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Car accident victims often have PTSD

St. Clair Shores, Michigan, has many busy roads, especially at peak times of day, such as when commuters are going to and from their places of employment. Correspondingly, there are often car accidents. When those accidents happen, there is physical damage to vehicles and occupants of vehicles. Additionally, occupants may suffer psychological trauma in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD begins, as its name suggests, after a traumatic experience like a car accident. Sufferers of the disorder experience hyper vigilance and extreme anxiety. They may relive the event from which their trauma originated over and over. Alternatively, they may need to avoid any persons or places that remind them of that event. Fight or flight reactions are often a part of PTSD.

While it doesn't originate from car accidents for all of them, PTSD is suffered by approximately 8 million people in the United States. Between 7 and 8 percent of people experience it at some point during their lives. There are a number of risk factors.

One, of course, is the person's pre-existing condition. This includes both their physical condition and their psychological condition before they experienced the traumatic event. If their physical condition was bad, they may have experienced the event as being a greater source of damage and even as an existential threat. If they were already prone to anxiety psychologically, the event will be more likely to intensify that to the point of PTSD.

If they experienced disassociation during the event, the likelihood of them developing PTSD is very high. Disassociation involves the person feeling cut off from who they are, their experiences and their surroundings. It prevents the person from fully processing his or her emotional reactions to the traumatic event, in turn keeping him or her from working through those emotional reactions and getting back to a healthier frame of mind. Anyone who believes that they may have PTSD can seek counseling and also ask their attorney to include details about it when pursuing financial damages.

Source: VeryWell, "PTSD and Car Accidents," Matthew Tull, accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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