.
People who have experienced a serious accident often report an inability to relax, a heightened state of alertness that will not subside, and frightening, reoccurring dreams of the accident. These mental health effects of a motor vehicle accident are real, common, and should not be ignored.
Individuals who experience a serious motor vehicle accident have a 25% to 33% chance of experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the months following their accident. This rate of PTSD is probably a conservative estimate, as there is no routine screening among medical professionals for the mental health implications of a serious accident.
Even worse, mental and emotional injuries can lurk under the surface for months or even years unless the sufferer gets treatment. Many sufferers believe that their symptoms are imagined or a normal response to the stress of an accident. According to experts, there are three main symptoms of PTSD that are not normal responses to stress and should not be ignored. These include:
- Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares;
- Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma; and
- Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms for more than a month or if your symptoms are severe, the Mayo Clinic advises seeking immediate attention. Recovery is possible, but PTSD symptoms often worsen if left untreated.
Last, if a child was in the vehicle or witnessed the accident, do not forget to have these conversations with your child. After an accident, children can suffer from PTSD symptoms just like adults. It is important to be vigilant for these symptoms and take them seriously; children are often not able to explain what they are experiencing in the same way as an adult.
If you are ready to talk to an attorney, Frank Harris Law is ready to listen. We bring experience, compassion, and excellent representation to people injured in accidents. No matter where you are in the personal injury claims process, we are ready to step in and fight on your behalf. Call our office now at (678) 483-8655 or email us at info@FrankHarrisLaw.com to schedule a consultation today. You can also visit our website at www.FrankHarrisLaw.com.