If you have been involved in a car crash, you may run the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s an emotional or psychological problem that affects accident victims, who have gone through some dreadful experiences. Based on research, about 50 percent of auto accident victims may develop PTSD. In case of a severe collision and prolonged symptoms, one must contact a doctor for car accident right away to get appropriate treatment. Read on to learn more about PTSD after a car crash.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms after an auto accident may vary based on how they manifest over time. The four most common types of PTSD symptoms include avoidance of places, people and situations associated with the incident. If left untreated, an accident victim may develop panic, social phobias and nervousness. A victim may also experience repeated recollections of the collision or develop feelings of uneasiness, hopelessness, depression or an increasing inability to feel or sense things. There are other symptoms such as insomnia, hyper-vigilance, inability to concentrate and paranoia.

For some accident victims, PTSD may manifest as a feeling of anxiety in a crowded place, nightmares, or reliving the trauma as flashbacks. The more serious symptoms include paranoid ideation, auditory hallucinations, and even a tendency to hurt oneself or those around.

What are the Risk Factors?

Several traumatic incidents can increase the risks associated with PTSD. Reports show that about three million people are injured every year in car accidents. Although car crashes are pretty common, not all accident victims develop PTSD. However, there are a number of risk factors that increase the possibilities of developing PTSD. They are psychological or emotional disturbances before the car crash, the experience of a previous traumatic incident, life-threatening incident/trauma, a person having a family history of emotional disorders, feelings of fear, shame or guilt, the kind of support received after the accident and any loss or detachment during the traumatic event.

If the symptoms subside over time, there is nothing like it. However, if you feel that they are getting more serious, becoming more frequent, or these symptoms are affecting your life, you are vulnerable to PTSD. And, if this happens, seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment Options

There is no easy solution for victims experiencing severe PTSD following an auto accident. A few people may be treated with the help of medicines, while others may need talk therapy, cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. Talk or behavior therapy is applicable for those who experience emotional disturbances or have confronting behaviors. Besides psychological treatment, it’s also better to consult a motor vehicle accident doctor specializing in pain and injury treatment. There are some people, who feel skeptical about seeking psychological treatment. This is not the right approach as one may experience severe psychological disorders or complications following the crash. Therefore, identify your PTSD symptoms when they manifest, and seek professional psychological treatment. The duration of the treatment may vary from six to 12 weeks depending on the condition of the victim. For some patients, it may take longer to recover from PTSD.

If an accident victim is plagued with any one of the PTSD symptoms discussed above, he must have a word with a medical professional, and discuss what needs to be done. Get in touch with a doctor for car accident to document all pain, strain or injuries after the incident. Keep all medical bills and reports with you, in case you file a personal injury case to ensure that you are rightly compensated for your physical pain, mental anguish, and also to recover all expenses associated with the treatment. It’s in your best interest to seek medical assistance right away because PTSD symptoms may occur long after the collision, and it may take some time to figure out what kind of treatment will be necessary.