Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most often associated with war veterans, but any serious personal injury can trigger this condition. It is normal to be upset and anxious after a traumatic event such as a car accident, but most symptoms disappear within a few weeks. When the symptoms don’t fade or seem to worsen over time, PTSD may be the cause.
If you or someone you love has been recently injured, you should be on the lookout for the following symptoms of PTSD.
l Avoiding activities that trigger memories of the traumatic event
l Difficulty falling or staying asleep
l Difficulty concentrating
l Irritability or frequent outbursts of anger
l Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and life in general
l Feelings of emotional numbness
l Unexplained physical aches and pains
l Suicidal thoughts and feelings
l Substance abuse
In a young child, PTSD symptoms may include losing previously acquired skills such as toilet training and being highly upset by the thought of being separated from a parent or caregiver. Children with PTSD often try to act out their trauma through stories or drawings, which may include monsters and other imaginary creatures as physical manifestations of their fears.
PTSD requires treatment as soon as possible. If you simply try to avoid the problem, it will only get worse. The treatment for PTSD includes trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy in which the patient is gradually exposed to reminders of the problem and learns how to replace irrational or distorted thoughts with a more balanced outlook. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) may be used to help “unfreeze” the brain’s information processing system during times of extreme stress. Family therapy can be helpful if the symptoms of PTSD are causing problems in personal relationships.
Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft can sometimes be used to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, but they do not treat the underlying causes. Medication simply makes it easier for the patient to cope while the problem itself is being addressed.
Conte & Associates, based in Whitby/Oshawa, can help you receive reimbursement for accident-related PTSD treatment. For more information, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at 1.877.614.008.