Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very common, more than people think. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD will affect approximately seven or eight out of every 100 people at one point in their lives. Each year, about 8,000,000 adults deal with the symptoms of PTSD.
In some people, PTSD occurs after they experience trauma. It’s a psychiatric disorder where the affected person has a hard time recovering after a traumatic event. The trauma can be emotional, physical, or psychological. PTSD commonly occurs after assault and acts of war, but it can also occur after car accidents. A car accident doctor Houston TX can diagnose the condition and offer treatment suggestions for each case. At CityWide, we provide services for a wide variety of car accident injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
What Triggers PTSD?
Some people can live with PTSD and experience very few symptoms on a day-to-day basis. However, they may seem to have flashbacks and anxiety randomly. Though these episodes may seem random to the casual observer, they are probably triggered by something very specific.
For example, the affected person may smell, see or hear something that reminds him or her of the traumatic event. News reports can also trigger PTSD if they talk about events that are similar to the event experienced by the person with PTSD. Sometimes, the trigger may not be apparent, even to the person who has the condition. Something as benign as cloudy weather may trigger PTSD if the original event occurred on a cloudy day. An auto injury doctor Houston may be able to help an affected person identify and deal with triggers that he or she is likely to encounter regularly.
What Are Symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD can be difficult to recognize by the average person because the symptoms can be so varied. Fortunately, a car injury doctor Houston can help diagnose the condition accurately. Below are a few of the most common symptoms associated with the disorder:
- Difficulty sleeping and concentration
- Being easily angered or irritated
- Re-experiencing the trauma through nightmares, flashbacks, or distressing memories of the event
- Anti-social activities, such as avoiding people or places that may trigger the traumatic memories
- Emotional numbness and detachment
- Intense psychological distress to certain cues that resemble or remind the affected person of the traumatic events
- Persistent avoidance of stressful thoughts, memories or feelings associated with the events
- Distorted and persistent blame of others or self about what caused the events or its consequences
- Inability to experience happiness or other positive emotions
- Persistent shame, fear, guilt, anger or horror
- Diminished interest in activities that used to be enjoyed, including hobbies and time with others
- Restless sleep
- Self-destructive or reckless behavior
It’s important to note that one or more of these symptoms must be persistent and occur for at least a month for a PTSD diagnosis to be made. It’s also important to understand that these symptoms may not appear immediately after the traumatic event. In some cases, these may occur years after the event.
What Does a PTSD Attack Feel Like?
PTSD attacks don’t always feel the same for everyone. Some people describe the feeling as a sudden onset of panic that causes unpleasant or debilitating physical symptoms. In some cases, the person experiencing the attack may become confused about reality and may think that they are in a completely different place. Physical sensations that often accompany a PTSD attack include trembling, pain, nausea, and sweating. If you’re experiencing any of these sensations following a car accident, talk to a car injury doctor Houston.
Does PTSD Go Away on Its Own?
In most cases, PTSD doesn’t just go away without treatment. In fact, If left alone, symptoms can worsen over time and come and go in waves. For someone with this psychological condition, therapy can help significantly. Treatment can help the affected person live a normal life and learn how to anticipate and deal with potential triggers.
When it comes to deciding to receive treatment or not, ask yourself, “What you have to lose?”Remember, no one should have to deal with PTSD on their own. Take advantage of the effective treatment strategies and coping mechanisms available to you.
What Are Treatment Options for PTSD?
There are several treatment options available for post-traumatic stress disorder. They include medications and therapy. Medications commonly prescribed for PTSD include anti-anxiety medications, Prazosin (which may suppress nightmares), and anti-depressants. Therapy for PTSD often includes:
- Cognitive Therapy: Helps correct negative mental patterns
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Enables you to process traumatic memories
- Exposure Therapy: Helps you face frightening memories and situations with the help of a therapist
If you’re dealing with troubling and persistent psychological symptoms after a car accident, you’re not alone. To learn more about how CityWide’s car accident doctor Houston TX can help you with your PTSD symptoms, contact CityWide at 713-782-0082 today. You’re also welcome to schedule your appointment with us online if it’s more convenient for you.
We look forward to discuss with you about how we can reduce your post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after an accident.
Joe Danna is a Chiropractor specialist practicing in Houston, TX. Where he has lived his whole life.