The impact of a serious personal injury is enduring and far reaching. An often-overlooked consequence from a traumatic event is called post-traumatic stress disorder – commonly known as PTSD. The DSM V, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, specifies this disorder can occur “when a person has been exposed to a catastrophic event involving actual or threatened death or injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of him/herself or others.”
But the text book definition does not describe the anxiety, fear and physical reactions to a terrifying serious personal event – ranging from auto- or aviation-related accident to a severe burn injury. It’s also important to remember that witnessing a traumatic event like a horrific car crash can also result in PTSD. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, racing heart, anxiety, fear and an inability to return to pre-incident activities. Often, the triggers can happen months, and sometimes years, after the initial trauma.
If after a serious personal injury, you or a family member develop symptoms of PTSD, it’s most likely time for professional help. Mental health professionals who deal with PTSD can help ease the memory of something as horrific as a traumatic brain injury that resulted from an auto accident. Some cognitive behavior therapies are designed to have the patient revisit the trauma and work through the emotions in a safe environment using a variety of techniques. As well, some psychiatrists may prescribe mediations to ease the symptoms of the disorder. Left untreated, results like substance abuse, chronic pain, sleep problems and severe depression can result.
The personal injury attorneys at San Diego based CaseyGerry work with professionals in the mental health field on a case-by-case basis to understand how to address the many implications of PTSD. We work relentlessly to aid our clients in every area in the aftermath of severe personal injury. For more information visit our personal injury areas of practice page.
By: Jason C. Evans