PTSD After a Car Accident — 7 Subtle Signs
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) doesn’t happen to soldiers who go to fight in brutal wars. Around 70% of people experience at least one traumatic event in their life, and 20% of them will develop PTSD.
People can have different responses to trauma, even to the same traumatic event. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s essential to take care of your mental injuries just as much as your physical ones. However, don’t assume issues like PTSD will be visible right away. If you experience PTSD after a car accident, the symptoms may start slow, with these seven subtle signs:
1. Replaying the Accident in Your Head
It may be hard to move on from the events that occurred. A first small sign of PTSD may be just replaying what happened in your head, possibly as a way to make sense of it.
However, it can eventually lead to all your thoughts being taken over by the accident. People with PTSD may find it hard to think of anything other than their trauma.
2. Re-Experiencing the Accident
As they replay the events in their mind, these thoughts may cause people almost to relive the event once again. Thinking of the car accident can lead to you experiencing agitation, heart racing, shortness of breath.
In the beginning, the experiences may not be that noticeable, but without proper intervention, some people with PTSD can feel stuck in a loop reliving their trauma.
3. Avoiding the Event Entirely
On the other end of the spectrum lies avoiding the event altogether. Some people with PTSD may avoid talking about their trauma and can become very frustrated or angry when someone brings it up.
4. Displaying Risky Behavior
PTSD can also have symptoms that seem almost unrelated to the incident altogether, such as the person throwing caution to the wind and displaying more risky behavior than they usually would. In some cases, it may not even be a conscious decision.
5. Becoming Hypervigilant
Living with trauma can make people afraid the event could happen again. As a result, they may become hypervigilant. More extreme cases can even lead to paranoia.
6. Turning to Drugs or Alcohol, or Worsening of Other Addictions
People have different ways to cope with trauma or their emotions, and for some, coping mechanisms can be found in drugs or alcohol. PTSD can often make existing additions a lot worse as the person tries to cope with the event the best way they know-how.
7. Difficulty Concentrating
PTSD can take over the mind, but you might not notice it at first. It can start with signs as small as not remembering what to buy from your grocery store or not being able to follow a friend’s story.
Speak With a Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in a car crash and are experiencing these subtle signs of PTSD, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney to ensure your legal right to compensation is protected.