Are You Suffering From PTSD After A Car Accident in Friendswood, TX?
Car accidents can be terrifying ordeals, especially if you suffered an injury. And while your physical injuries may heal in a few weeks or months, the mental damage may take longer still to heal. You may find that, even months after the accident, you’re still afraid to drive, haunted by memories of the crash, or just feeling unlike yourself.
Sadly, many car accident victims suffer from PTSD after their crash. Read on to learn more about this condition and how you can know if you may have it.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can happen after you’ve experienced some sort of trauma. This may include being involved in an accident (including a car accident), witnessing something terrifying, or spending extended periods of time in a high-stress environment.
Although PTSD is a mental health condition, it can have very real physical effects, too. It’s also important to note that it’s perfectly normal to experience distress or unusual symptoms in the days or weeks immediately following a trauma. It’s only once those symptoms last for months, get worse, or start interfering with your day-to-day functioning that it enters the realm of PTSD.
There are four major classes of symptoms that we see with PTSD: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in your mood or mindset, and changes in your physical and emotional reactions to situations.
- Intrusive memories – Many PTSD patients find themselves reliving the traumatic moment over and over again or suffering from nightmares about the event. You may also find that you have a strong reaction to anything that reminds you of the event.
- Avoidance – Often, people suffering from PTSD try to avoid thinking about the event, as well as anything that reminds them of that trauma.
- Negative mood or mindset changes – After your accident, you may find yourself feeling hopeless, detached, or numb. You might have trouble connecting with your friends and family or finding joy in the things you used to love.
- Changes in physical and emotional reactions – You might notice that you’re more easily startled or frightened than you were before the accident. You may always always be on guard, looking for danger, and you might even start to engage in self-destructive behavior. Often, PTSD patients have trouble sleeping or concentrating, feel overwhelming guilt or shame, and experience irritability or outbursts of anger.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself, especially if they go on for longer than a few weeks, you could have PTSD.
When to Go to a Doctor
Knowing when to ask for help can be hard, especially in the case of mental illness. But if your symptoms go on for more than a month, it may be time to speak to a doctor. If you do have PTSD, getting treatment can help you start improving and getting your life back on track.
If you experience any suicidal thoughts, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as possible. Good resources include:
- A trusted friend or family member
- A leader in your religious community
- Your doctor
- A mental health professional
- A suicide hotline. You can call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide Hotline, or you can use Lifeline Chat. All services are free and confidential.
You should never be ashamed or afraid to ask for help when you’re in crisis or after you’ve experienced a trauma.
There are two main approaches to treating PTSD: therapy and medication.
On the therapy side, there are three types of therapy that can be helpful:
- Cognitive therapy – This approach involves talking about the mental patterns that are keeping you stuck and working to break out of those cycles.
- Exposure therapy – During this approach, you’ll work on re-exposing yourself to the circumstances surrounding your accident so you can learn to feel safe around them. It is very important to note that this should ONLY be done with the guidance of a licensed therapist. Under no circumstances should you try to DIY exposure therapy, as it can cause more trauma.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – This technique, better known as EMDR, uses a series of guided eye movements combined with exposure therapy to change how you process and react to traumatic memories.
Your doctor may also recommend certain medications to help you manage your PTSD.
- Antidepressants – PTSD and depression often occur together. Antidepressants can help to restore your brain chemistry to healthy levels and improve some of your symptoms.
- Anti-anxiety medications – Unsurprisingly, PTSD comes with a lot of anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications can help to alleviate these symptoms, although most of them are meant for temporary use only.
Talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage your PTSD.
Get the Help You Need
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be devastating to live with. If you’re suffering from PTSD after your car accident, you should never be ashamed to ask for help. Talk to your doctor, a mental healthcare provider, or a trusted friend or family member.
If you’re suffering from PTSD after a car accident, The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers wants to help. Our attorneys have nearly sixty years of experience fighting for the citizens of Houston, Texas, and we’ve recovered more than $300 million for our clients. Schedule a free consultation with us today to start getting the representation you deserve.
Contact the Texas Car Accident Lawyers of The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
Please contact an experienced car accident lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers to get a free initial consultation today. We have offices in Friendswood and Galveston, Texas.
The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Galveston
2101 Mechanic St. Suite 253
Galveston, TX 77550
The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers
312 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546