If you lived through a devastating Washington car accident, you likely suffered physical injuries, including broken bones, cuts and bruises. After several months, you realize that, although your wounds healed, your life is not the same. Do you feel stress and anxiety even in familiar surroundings? You might have posttraumatic stress disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most people who experience traumatic events may temporarily have difficulty coping with the effects. Still, if it lasts for months or years, you may have PTSD.
Although anyone may have PTSD after a car crash, certain risk factors increase the likelihood. They include the following:
- Not having a network of family and friends
- Experience with intense or long-lasting trauma
- Having mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
- Experience with trauma early in life
- Working at a job that exposes you to traumatic events, such as being a first responder
- Having a family history of mental health issues
However, even people without these risk factors might have PTSD.
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder may start within a month of your crash but can take years to manifest. You may find yourself reliving the crash, either through dreams or flashbacks when you are awake. These intrusive memories can cause emotional distress and physical reactions. You may avoid places or people that remind you of your accident or become depressed.
Difficulty sleeping, aggressive and self-destructive behavior are common symptoms among accident victims who have PTSD. Even with help, recovery may take years. If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, it is critical that you understand your options. The settlement from a claim may help you pay for the care you need.