Car Accidents and PTSD: Coping and Recovery

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car accident is surprisingly common. In fact, when researchers conducted a survey of 15 eligible studies, they found that 22.25% percent of traffic accident survivors reported PTSD. So if you’re experiencing PTSD after a car accident, you’re not alone. Here are some strategies for coping and recovery.

What Is PTSD? Signs and Symptoms

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can happen when a person has experienced a traumatic event (or a series of traumatic events). PTSD can affect a person profoundly – mentally, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually.

Everyone’s experience is different, but common symptoms include intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings that last or reappear long after the traumatic event has ended. A person may even have flashbacks or nightmares. They may feel angry and sad, and they may have trouble connecting with other people.

How to Cope With PTSD After a Car Accident

If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms of PTSD after a car accident, getting help from your support network is a key way to cope. You may want to turn to your close friends, family or clergy, but PTSD, being a psychiatric disorder, may require the help of a professional counselor.

For many people, symptoms of PTSD disappear over time. If your symptoms aren’t going away, if they’re affecting your life in profound ways, or if you’re having thoughts of self harm, it’s critical to get professional help right away. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals can use evidence-based methods to help you recover from PTSD.

Treatment for PTSD

There are several different ways to treat PTSD after a car accident. Talk therapy (also called psychotherapy) is a good option for many people. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one category of psychotherapy that has been proven effective to treat PTSD. There are several different types of cognitive behavioral therapy, so you and your therapist can pick the method that works best for you. Your therapist may recommend group therapy, exposure therapy or even Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which has proved to be highly effective for treating PTSD.

Medication, often used in combination with psychotherapy, can also provide relief from PTSD symptoms. It can be prescribed to help people manage anxiety, physical agitation, nightmares and sleep problems so that they can focus on getting the most out of therapy.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Life after a car accident can be completely changed by PTSD. Getting the medical and legal help you need will put you in the best position for pursuing a legal claim.

Located in Richardson, Texas, the Fell Law Firm is dedicated to assisting people who were hurt in car accidents. If you have any questions or need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to call us or contact us online.

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