Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects people who either witness or experience traumatic events. While PTSD is often associated with combat veterans, it can affect anyone, including car accident victims. Car accidents can cause significant emotional stress, which may lead to PTSD. If you have experienced PTSD following an auto accident, a personal injury attorney can help you determine how to address the emotional harm you have suffered and any other injuries that have affected your life.
Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD is a very complex disorder, and it is not always immediately apparent after an accident. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it can take up to three months for a person to start feeling the effects of PTSD. Symptoms can include:
- Re-experiencing traumatic events, including through flashbacks or nightmares
- Avoidance symptoms in which the victim goes out of his or her way to avoid anything that reminds him or her of the accident
- Feeling on edge or difficulty sleeping
- Mood symptoms such as feelings of guilt or loss of interest in favorite activities
The severity of PTSD can be even worse if a loved one suffered a wrongful death due to the accident or if a victim sustained permanent or disfiguring injuries.
Seeking Professional Support
As a mental health condition, a psychiatrist may be able to help car accident victims with PTSD get the relief needed. Victims who demonstrate any of the above-listed symptoms should consider seeking professional guidance. Mental health professionals can assist victims who are:
- Struggling to function at work or home
- Experiencing severe depression and/or anxiety
- Unable to maintain personal relationships due to the symptoms of PTSD
- Experiencing flashbacks and nightmares that affect their quality of life
- Inconvenienced by going out of the way to avoid the scene where the accident occurred
A mental health professional may suggest a variety of ways to manage PTSD, including:
- Medication to address anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders
- Lifestyle changes, including prioritizing quality sleep
- Eating a healthy diet
- Avoiding overuse of stimulants such as caffeine
- Attending support groups
Contact a Green Bay Car Accident Lawyer
If you are suffering from PTSD following a car accident, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and the costs involved in treating this condition can result in financial difficulty. If your accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to pursue a claim that will allow you to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our Appleton, WI personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing car accident victims, including those who have suffered emotional stress and PTSD. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.