5 risk factors for PTSD after a car accident

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Most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with military service, but did you know that any trauma can create this condition? That includes car accidents, which happen to be one of the top causes

Not everyone develops PTSD from a traumatic experience, though. Each person’s psychological response is different, but there are a number of risk factors that make people more likely to develop symptoms. These five factors put drivers and passengers alike at a higher risk for developing PTSD after a car accident. 

  1. Prior Trauma

This risk factor goes beyond car accidents, making it more likely for anyone to develop PTSD symptoms. Psychological specialists and attorneys alike check for this factor first because it makes the condition harder to treat. 

Prior trauma covers a wide variety of incidents. Victims of violent crimes, forest fire survivors, and those that experienced extremely negative incidents in their childhood are just a few examples. When trauma from the past is present, assistance from mental health experts becomes vital. 

  1. Family History

Research in the field of genetics continues to draw links showing that mental disorders are passed down through generations. Any family history of mental issues, psychopathology, and even mild PTSD symptoms puts a person at a higher level of risk for developing the condition in a severe form after an accident. 

  1. Perceived Threats

Even minor accidents can bring about mild symptoms, but any incident that causes the person to feel their life was threatened makes PTSD a severe issue. The same is true if they thought someone else’s life was in danger, like a parent would for their child. 

In the event of more serious accidents, many worry that other parties involved may not recover from their injuries. All of these are perceived threats and capable of causing PTSD symptoms to develop. 

  1. Lack of Social Support

Unfortunately, many survivors do not receive the social support they need after an accident occurs. It’s vital that anyone involved in a wreck speak with family, friends, and other loved ones to help deal with their emotions. 

Without support, negative emotions grow until they are out of control. By that point, PTSD symptoms have long since developed and running rampant as they impact every aspect of daily life. Severe depression and anxiety take hold, as well. When social support is not available, professional support becomes vital to recovery. 

  1. High Levels of Emotion

For some, high emotional levels put them at risk. They experience fear, guilt, and helplessness at a higher level than the average person regularly. Add in a car accident, and these feelings are intensified to an uncontrollable level. That includes anxiety and depression. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, then seeking a professional evaluation is vital in stopping PTSD symptoms from developing when these risk factors are present. While seeking skilled legal representation, like this car accident attorney in Denver, let them know that you are more at risk so they can help you get evaluated. 

Many attorneys are capable of performing basic evaluation, but they can also recommend trusted specialists so the individual can get the help they need. At the same time, they’ll take care of preparing the case so the person can focus on healing physical, psychological, and emotional wounds. 

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