In recent years, mental health has become mainstream in the news. The media is giving more attention to those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Where do these thoughts and feelings come from? As mental health gets more attention, psychiatrists have developed assessment tools and care plans to help fight the battle for mental health in America.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is one major psychiatric disease. We attribute it to many of the extreme emotions and involuntary reactions some people have in basic life activities. A RAND study estimates that between treatment costs and decreased work capabilities, someone who suffers from PTSD could have costs up to $7,000 per year. As injury attorneys, we want to further the mental health discussion. We also advocate for more awareness and higher compensation for the injured people we represent. Here we share information about PTSD, who is likely to experience PDST, PDST symptoms, and treatment for PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after someone endures a traumatic event. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic event as “marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death.” Car accidents are significant traumatic events that injure 50 million people worldwide and cause 1.25 million deaths. Studies show that half of people who survive them experience PTSD symptoms such as disturbing thoughts, negative impact on work and sleep, and problems with social functioning.
Who Is Likely to Experience PTSD?
People in the following situations are likely to experience PTSD:
– Witnessed death at an accident scene
– Developed a serious disability from an accident
– Had a psychiatric history and is in an accident
– Has experienced sexual abuse
– Had multiple traumatic events in life
– Has experience a threat to life
There are many varied PDST symptoms, including:
– Sudden and involuntary feeling of stress about a memory of a traumatic injury or incident
– Difficulty concentrating
– Repetitive thoughts, flashbacks, and re-living the experience and emotions from a past stressful or traumatic accident
– Fearful, physical reactions like heart racing, difficulty breathing, panic attacks, headaches, uncontrollable shaking, and/or sweating when thinking about a stressful traumatic experience
– Avoidance of talking about an accident, and avoiding activities that remind you of that time
– Difficulty remembering the significant details of the stressful incident
– Numbness, avoidance, and lack of emotion toward friends, families, previously enjoyed activities
– Trouble sleeping and nightmares
– Irritability and sudden angry reactions to unrelated stimulus or to something that reminds you of the accident or injury that caused the initial stress in the past
– Hyper-alertness or feeling “jumpy”
Treatment for PTSD
There are many medications that treat the PTSD symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is important for those affected by this mental illness to be evaluated by a qualified provider who can evaluate and treat the PTSD symptoms. Those with PTSD should prioritize rest. Medications often help with controlling nightmares and insomnia.
Counselors use therapies in conjunction with medication to provide a holistic approach to achieving mental health. They teach coping mechanisms for when the stress and anxiety arise, while also helping the patient revisit positive self-esteem after a traumatic accident. Counselors assist individuals with opening up, writing out, and processing the events of the accident, and they help with confronting the fears associated with the event. They teach breathing techniques to help control PTSD symptoms of anxiety when they arise.
The initial post-traumatic stress may last for weeks to months, but some people never fully recover from the psychological impact of an accident. Unfortunately, most treatments are aimed at treating physical injuries. Often, health care ignores PTSD.
If you or a loved one have experienced the trauma of an accident, you should consult with a therapist for proper psychiatric care and future mental health. Those who experience PTSD symptoms are more inclined to suffer from other problems such as alcoholism and drug abuse. The disorder can also lead to suicidal thoughts and further psychiatric illness.
How Premier Law Group Can Assist with PTSD Recovery
PTSD is just one of the many side effects of traffic accidents. At Premier Law Group, we ensure our clients have the resources they need to make the best possible recovery – mentally and physically.
If you’re suffering from PTSD symptoms because of a traffic accident, we invite you to contact us about scheduling a free case review. We’ll determine whether you have a case, and if so, recommend a course of action. Our mission is to make sure everyone who contacts our office becomes more informed about their legal options, whether we represent them or not. Call 206.285.1743 to schedule a free case review today.