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Can you get PTSD from a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2024 | Car Accidents

A car accident can leave people seriously injured. Millions of people suffer from cuts, bruises, head wounds and spine injuries. These injuries can sometimes heal with medical assistance and physical therapy. 

However, most people don’t realize that they can suffer from a mental health ailment after car accidents called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here’s what you should know:

How PTSD affects people differently

PTSD is a neurological disorder. Many people who have PTSD have gone through stressful times in their lives. For example, many people who have survived wars suffer from PTSD. People who have been in abusive relationships or had troubled upbringings can also suffer from PTSD. Even a sudden event such as a car accident often leaves people with PTSD. PTSD can affect people whether they are in major or minor car accidents. 

People suffering from PTSD can experience stress and depression. This often happens because people relive many of the memories that led to a traumatic event. As a result, many people avoid doing certain actions that might cause them to experience the traumatic event again. 

For people who have been in car accidents, that may mean avoiding the road where an accident happened, feeling anxious while driving or freezing up when making driving decisions. If a driver lost a close friend or relative in a car accident, the driver may never drive again.

How PTSD is treated

PTSD isn’t easily treated. Many people with PTSD live with anxiety and depression for a long time. Some people have to go through years of therapy before they can conquer their anxieties. However, therapy can be expensive and a victim’s PTSD may affect them in a way that makes it impossible to move on. Victims may need to learn about their legal options when seeking help to recover from their car accidents.