Car accidents are so common that driving is the most dangerous thing you do every day. In fact, a pilot is statistically much safer in the air than during the drive home from the airport.
After a car crash, we usually focus attention on the injuries you can see, which sometimes means we don’t properly address other injuries. Recently, there has been more attention paid to traumatic brain injury, and this is a positive development, However, mental health is not usually part of car accident conversation. This may be a mistake.
Mental health trauma
It may surprise those not in the industry, but mental health trauma is shockingly common after a motor vehicle accident. Indeed, it is so common, it should be expected to experience some trauma, even if it is just short-lived shock, fear or nervousness. The key to whether that trauma is problematic is how long it lasts because, over time, it should go away, unless it is post-traumatic stress.
Post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder
PTSD can develop after any scary, shocking or dangerous interaction or event. In these fear-fueled events, psychological trauma can occur, which can lead to PTSD.
PTSD versus normal emotions
After a car accident, it is normal to feel anxiety and fear. However, these normal emotions should go away over time. PTSD occurs when these feelings stay or mature to change your life.
One of the first signs of PTSD related to car crash trauma revolves around driving. If you find yourself not able to drive due to severe anxiety, or that driving becomes mentally taxing, this may be a sign of PTSD.
Recurring nightmares and sleepless nights are another sign of PTSD. These nightmares could be flashbacks or narratives about the car accident, but not necessarily. The key is whether you experienced these symptoms prior to the accident, or if the nightmares only occurred after you survived.
Even though mental health has become part of our national discourse, it has not become a car accident topic. However, your Connecticut attorney knows car accident mental trauma is real, and they can help you get help and compensation.