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Can Car Accidents Cause PTSD?

Being involved in a car accident is never a fun or favorable situation to be in. It can be made even worse if you sustain injuries as a result.

When you endure a traumatic event, such as a car accident, it is common to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, the definition for PTSD provided by the National Institute of Mental Health is as follows: “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.”

PTSD Symptoms

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, the following elements must be present for at least one month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least one avoidance symptom
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms

The following are some re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks—revisiting the trauma many times over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Nightmares
  • Alarming thoughts

The following are some avoidance symptoms:

  • Avoiding places, events, or items that remind you of the trauma
  • Avoiding ideas or feelings related to the trauma

The following are some arousal and reactivity symptoms:

  • Being startled easily
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Outbursts of anger

The following are some cognition and mood symptoms:

  • Difficulty remembering key elements of the traumatic experience
  • Negative ideas about yourself or the world
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

PTSD and Car Accidents

Since car accidents tend to be highly traumatic events for those involved, it is absolutely possible for you to develop PTSD as a result. However, in order for a PTSD diagnosis, the aforementioned aspects must be present. Otherwise, your feelings may be categorized as temporary rather than long-lasting.

If you believe you’ve experienced PTSD as a result of an injury-sustaining car accident, our attorneys may be able to help. Our team here at Harmon Parker, P.A. has helped many other people recover the damages they deserved, and we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.

Call Harmon Parker, P.A. today at (813) 452-4144 to learn more about how we can help you recover over a free consultation.