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.
- Muscle tension.
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.
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:
- Substance abuse.
- Suicidal feelings/thoughts.
- Physical aches and pains.
There may also be feelings of betrayal, mistrust or of being alone or alienated.
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.