Most victims focus on the financial and physical repercussions following a serious road accident, unaware of other potential damages they may have endured as a result of their tragic experience. Many people might not know that in addition to the physical damages, survivors may go experience mental and emotional difficulties. These have as much impact on their lives as their physical injuries. While some mental issues fade out over time, other problems can be long-lasting and can affect the victims for the rest of their lives. To shed some light on this subject, here are some of the most common mental health issues that road accident victims may develop after a serious crash.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
According to official studies, the most common of all mental health issues affecting road crash survivors, in the non-military populace, is post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD shows varying symptoms from one victim to the other and may not be detectable or diagnosable until weeks after the incident. The symptoms include emotional numbness and difficulty in communication, emotional inability to visit specific places, recurring flashbacks of the accident, and constant alertness, paranoia, or hypervigilance. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to depression, anger management problems, and in the worst case, suicidal thoughts.
Most victims suffer mild anxiety symptoms after being exposed to such a tragic event. While some only experience anxious feelings for a few weeks following the accident, other victims suffer longer for several months. Recent studies prove that females are more susceptible to develop persistent anxiety as a result of road crashes. It is said that 75% of them experience high levels in the first month while 15% develop moderate levels for up to 6 or 8 months after the incident. Anxiety can have a huge impact on the victims’ lives leaving them with persistent phobias that can be hard to attest for an injury claim. It can also cause symptoms including sleep disorders, panic attacks, nausea, lost appetite, dizziness, muscle tension, and other impairing physical symptoms. If you’re facing severe stress, insomnia, or any of the mentioned symptoms as a result of a car crash, don’t hesitate to seek both medical and legal help.
Major Depressive Disorder
Depression for accident victims is usually connected and rooted in the physical injuries incurred and the pain resulting from the crash. Depression is defined by symptoms like feelings of guilt or self-loathing, constant lack of energy and daily fatigue, suicidal thoughts, and the lack of passion and enjoyment in activities. You can also be diagnosed with depression if you suffer from difficulties in sleeping or waking up, irrational irritability or anger, lack of concentration, or sudden weight gain or loss. Depressive disorders are very common following a car crash and many victims who develop anxiety or PTSD suffer from depression at the same time. Please seek medical help if any of these symptoms apply to you after experiencing a road accident.
Emotional distress is a general term used to refer to the emotional disturbance that victims experience after a traumatic incident, even if they are not officially diagnosed with a medical condition. Victims usually experience negative emotions and anguish that interfere with their lives. If you’re in British Columbia, a Vancouver car accident lawyer can help you prove these emotional difficulties on record and file a personal injury claim on your behalf to help you get your rightful compensation. These emotional difficulties may impact your life and prevent you from going to work or attending important events. You can also suffer from further disturbances, such as mood swings, anxiety, bursts of anger, feelings of humiliation, and loss of interest in casual activities. Speak to a lawyer as soon as you can if you’re suffering from emotional distress resulting from a tragic crash.
Undoubtedly, accident victims may develop serious traumatic symptoms like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. However, there are far more persistent concerns that can last longer than these mental impairments. Studies have shown that one-third of children and adults involved in traumatic accidents develop their emotional distress syndromes a few months or sometimes a year after their incidents. Although some reported an improvement over time, most cases mentioned that the symptoms took longer than a year to start getting better. Ironically, the majority of the victims suffering from long-term mental and emotional impairments were involved as passengers in the crash rather than the drivers. Over time, these victims started developing long-term phobias from cars and from certain places related to their accident.
Dealing with your emotional and mental hardships on your own after an accident is a huge mistake. The best thing to do if you’re exposed to such a traumatic experience is to seek medical attention and legal advice so you can receive proper treatment and rightful compensation. Remember, mental health problems should be taken seriously, and they must be treated as cautiously as physical injuries.