Most people think about the physical impact of being involved in a car accident. They’re going to suffer physical injuries and need medical care so that they can heal.
But with this comes the assumption that, after a certain amount of time, healing will be complete. The idea is that someone who has only suffered physical injuries will likely be able to move beyond them, unless they were so drastic that they have led to lifelong disabilities.
All of this can be true, but what it ignores is the fact that there can be real mental issues stemming from a car accident, as well. For the average person, no event that they go through in their life is going to be as frightening and traumatic as a major car accident. It’s imperative to take these mental issues seriously.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
One thing that can happen when someone is involved in a car accident, especially if they were significantly injured or if someone else passed away, is that they can develop PTSD. This stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, and it can lead to different symptoms for different individuals. But some examples include:
- Feeling depressed
- Dealing with extreme anxiety
- Being generally fearful
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks to the event
In many cases, PTSD can be so severe that people feel incredibly nervous anytime they are around a car. They can’t stop thinking about the accident, even if it’s been years since it took place. This can in turn lead to avoidance behaviors, such as not driving at all or refusing to drive in the area where the accident happened.
In some cases, these avoidance behaviors can be taken to such an extent that a person can no longer go to work or go about their daily life the way that they used to. This is a mental disorder, but it’s no longer just impacting the way that someone thinks. It’s impacting the way they live.
You can imagine how much something like this could change your life, so be sure you also know about your legal options.