Joshua P. Myers | January 4, 2023 | Car Accidents
Following a car accident in St. Louis, you’ll likely experience many different feelings and symptoms. You might have sustained physical injuries you need to recover from or find yourself struggling with emotional problems following the incident.
One condition that people commonly endure following a collision is PTSD. While many people associate PTSD with soldiers who return from war, the truth is that PTSD can affect anyone. A severe and traumatic car accident can result in symptoms of PTSD that last for months or longer before they begin to recede, if at all.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after someone experiences a traumatizing event. Triggering events aren’t limited to war or combat fighting, despite common misconceptions. They can include severe accidents, abuse, or other experiences.
Typically, symptoms of PTSD last from one to six months before they go away. However, some people can suffer from PTSD episodes for years, especially if they don’t seek treatment following the initial event.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
You should look out for several symptoms if you’re concerned you may have developed PTSD following a major car accident:
Though nightmares only occur while you’re sleeping, they can still be immensely frightening and cause tremendous distress. You may wake from nightmares about the crash, reliving the event and the fear you experienced each time. If the nightmares are severe enough, they can reduce your quality of life and the amount of sleep you get each night.
Flashbacks are similar to nightmares, but they happen when you’re awake. You may be in the middle of something unrelated to the accident, like work or cooking dinner for your family, when you suddenly relive a scene from the collision. Flashbacks can be scary and lead you to dwell on the accident more than you’d like.
Avoidance of Reminders of the Car Accident
Survivors of severe car accidents often seek to avoid things that remind them of the collision. For instance, you may refuse to drive your car, even if you’ve repaired it. Some victims may choose not to go down the road where the accident happened or even stop driving altogether.
Individuals suffering from PTSD can be irritable, and that irritability increases when they come across reminders of the accident. It can also occur at other times, and if one’s irritability and anxiety symptoms are severe enough, friends and family members may avoid them.
Another symptom of PTSD is depression. On the surface, sufferers may feel unhappy and have difficulty engaging in activities they once found fun. In some cases, numbness may set in, making it especially difficult for the victim of the accident to truly feel the extent of their emotions, be they positive or negative.
What Should You Do If You Have Symptoms of PTSD?
If you think you may be suffering from PTSD following a car accident, it’s vital to seek help from a medical professional, as they can advise you on ways to manage your PTSD and help you fully recover from it.
A doctor will likely advise you to adopt a daily routine, as routines can help eliminate your heightened anxiety and recurring flashbacks. Your doctor will also ask that you incorporate healthy foods and exercise into that routine.
Sometimes, doctors will prescribe medication to help ease your PTSD symptoms, especially if your symptoms are severe and disrupt your ability to perform daily activities.
Other potential ways to cope with PTSD include:
- Avoiding alcohol or other recreational substances
- Spending more time outdoors
- Being around friends and family
A doctor can help you design an appropriate treatment plan, so if you believe you have developed PTSD symptoms following a traumatic car crash, seek their guidance as soon as possible.
You May Be Entitled To Compensation for PTSD from a Car Accident
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit after a car accident in St. Louis, Missouri, you might be able to obtain damages for your PTSD. Check with your lawyer to determine whether you’re eligible for monetary compensation, and ensure you keep a record of the symptoms you experience to support your claim.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in St. Louis, MO
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141