When you think about the impact a car accident could have on you, what primarily comes to mind are the setbacks to your physical well-being and financial stability. However, the unseen injuries to an accident victim are sometimes what takes the greatest toll over the long term. The mental health trauma that follows a crash can ruin your relationships, productivity and the ability to perform routine everyday tasks.
Often, such trauma is disregarded as the person focuses on the treatment and recovery from their physical injuries. However, it is vital that you seek treatment for mental trauma as well. It’s also important to know that you can pursue compensation for non-visible injuries. Click here to find out how an attorney can help. Here are three of the major types of post-accident mental health trauma you can face after a car accident.
1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Over the last two decades, awareness about PTSD has grown greatly. Originally associated with soldiers returning home from the battlefield, it is now understood that PTSD can occur from a diverse range of traumatic events, including a serious car accident. One study found that about 40 % of car crash survivors suffer from PTSD in the accident’s aftermath.
In fact, car accidents are the number one cause of PTSD in the United States. Crash survivors are not always aware that they have PTSD, so it’s important that you look out for the signs. These include recurrent memories, upsetting dreams, repeat nightmares, diminished interest in activities you once enjoyed, and detachment from friends and family.
In the moments immediately after a car crash, the initial shock may leave you feeling anxious for what will happen next and what steps you need to take immediately. Over time, increased anxiety is a common form of mental health trauma as the shock wears off and worries increase about what the future will bring.
Anxiety is the most widespread type of mental illness in America and affects more than 40 million adults. More concerning is that only three in five adults grappling with anxiety seek treatment.
It is vital that you recognize the symptoms and obtain the treatment you require. Some of the signs that you could be experiencing anxiety after the crash are nervousness, restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, hyperventilation, trembling, sweating, weakness, fatigue, sleeplessness, and gastrointestinal problems.
Conversations around mental health often center on depression. The way your life changes following a crash can be the trigger for a severe depression. There are multiple factors that can cause such mental trauma. Sometimes it is due to the extent of bodily injury. It may also be precipitated by the catastrophic impact on finances causing long-lasting repercussions well after the physical injuries have healed.
Depression has multiple indicators, such as loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities, lingering feelings of sadness, deep unhappiness, a sense of emptiness, excessive sleep, ongoing insomnia, short temper, and difficulty speaking or thinking clearly.
You Can Be Compensated For Post-Accident Mental Trauma
A car accident victim can experience deep mental anguish. Even after treatment of their physical injuries and the resumption of a normal life, they may have difficulty moving on. You will almost certainly suffer some mental distress after a severe car accident. Some distress may be mild and fade away in minutes or hours, while other worries may grow and build over time.
Still, there is no definitive test that shows the depth of mental trauma. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to your mental health. Discuss with your car accident attorney as soon as you suspect that you may be experiencing mental health trauma. The attorney can help you get compensation for such non-visible injuries to help cover anything from therapy to medication.