Car accident survivors can suffer both severe physical and psychological damage. Some survivors may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a debilitating mental health condition that has become commonly associated with war veterans. PTSD can develop after being involved in a traumatic event. Car accidents and PTSD may share a link.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims car accidents are responsible for 25 percent of traumatic events reported by males, and 13 percent reported by females. VA estimates also show that 9 percent of car accident survivors will develop PTSD.
Research carried out by the VA has shown that some car accident survivors are more likely to develop PTSD than others. For example, accident survivors with preexisting mental health disorders might be at greater risk for developing PTSD. Survivors who lost loved ones during an accident might also be at increased risk for developing the condition.
Sufferers of PTSD can experience flashbacks of the traumatic event, depression, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares and emotional numbness.
What Treatments Exist for PTSD?
Sufferers of PTSD can use behavior and cognitive therapy in conjunction with medications. Exposure therapy, where the goal is to learn to have less fear of traumatic memories, has also shown to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD.
In addition, yoga and meditation have been shown to have benefits for treating PTSD. Stanford University recently conducted a minor study on 21 war veterans to assess the benefits of using meditation to treat PTSD symptoms.
The study discovered that meditation could reduce symptoms of PTSD, such as high levels of anxiety and rapid breathing. It was also discovered meditation could reduce the re-occurrence of traumatic memories and nightmares. Car accidents and PTSD may share a link, but that does not mean survivors are without options.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat encourage everyone to stay safe while driving this summer.