07 Jan The Life-Changing Impact of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Following a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident or assault, physical symptoms typically manifest themselves quickly and clearly. Yet, as the body begins to heal, amid the physical recover, some patients experience the unexpected emergence of a psychological injury. These can include such impacts as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
The Cause of PTSD
Psychological injuries such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are defined as natural emotional responses to dangerous or frightening situations that present either real or perceived harm. While not everyone who undergoes a traumatic experience will develop PTSD, those who do are at risk of suffering from life-changing symptoms long after the cataclysmic incident has passed.
PTSD often develops within several months of the traumatic incident but symptoms may take years to present themselves. This can complicate access to support as receiving a PTSD diagnosis can be more challenging, especially after a long period of time has elapsed. For patients suffering from the effects of PTSD, the difficulty associated with receiving an objective diagnosis and essential support can be devastating.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD does not present itself uniformly and has the potential to cause a broad range of symptoms that vary in severity. For some patients, the effects of PTSD can severely restrict their ability to live a full life by preventing them from being able to work, engage in meaningful relationships, or find pleasure doing the things that they once enjoyed. Other serious symptoms associated with PTSD include:
- Recurring memories of the traumatic event
- A sense of fear that the traumatic event will repeat itself
- Inability to concentrate, fall asleep, or stay asleep
- Heightened fear response
- Sudden instances of dizziness, increased heart rate, or shortness of breath
- Uncontrollable worry
The Challenges of Moving Forward
For survivors of traumatic events suffering from PTSD, the fight to have their psychological injury recognized can be difficult. From navigating the stigma often attached to mental illness to having employers and insurance companies providing the necessary support and compensation, the challenges continue long after the physical injuries have healed.
Fortunately, posttraumatic stress disorder can be treated if properly diagnosed, provided that the right supports are in place. Patients experiencing psychological symptoms after an accident are wise to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for help accessing compensation for optimal recovery.
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