Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition of persistent mental and emotional distress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world. Symptoms typically include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety or depressed mood. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. PTSD is fairly common in the US; more than 3 million cases are diagnosed per year.
Of motor vehicle accident survivors, 9% develop PTSD. Research conducted to identify at-risk individuals disclosed the following:
Pre-existing factors for the likelihood of development of post motor vehicle accident PTSD include:
Accident related variables:
Post-accident predictors are:
The difference between MVA-related PTSD is an increased likelihood of being injured or developing chronic pain syndrome. As a result, many people rely on their primary care physicians for treatment and do not seek out psychological treatment for some time. It is important to identify PTSD symptoms early and seek appropriate psychological treatment so symptoms to not become chronic.
Behavior therapy, cognitive therapy and medications have proven effective for treating MVA-related PTSD. It may also be useful for the claimant to work with a chronic pain specialist to help manage the physical pain caused by injury. These treatments can be provided in conjunction with one another.
To learn more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Civil Litigation, register for our complimentary luncheon presentations by Terence Young, PsyD, a Board Certified Neuropsychologist scheduled to take place on October 19th at Rare on the Square in Madison, and October 26th at the Capital Grille in Milwaukee. See our Seminars/Events page for more information and to register. These presentations will offer CLE credit and space is limited, so register today!Back to Blog