In the blink of an eye, life can change drastically. An accident, whether it’s a car crash, a workplace injury, or another traumatic event, has the potential to leave lasting scars—both physical and emotional. In fact, the psychological impact of such accidents can linger long after the physical wounds have healed.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common consequence of trauma. Recognizing the signs of PTSD after an accident is crucial for seeking prompt medical and mental health treatment. This article explores the signs below in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. 

1. Flashbacks and Intrusive Memories

One of the main symptoms of PTSD is intrusive memories, flashbacks, or nightmares about the traumatic event. Individuals may experience a trigger that transports them back to the moment of the accident, reliving the accident all over again. These intrusive thoughts can be overwhelming emotionally and impact a person’s daily life in myriad ways.

2. Avoidance 

To cope with negative memories and feelings connected with the accident, individuals with PTSD often engage in avoidance behaviors. They may avoid places, people, or activities that remind them of the traumatic event, thereby shielding themselves from potential triggers or emotions. Avoidance behaviors can be significantly disruptive to a person’s life. 

3. Hyperarousal and Hypervigilance

PTSD can wreak havoc on a person’s nervous system and cause a constant state of hyperarousal — i.e., persistent feelings of irritability, anger, and paranoia. Individuals may also experience heightened anxiety and difficulty concentrating. They may also be easily startled or feel constantly on edge due to their trauma. 

4. Emotional Numbing

To shield themselves from overwhelming emotions, some individuals with PTSD may develop emotional numbing behaviors. As they numb, they may find it challenging to experience joy, love, or any positive emotions — feeling emotionally detached or disconnected from others.

5. Negative Changes in Mood and Cognition

PTSD can also cause negative changes in mood and cognition. Individuals with PTSD often struggle with persistent negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves, others, or the world around them. They may also experience feelings of guilt, shame, or self-blame related to the accident, even if they were not at fault.

6. Sleeplessness

Sleep disturbances are extremely common among individuals with PTSD. Such individuals often have difficulty falling or staying asleep. They may also experience nightmares that disrupt their sleep. A chronic lack of sleep can aggravate other symptoms of PTSD and impair a person’s ability to function. 

7. Physical Symptoms

While PTSD primarily affects a person’s mental health, it can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic pain. These physical symptoms may not have a discernible medical cause but are often a result of the body’s physiological response to stress and trauma after the accident.

8. Changes in Behavior and Relationships

PTSD can have a significant impact on a person’s behavior and relationships. Individuals may become more withdrawn, irritable, or emotionally distant. PTSD can strain a person’s relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. They may also engage in risky or self-destructive behaviors as a way to cope with their trauma. 

Recognizing the signs of PTSD after an accident is the first step toward getting help and reclaiming your life. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it’s essential to seek support from a qualified mental health professional. With proper care and support, it is possible to overcome the debilitating effects of PTSD and move forward toward healing and recovery.

If you’ve suffered financial damages due to your PTSD, you may be entitled to compensation from the party responsible for your accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options. Contact Hawk Law Group today to speak to a compassionate attorney who can help you seek the money you need for your medical expenses and other losses.

For more information, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:

Hawk Law Group – Augusta, GA
338 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901, United States
(706) 722 3500

Hawk Law Group – Evans, GA
4384 River Watch Pkwy, Evans, GA 30809, United States
(706) 863 6500

Hawk Law Group – Thomson, GA
146 Railroad St A, Thomson, GA 30824, United States
(706) 361 0350

Hawk Law Group – Waynesboro, GA
827 Liberty St, Waynesboro, GA 30830, United States
(706) 437 9122

Hawk Law Group – Aiken County, SC
156 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC 29801, United States
(803) 226 9089

We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.