Many people in New York have most likely heard of post-traumatic stress disorder, but they may not be aware that people may develop the condition due to being involved in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, the disorder may appear following a person’s going through any traumatic event, including accidents. Although it is common for people to experience certain feelings after they have been in a wreck, when those feelings do not go away, intensify and become disruptive to functioning, people may have developed PTSD as a result. Normal feelings include such things as shock, guilt, anger, nervousness, disbelief and fear. People may also keep replaying the accident in their minds.

When those feelings turn into PTSD, the symptoms can be different. People may have an unending sense of uneasiness, fear of traveling in a vehicle, recurrent nightmares, difficulty sleeping, feelings of disconnection and uncontrollable thoughts about the accident. People may additionally have outbursts of anger and other problems, leading to difficulties in their social and work relationships.

When people are experiencing such symptoms, they should see their doctor and explain what is happening. The doctor may provide a referral to a mental health professional who can provide a diagnosis, therapy and other types of treatment. People who have PTSD need to seek out help in order to get relief, because it will normally not just go away on its own.

Those who have been in a major motor vehicle accident in which they suffered serious personal injuries or witnessed the death of another person may develop PTSD due to the horrific events experienced and observed. A person who has been in such an accident may want to file a personal injury lawsuit against a driver whose negligence was the cause.

Source: FamilyDoctor.org, “Post-traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident”, accessed on Jan. 19, 2015