Other than a few minor bruises and aches, you feel physically fine after your recent car accident. How about mentally? Is there a chance the accident left you with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?
Before you decide not to pursue the responsible party for damages, see what the American Academy of Family Physicians says about post-traumatic stress after a car accident. Not all wounds are physical.
Normal feelings following an accident
Even a minor fender bender can send your blood pumping and adrenaline surging. In the aftermath, you may feel anxiety, shock, disbelief, guilt or even anger. You may replay the accident over in your mind without consciously meaning to. These are all normal emotions and experiences following a traumatic event, emotions and experiences that dissipate. It is when you cannot shake these thoughts and feelings that they cross over to PTSD. In fact, those diagnosed with PTSD may experience worsening feelings in the weeks and months following the incident.
Post-traumatic stress following an accident
PTSD shifts the way you think and how you live. After the accident, you may experience anxiety at the thought of getting into a car again. You could have trouble falling asleep, or you may have nightmares when you do sleep. The stress may even make you feel disconnected from yourself and those around you. Without a proper diagnosis, you may never even associate the symptoms with your accident. You can take steps to overcome your stress, such as see a therapist, talk to friends and family about your experience, take a defensive driving course and establish a routine.
Do not brush off any symptoms that may point to PTSD after a car accident. You deserve proper treatment, and you could have a legal case on your hands.