Understanding what the main PTSD symptoms are after a truck accident can help you get the treatment you need sooner rather than later. Symptoms can include panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, and a sudden fear of driving. These symptoms can start immediately or may not become evident for a month or more. Prompt diagnosis can lead to effective treatment and optimal recovery.
A truck accident is a frightening event that can take a long time to recover from, both physically and psychologically. Seeing a massive truck barreling toward your car and the devastation of the impact can have mental and emotional side effects. These often last longer than physical injuries and can require specialized mental health care to overcome.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Mayo Clinic research, is a psychological response triggered by a stressful or traumatic event. It can cause difficulty adjusting to your everyday life and lifestyle afterward. A truck accident is one of those life-changing events that can lead to PTSD.
PTSD can cause symptoms that vary in degree and intensity. It can also have varying periods of relief, ranging from weeks to years. Treating PTSD and its symptoms can be costly. If a collision with a large truck caused yours, a truck accident lawyer could help you recoup the cost of your treatment plan.
PTSD symptoms can change your life, but you may also respond to appropriate treatment. The intensity and duration of your symptoms will dictate your treatment protocol. In some cases, they lessen over time and are generally categorized in four ways.
PTSD can manifest as persistent, distressing memories of the accident. However, more than mere memories, PTSD can involve feelings of reliving the accident and its accompanying sensations. You might also experience memories that affect your sleep pattern. These can include disturbing dreams and nightmares severe enough to make you avoid sleep. In combination, the effects of intrusive memories can take a physical and emotional toll on you.
Avoidance means actively preventing yourself from recalling the incidents before, during, and after the truck accident. In the moment, avoiding bad memories can feel preferable and appropriate. However, when it causes you to avoid the accident scene, driving a car, or other reminders of the collision, it can impede your recovery. Your mental health care provider can help you cope with intrusive memories and avoidance issues.
Thought and Mood Disturbances
After a truck accident, you might have intrusive thoughts about the accident and its circumstances. You might also have frustrating or negative thoughts about it or yourself. If your injuries are severe or catastrophic, you might experience feelings of hopelessness or depression, which can manifest as trouble maintaining relationships with friends and family. Thought and mood disturbances can also make engaging in previously enjoyable activities difficult.
Physical and Emotional Responses
After a truck accident, you might find loud noises challenging to cope with. Afterward, crashes, dropped objects, and other loud noises can trigger unwanted memories. In addition, your physical and emotional responses to trauma can cause a heightened startle point. You might also constantly feel on guard or have trouble sleeping or focusing.
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How is PTSD Diagnosed?
The first step to appropriate PTSD treatment is a definitive diagnosis. To reach a medical conclusion, your health care provider will:
- Conduct a thorough physical exam
- Perform a psychological evaluation
- Review and assess your symptoms
Your doctor will assess the significance of your symptoms and their impact on your personal and professional life. They may also rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
How is PTSD Treated?
Just as symptoms and their duration can vary, PTSD treatment can also vary. Per Mayo Clinic research, treatment options can include various forms of psychotherapy. For example, therapy options can consist of cognitive (talk) therapy, exposure (behavioral) therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
Therapy can also help you focus outward rather than inward and recognize factors that trigger symptoms and PTSD episodes. Additional treatment options can include skill development to cope with individual symptoms.
Treatment can also help you avoid issues commonly associated with untreated PTSD, including abuse of drugs or alcohol. Your treatment plan is crucial to your recovery. Following your doctor’s orders and committing to your treatment will also benefit your truck accident case.
Discuss Your Claim with a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Were you or someone you love involved in a truck accident that had a long-lasting psychological effect? At the Law Offices of Adam M. Smallow, we can help. Our truck accident attorney will explain the main symptoms of PTSD after a truck accident. We will also help you recover financial compensation for your subsequent treatment.
Contact our law firm today to learn about the legal options available to you and your right to compensation.