Car accidents and PTSD

Every time you climb into a vehicle, there exists some risk of an automobile accident. After all, in 2018, roughly 46 out of every 1,000 vehicles on Louisiana’s roadways ended up in a collision. While even minor car crashes can be stressful, some accidents cause drivers or passengers to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Put simply, PTSD is a mental health condition that develops in individuals who experience some type of stressful or frightening event. How do you know the difference between anxiety and PTSD, though? When it comes to PTSD and automobile accidents, you may want to ask yourself the following questions: 

1. Do you dread medical tests or procedures? 

After any car accident, you should ask a medical professional to examine you for signs of injury. If you dread medical examinations, tests or other procedures, you may have PTSD from the car crash. 

2. Does riding in a car scare you?

Driving a vehicle or riding in a car after an accident can be enough to cause some stress. Still, if your anxiety does not dissipate over time, you may need to ask a professional if you have developed a stress disorder. 

3. Do you experience flashbacks? 

For many accident victims, a car crash creates a bad memory. A collision should not, though, cause you to experience flashbacks. If you regularly relive the accident in your mind, you may have PTSD. 

4. Do you generally feel anxious? 

Your body has a variety of mechanisms for dealing with stressful situations. Eventually, however, your everyday life should return to normal. If you continue to feel generally anxious about the collision, you may need to work with a professional to determine if you have a mental health condition. 

Psychologists, therapists, counselors and others receive extensive training on diagnosing and treating PTSD and other anxiety conditions. Rather than assuming your anxiety will eventually go away on its own, you may need professional help to deal with PTSD after an automobile accident.

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