Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Even though there have been dramatic improvements in road conditions over the last 40 years and even though there is greater education of drivers on vehicle safety, there are more than 3 million motor vehicle injuries each year in the US. Some of these injured persons evolve to have post traumatic stress disorder, an emotional disorder that can last indefinitely after experiencing a traumatic episode.

The major symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder fall into three major categories. The first is “reliving the event”, which can disrupt the persons day to day activities. Reliving the event can include the presence of flashbacks in which the event seems to happen over and over again. There are repeated memories of the event, which seem to be real as well as repeated nightmares highlighting the event. The patient with this feels many strong and uncomfortable feelings near situations that remind the patient of the previous trauma.

Second is emotional avoidance in which the patient feels detached or numb as though nothing seems to matter. The patient feels detached from people and from reality and is sometimes unable to remember important details of the trauma. He or she will show a lack of interest in his or her normal activities and will have a flat affect, showing fewer and fewer of his or her normal moods. The patient will often avoid people, places or situations that remind them of the event and will feel as though they have no real future.

Third, there are arousal problems. The individual has problems concentrating and often startles easily. The individual also has an exaggerated startle response and experiences hyper vigilance, feel more aware of one’s surroundings. There is increased irritability or the possibility of outburst of anger. There is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night.

Some people feel survivor’s guilt, especially if others died or were more seriously injured in the accident. There are episodes of increased anxiety, tension, agitation, dizziness, headache, palpitations, fainting spells and other emotional outbursts.
Post traumatic stress disorder can be chronic if not treated with psychotherapy and possibly medications. In fact, years can go by with the above symptoms going unabated unless the person works through their feelings around the accident or injury in therapy. It is a good idea to catch this type of person as soon as possible so that the person can be treated before the symptoms become intractable and more difficult to treat. The longer the patient goes with the symptoms, the greater will be their impairment and the more difficult will be the job of the therapist when it comes to treating the person with post traumatic stress disorder.

It is the job of the family physician to recognize this type of person in his or her practice and to refer the patient to the proper therapist or counselor to manage the patient’s case. The family physician is in the best place to evaluate what the person was like prior to the accident and to compare that to what they’re like after the accident occurred.

Updated:

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
    Sincerely,
    ★★★★★
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
    ★★★★★
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
    ★★★★★
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
    ★★★★★
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
    ★★★★★
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.
    ★★★★★