The broken arm, cuts and bruises you suffered when your car was hit by a distracted driver a few months ago have healed. If only the same could be said about your state of mind.
Things just haven't been the same for you, and you finally know why. A mental health professional has diagnosed you with post-traumatic stress disorder – commonly known as PTSD – as a result of the accident.
We tend to think of service members returning from long exposure to war as those who suffer from PTSD, but it can occur when someone suffers any injury or trauma. If you've been in a car accident and you recognize these symptoms, you might have PTSD:
- Having flashbacks, nightmares or constant thoughts about the event
- Hearing sounds that mimic what you experience in the accident, such as the crash, even when you're in a silent room
- Avoiding things that remind you of the event, such as the street where the accident occurred
- Experiencing anxiety in situations that never caused you any stress before
- Feeling depressed
While the diagnosis of PTSD sounds frightening, it can be treated. With the help of a professional, you can learn techniques to manage the condition and resume daily routines or the things you used to enjoy. You can be coached to refocus your thoughts from the past to the present.
If you have been in an accident and you notice these changes, don't be afraid or ashamed to seek help from a mental health professional. You aren't alone in feeling these thoughts. Many people experience PTSD. The severity of your case likely will determine how long you'll need assistance.
Your attorney could be in the process of helping you to recoup costs for your physical injuries. You are deserving of compensation for mental health treatment, too, if another driver was responsible for your condition.