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Coping with accident-related PTSD

As a result of the 6 million motor vehicle accidents that occur across Illinois and the rest of the nation on a yearly basis, car accident victims might expect to feel shaken, guilty, angry or worried afterwards. However, they may not expect to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a crash. Most feelings of stress after an accident begin to fade after a short while, but sometimes, these feelings can escalate and last for long periods of time.

Individuals who are suffering from PTSD may begin to experience nightmares, irritability or ongoing memories of the accident. They also may be hesitant to ride in cars or have medical procedures done. These feelings can sometimes begin to affect aspects of day-to-day life.

Some helpful tips to remedy PTSD include talking with friends and family or seeing a counselor, trying to return to past routines and following up with a doctor. Staying physically active may serve as a good distraction and can help reduce stress. Additionally, learning to drive defensively can help reduce an individual's chances for future accidents.

Someone who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of a motor vehicle accident may experience difficulties carrying on with multiple aspects of everyday life, including work and socialization. They may additionally require costly therapy or medical care on top of the need for care for physical injuries. An individual suffering from PTSD may thus want to consider seeking compensation from the driver liable for the accident to cover any medical treatment or lost wages due to missed work.

Source: FamilyDoctor.org, "Post-traumatic Stress After a Traffic Accident", January 06, 2015

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