West Virginia residents who have experienced traumatic events that resulted in personal injury may find it difficult to deal with recurring memories of the event days, months and even years later. In rare cases, accident victims actually develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). As a result, they suffer lasting and intense psychological effects long after physical recovery. For those with ongoing pain or permanent disability, the risk of PTSD can be even greater.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), PTSD usually develops within 3 months of a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. While these events can include military service during war and violent criminal attacks, they can also include car accidents, natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, train crashes and other unexpected incidents that are shocking in nature (i.e. a crane falls on someone at a construction site). The effects of PTSD can also extend to loved ones who were present at the time of the incidents, which can cause dramatic shifts in family dynamics as well as personal anxiety levels.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD are numerous, but often involve some sort of involuntary reaction to normal stimuli. For instance, people who have PTSD may startle easily and have recurring nightmares about the incident in which it replays over and over in their minds, like a broken record. They may also lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, become irritable, have trouble feeling affection and become more aggressive or even violent. The NIMH says that people with PTSD may also avoid situations that remind them of the original incident. Victims of auto accidents may refuse to drive, for example. Other people may have trouble return to work after a traumatic injury they experienced on the job.
The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Nearly 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD and it affects people of all ages, races and economic levels. As a matter of fact, psychological injuries comprise a large segment of injury law today. More and more victims are able to recover damages for PTSD and other anxiety disorders that occurred as a result of the negligence of someone else. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you define your case.