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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Psychological accidents: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Psychological accidents: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can affect anyone who has been the victim or witness of a serious accident on the road or at work, a plane crash or natural disaster, assault, sudden loss of a loved one and so on. In short, PTSD can emerge after any type of traumatic event.

    Normal reactions after road traffic accidents

    Traumatic experiences like car accidents, for instance, trigger psychological shock responses that may be manifested through nightmares and/or feeling numb, fearful or angry. It may be impossible to think about the event. In most cases, these reactions are normal and will gradually wear off within a few days or weeks as the affected individual comes to terms with what happened.

    Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

    Following traumatic events like a plane crash, vehicle or work accident, PTSD may arise suddenly or gradually as time goes by. Symptoms affect sufferers profoundly and can last for months, if not years. The three main symptoms are:

    • Re-experiencing traumatic events.
    • Avoidance and numbing.
    • Increased anxiety/emotional arousal.

    Re-experiencing traumatic events – This typically involves, flashbacks, bad dreams and feelings of severe distress when being reminded of the traumatic event. Reminders of the incident may also cause intense physical reactions, including:

    • Rapid breathing.
    • Rapid pulse.
    • Sweating.
    • Muscle tension.
    • Nausea.

    Avoidance and numbing – Here, the sufferer may feel emotionally numb and detached from others; have a sense of hopelessness and a limited future, or find it difficult to remember aspects of the work, travelling or traffic accident responsible for their condition. They may also avoid people, places, activities and/or thoughts reminding them of the event and lose interest in previously loved activities, even life itself.

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    Increased anxiety/emotional arousal – Difficulties in concentrating, falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger and a tendency to be easily startled/feel jumpy may also accompany PTSD after events like natural disasters, or even motoring accidents.

    Other symptoms of PTSD

    Additional symptoms may include:

    • Guilt.
    • Self-blame.
    • Shame.
    • Substance abuse.
    • Depression.
    • Suicidal feelings/thoughts.
    • Physical aches and pains.

    There may also be feelings of betrayal, mistrust or of being alone or alienated.

    Personal injury compensation

    If you suffer from PTSD following an accident that was not your fault, you may qualify to claim for compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to find out how to claim.

    Date Published: February 12, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.