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Can a car accident cause PTSD?

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Personal Injury |

When cars collide in the U.S., there is a good chance someone will sustain a serious or life-threatening injury. In fact, every year, as many as 4.4 million Americans go to the emergency room because of the injuries they suffer in car accidents.

For many individuals who seek medical treatment, physical injuries eventually heal. Regrettably, the psychological injuries that stem from a car accident may last a lifetime. This is particularly true if you have a catastrophic psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms of PTSD

Any stressful event may cause a person to develop PTSD. Because car accidents are inherently stressful, you should closely monitor yourself for the following symptoms of the disorder:

  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Flashbacks
  • Scary memories of the accident
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood changes

Treatment options

Modern psychology and medicine provide a few different treatment options for individuals who have a PTSD diagnosis. Doctors may prescribe medication to help you manage anxiety, depression, insomnia and other physiological symptoms of the disorder. You may also be a good candidate for exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

Your recovery

Diagnosing and treating PTSD can be both challenging and expensive. Often, mental health providers must try different approaches to determine what works. Even then, your mental health needs may change over time. Having a comprehensive team of professionals on your side may improve your odds of recovering completely or coping with your PTSD.

Ultimately, to ensure you receive the care you need to thrive, you may have to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.