Healthcare

Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Car Accident

4 Mins read

Car crashes are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. In its latest projections for car fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that 42,795 people died in auto accidents in 2022.  

In 2021, 39,508 fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred in the U.S., in which 42,939 people died. Reportedly, 4,285 died in California in motor vehicle crashes. In Florida, 3,738 lost their lives in car accidents. 

Reportedly, there was an 18% increase in road deaths in Illinois in 2021. Around 1,334 motor vehicle crash deaths occurred in the state. Quite shockingly, around 1,100 traffic crash reports are filed by police in Edwardsville, a city in Illinois, every year. 

Following a car accident, it’s completely normal for victims to feel shaken up. But many people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)– a condition triggered by a terrifying event. 

Signs of PTSD

PTSD is often difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms mimic other mental health conditions. Moreover, no two auto accident victims experience the same symptoms. Regardless, here is a quick rundown of PTSD symptoms common among auto accident victims:

  • Intrusive thoughts and flashbacks of the accident
  • Avoidance of triggers, such as refusing to ride in a vehicle or driving it
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Detaching or isolating from loved ones
  • Losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating in daily activities
  • Self-destructive behaviors

Tips to Deal With PTSD After a Car Accident

Here are a few tips that will help you deal with PTSD symptoms after a car accident:

1. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is associated with plenty of health benefits. But did you know that exercising daily can help ease PTSD symptoms? We didn’t either. A systematic review and meta-analysis found mind-body exercises to be significantly effective in improving the symptoms of PTSD. 

One possible explanation is that exercise stimulates the production of the feel-good chemicals, i.e., endorphins. Besides improving mood, these feel-good chemicals reduce stress levels.

Aerobic exercises such as swimming and cycling can help ease the symptoms of PTSD. Yoga, especially deep breathing exercises and strength training, can also help reduce stress and improve the mood. 

2. Take Prescription Medicines

The brains of auto accident victims process “threats” in a different way because their neurotransmitters are out of whack. When they hear a car pass by or try to get into a car, their flight-or-fight responses are triggered, which is why they are jumpy and on edge. 

In such situations, medications can help treat the symptoms that accompany PTSD, including flashbacks and nightmares. 

Medical professionals often prescribe SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs decrease nightmares and anxiety by balancing the existing chemicals and hormones in the brain. 

Anti-anxiety medications are also effective in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD, as they calm the central nervous system. Another class of medication that is found to be effective in PTSD treatment is Alpha-1 blockers. They help reduce nightmares and disruptive sleep that is often accompanied by PTSD. 

3. Seek Professional Support

Suffering silently won’t do anything except add to your distress and mental anguish. However, seeking professional support can help you cope with PTSD, as they teach coping strategies to manage panic attacks, anxiety, and other PTSD symptoms. 

Trauma-focused therapies also help victims cope with their triggers and work through their trauma. While therapies help accident victims overcome PTSD, they are expensive. Moreover, six to eight sessions are required to help people move beyond their traumatic experiences and regain control of their lives. 

On average, therapists charge anywhere between $100 and $200 per session (depending on the state). In New York, $180 is the median therapy price, whereas the median cost per session in Illinois is $160. Have you imagined how much you would have to pay for six to eight sessions of therapy? 

Fortunately, you don’t have to bear this expense alone. You can recover damages from the at-fault party by filing a car accident lawsuit. 

Recovering damages for PTSD is similar to that of physical injuries. However, you will receive compensation only when you prove that the other driver was at fault. In addition, proving that you developed PTSD due to the motor accident is a must. 

Only an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you do so. 

In the U.S., there are 1.33 million active lawyers. In Illinois, there are 62,720 lawyers. Finding the best personal injury lawyer in Edwardsville or another city in Illinois won’t be a challenge. 

A quick search for “the best Edwardsville personal injury lawyer” will bring forth tons of options. Just make sure to check the testimonials of customers before you hire them for your car accident lawsuit.

A qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer will gather all the evidence needed to prove that you acquired PTSD due to the motor accident. They will build a case so solid that you will earn the compensation you deserve. 

While legal fees range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, be it in Edwardsville or Boston. TorHoerman Law warns people to hire lawyers with consideration because hiring cheap legal representatives leaves matters unresolved. 

Wrapping Up

Developing PTSD after a car accident is much more common than you think. While overcoming this mental health condition might seem challenging, it isn’t. 

You can overcome the bitter memory of your car accident and regain control of your life by exercising daily, taking prescription medicines, and seeking professional help. Consider enrolling yourself in driving classes, as that will help you regain confidence after an auto accident. 

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DN News Desk is the editorial wing of Digital Nod, an award-winning digital PR & marketing agency. Committed to delivering timely and insightful news coverage of global events, DN News Desk's team of seasoned journalists and editors ensures that readers are well-informed about the latest developments across various domains. With a finger on the pulse of current affairs, DN News Desk strives to provide accurate, balanced, and thought-provoking articles that shed light on the ever-evolving global landscape. From breaking news to in-depth features, DN News Desk's contributions aim to empower readers with knowledge and perspectives that matter.
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