For most people, the diagnosis post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) makes them think of military veterans or perhaps retired first responders who have seen horrible house fires and gruesome murders. However, PTSD is far more common than people realize.
It can result from any deeply traumatic experience, from being the victim of a criminal act to experiencing a catastrophic motor vehicle collision. If you nearly died or if you witnessed someone else dying in a collision, you could develop the symptoms of PTSD and find yourself struggling with daily life. Not being able to ride in a car or drive one, for example, could be a huge setback for maintaining your financial independence.
What kinds of treatments are available for individuals struggling with PTSD after a motor vehicle crash?
There are many kinds of therapy that hope to address the symptoms of PTSD. Basic talk therapy can help. Cognitive therapy can also be helpful in cases where someone has mild symptoms. Both by discussing PTSD symptoms and the crash that caused it and by learning new strategies for calming down an excited nervous system, undergoing cognitive therapy can help those struggling with the symptoms of PTSD.
Other individuals with PTSD will require exposure or desensitization therapy. Loud noises, flashing lights and other sensory input that reminds an individual of a car crash may dysregulate them and leave them in a panicked and unstable state. By repeatedly triggering those responses in a therapeutic environment, it is sometimes possible to help someone limit their reaction during an unexpected triggering event.
There are other forms of therapy, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which can help those who don’t respond to cognitive therapy or exposure treatments.
There are a host of psychiatric drugs that can help someone struggling with the symptoms of PTSD. From antidepressants to anti-anxiety medications and even specialized drugs that help suppress nightmares, there are many forms of prescription medication that can improve the daily lived experience of those with PTSD.
The cost of therapy or medication can be a burden for someone in the midst of recovering from a traumatic car crash. Pursuing an insurance claim or even a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the wreck may be necessary for those who need extensive treatments following a car crash.