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Can You Develop PTSD Because of a Car Accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If you’ve ever been involved in a car crash, you know that the experience is neither fun nor favorable. Dealing with the aftermath of a crash can almost be as traumatic as the actual accident itself, in some cases.

Continue reading to learn whether it’s possible to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a car accident.

PTSD Defined

According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “PTSD is an anxiety disorder that often follows a traumatic event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.”

Car Accident Victims Can Develop PTSD

It’s not uncommon for car accident victims to develop PTSD following a crash. For many people, PTSD symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Psychologically re-experiencing the trauma
    • Including:
      • Intrusive thoughts regarding the crash
      • Distressing dreams about the crash
  • Unrelenting avoidance of thoughts or incidents related to the crash
    • Including:
      • Hesitance or opposition to drive
      • Ardently dodging thoughts about the crash
  • Numbness to emotional responses
    • Including:
      • Significantly decreased or lack of emotions
      • Feeling disconnected from other people
  • Heightened physical stimulation
    • Including:
      • Magnified startle
      • Increased irritability
      • Interrupted sleep patterns

Differences Between PTSD and Short-Term Depression

It’s important not to mistake short-term depression associated with the accident for PTSD. It’s easy to confuse the two because they both share some very similar symptoms.

While depression is very serious and should be treated as such, it doesn’t tend to affect your day-to-day operations as much as PTSD.

In addition, PTSD tends to last a long time. Your doctor may diagnose you with PTSD if your symptoms last longer than four weeks. In contrast, you only need to exhibit symptoms for two weeks in order to be diagnosed with depression.

Another key determining factor for PTSD is that if you have it, you’re more likely to experience heightened anxiety when you’re around certain people, places, or things. This is likely due to the trauma you experienced.

If you’ve developed PTSD as a result of an injury-sustaining car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys here at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP are highly skilled in the area of personal injury law and have helped many others in similar situations achieve justice. Don’t wait—contact us with your case right away.

Call Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP today. We represent clients in the Texas panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.