Can an Oklahoma City car crash cause post-traumatic stress disorder?
Every year, many victims of car crashes in Oklahoma City will make it home uninjured. They go home shaken and nervous, but happy to be alive. But over the next few months, they may start acting differently. They may be depressed, anxious, or paranoid. These may seem like common reactions to such an intense experience, but they could indicate a much more serious condition: post-traumatic stress disorder.
Car accidents are a common cause of Oklahoma City post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as 40% of those involved in car accidents may experience symptoms of PTSD in the first year after the accident; if the condition goes untreated, it can affect the victim’s mental ability and social interactions-possibly for the rest of his life.
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You may be suffering from PTSD after an Oklahoma accident if you:
- Have nightmares about the accident
- Are unable to sleep restfully
- Have a physical reaction when discussing the accident, such as vomiting, nausea, dizziness or sweating
- Experience flashbacks to the accident
- Avoid certain “triggers” related to the accident, such as television shows or construction noises
- Are irritable or snappish for no reason
- Feel unable to enjoy yourself, relax, or “let go”
- Feel uneasy when alone, or when your environment is very quiet
- Experience paranoia around crowds or while riding in vehicles
- Show signs of depression, including a dependence on drugs or alcohol to numb the pain
- Are unwilling to leave the house, especially by car
If these symptoms sound familiar, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Although these feelings seem unavoidable and overwhelming, they are treatable-but only if you ask for help.
In the weeks following a car accident, you should:
- Notify your physician of any behavioral changes at your a follow-up exam. Many people will assume their doctor is only interested in broken bones and sprains, but your mental health is just as important.
- Ask to see a counselor. Some physicians may not be receptive to PTSD symptoms, assuring you you’re “just upset” about the accident. If you cannot get a referral, look for a free counseling center in your area.
- Get the advice of an Oklahoma City auto accident attorney to ensure the best possible care for your mind and body.
Remember: there is help available. Call the Buxton Law Group today at (405) 604-5577 to start your recovery.