More than 42,000 individuals succumbed to road traffic incidents in the year 2022 in the United States. Road traffic incidents are increasing day by day due to several factors, including rash or distracted driving. Such road traffic incidents can lead to injuries for the personnel involved and a lot of stress for the ones involved in the incident, be it a near miss or an actual collision.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition where an individual suffers continued stressful conditions after a physiological or psychological trauma incident. Physical injuries can cause PTSD, as well as near misses that leave a psychological impact on the individual. Traumatic incidents come in a variety of forms, but road incidents are one of the most PTSD-inducing incidents out there, as confirmed by the American Psychological Association.
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is usually caused when an individual experiences a traumatic event. Such events are not limited to any particular event, but many are caused by being involved in road traffic incidents. It should be noted here that not all traumatic experiences lead to PTSD in an individual. Still, when an individual undergoes such behavioural change, it is usually accompanied by certain symptoms.
Such symptoms represent the vulnerable state of the individual and the immense stress under which they live their life. According to a black personal injury lawyer in Houston, a person suffering from PTSD must get professional help. It may include therapy sessions from an expert who helps you lead a relatively normal life and a lawyer who can fight your case if someone has caused the PTSD event in question. Here are some common symptoms related to PTSD:
- Avoidance – Perhaps the easiest symptom that is evident in a person suffering from PTSD is the intrusive memories linked with the event. Such memories lead to the avoidance of bearing anything similar to that event; for example, a car crash survivor may be reluctant to drive a car or be anywhere near it as the experience reminds them of their trauma.
- Dreams/Flashbacks – PTSD victims often experience flashbacks of the traumatic event as they relive the memories of the incident. These flashbacks cannot be controlled by the individual, causing more mental stress and degradation of physical health.
- Mood Changes – Victims of PTSD are often subjected to low self-esteem as they fail to get out of the rut they’re put into by the event. Their whole persona can be affected by the incident as they fail to look at the positive side of things and often dwell on the gloomy side of things.
- Change in Physical/Emotional Responses – PTSD victims are also subjected to changes in emotional responses as well as physical responses due to trauma. The trauma inflicted upon the individual makes them panicky, and they easily feel overwhelmed by their surroundings.
Possible Factors Responsible for PTSD in an Individual
1. The Severity of the Incident
The severity of the road accident is often the primary factor that can result in causing PTSD for the accident survivor. The nature of the injury and the severity replays in the mind of the victim, and thus, it can cause flashbacks and dreams about the incident.
2. Personal Injury
Once an individual suffers a physical injury, the pain and the recovery process can be taxing on the individual’s mind. It can lead to the breakdown of the mental faculties of an individual, which can ultimately result in PTSD as the sufferer remembers the event leading to this condition.
3. Witnessing Trauma
Sometimes, just witnessing horrible and traumatic events is enough to trigger a response from your brain that can result in PTSD. A severe road accident with unspeakable damage to individuals can cause severe mental stress on the survivor of the accident, which can often lead to nightmares and other PTSD symptoms.
4. Loss of a Loved One
If the road accident involved a close relative or a loved one who was lost due to the incident, an individual can develop PTSD symptoms. The pain caused by losing someone dear to you is immense and can often lead to feelings of depression as you continue to remember this loss regularly. It can easily lead to feelings of depression and extreme frustration, leading to PTSD.
5. Lack of Social Support
Sometimes, the accident itself may not have caused the PTSD symptoms in an individual, but the lack of care and support might. After suffering from a traumatic incident such as a car crash, a strong support system of friends and family is a must to ease into your normal life. In case this support isn’t available or provided, a person can feel lonely and depressed and enter into a phase of low self-esteem, which can then elevate to PTSD.
It’s important to note that not everyone involved in a road traffic incident will develop PTSD, as individual responses to trauma can vary significantly. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD following a road traffic incident, it is essential to seek professional help and support from mental health professionals.
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