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Is PTSD possible after a car accident?

Being involved in a automobile accident in Georgia can be highly stressful for anyone. While it is normal to have certain normal feelings of shock after an accident, more intense and problematic emotional reactions may result from the person's developing post-traumatic stress disorder due to the accident.

Normally, people may feel shock, disbelief, anger, nervousness or fear after an accident. These reactions may become problematic when they are intense, do not go away and negatively impact the person's ability to function. Reactions that might indicate a person has post-traumatic stress disorder due to the accident include a development of fear to the degree that the person is no longer able to ride in a car, feelings of uneasiness that do not subside, nightmares, trouble sleeping, uncontrollable thoughts and memories of scenes from the accident and strong anger.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real reaction to traumatic events. People who suffer from it may need to seek counseling in order to help them manage their symptoms. As the effects of PTSD can interfere with daily life, seeking help is necessary as people may not be able to work or do things they normally would do.

When a person has been involved in a serious car accident, the shock of the event and memories of injured people may trigger PTSD. A person who is unable to stop thinking about the accident to the point it is interfering with life may need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist to determine if a diagnosis of PTSD is in order. The victim may also want to speak to an attorney regarding the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit in the case in order to be compensated for the costs of therapy and other losses suffered.

Source: FamilyDoctor.org, "Post-traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident," September 2000

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