Post-Traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, you may feel nervous about driving again and the pain you are in may cause you to feel depressed. If you are afraid to ride in a car again or if you have constant memories of the incident, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  There are a few symptoms of PTSD that are common after an accident.

Definition of PTSD

Post Traumatic stress disorder occurs when a person is involved in or sees an upsetting event. The condition is characterized by intense thoughts and emotions related to an event that may have happened years in the past. An individual with PTSD may avoid activities or individuals that they associate with the event. It occurs when a person cannot control their flight or fight response to trauma.

Typical Symptoms of PTSD

A person with PTSD may have an extreme reaction to things such as someone tapping them on the shoulder or music that is simply too loud. They may have vivid nightmares and daytime recollections of the incident. In some cases, a person with PTSD may become isolated and not be able to do ordinary things such as work or do simple household chores. Many people who have this disorder are unable to sleep and experience paranoia.

Treatment of PTSD

There are several different treatments for PTSD. Any therapy or medical treatment can be time-consuming, costly and come with side effects.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT has been established as the best treatment for PTSD. It involves changing thought patterns and behavior. The therapy normally takes about 12 weeks and it is sometimes combined with medication. It begins with exposure therapy in which a subject is exposed to images and writing and visits to the place where they experienced the trauma.  They are exposed to their source of anxiety gradually until their fear subsides. Cognitive restructuring is the next step in the process. The subject is taught to restructure the memory of their trauma in a more objective way.

Cognitive Processing Therapy is another step in CBT. It involves discovering how a person processes information about individuals and situations after a trauma has occurred. A therapist will work with a patient to see how accurate and fact-based the patient’s perspective is after an upsetting event.

Stress Inoculation Training gives patients a variety of breathing and meditative exercises that are designed to reduce anxiety related to a traumatizing incident.

Medications given to PTSD patients inhibit Serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical developed in nerve cells. It can be found in blood platelets of the central nervous system or in the digestive system. It is made of Tryptophan which regulates anxiety, heals wounds and strengthens bones.

If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD after a traffic accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. A trained attorney who is familiar with California law will be able to negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. Lawyers Richard Morse and Vikas Bajaj will work hard to make sure you are compensated for your medical bills, damage to your vehicle and pain and suffering. PTSD can be debilitating, but with the right legal representation, you can get the money you are owed and the therapy you need.

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