When you experience a car accident, it is not only physically traumatic but it is also mentally and emotionally traumatic. Many car accident victims do have post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Mayo Clinic can help you identify the symptoms and signs of PTSD.
Signs of PTSD
Generally, PTSD begins within one month of an accident, but sometimes the symptoms do not begin until years later. There are four types of symptoms you can associate with PTSD. These symptoms are intrusive memories, negative changes in thinking and mood, physical and emotional reactions and avoidance.
You may begin to feel hopeless about your future, find it difficult to maintain relationships while having negative thoughts about the world and yourself. Positive emotions may become more difficult or you could feel emotionally numb.
Physically, many people experience trouble sleeping and concentrating. You may always be alert and easy to frighten. Some may even experience angry outbursts and more aggressive behaviors. If you have recurrent memories, flashbacks or upsetting nightmares, you may have PTSD.
Coping with PTSD
Following an accident, you should try your best to increase self-care, explains the ADAA. Do not neglect your basic needs, such as meals, sleep and exercise. Try to keep your focus on the things in your control that you can change. If you need to feel safe in a vehicle, make sure to take all appropriate safety precautions.
Routine may be a critical element of dealing with PTSD. If necessary, discuss your situation with a mental health provider. PTSD can have a variety of symptoms over time. They may become worse or they may become easier to cope with but flare up in stressful moments.