How to Recognize PTSD after a Work Accident
You may know to be on the lookout for delayed signs of physical injury after a serious on-the-job accident. Have you been similarly advised to safeguard your mental and emotional wellbeing? Accident victims often experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can take weeks, months or even years to manifest.
A traumatic event – such as a trench collapse, crane accident or machinery failure – can result in serious physical injury. A victim may also relive the frightening experience again and again, while experiencing other emotional and psychological ramifications. A claim should take PTSD treatment into account if it arose after an accident that caused physical injury.
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Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Many people associate PTSD with military service and combat zones, but anyone who has experienced a traumatic event – such as an accident and injury – may be susceptible.
If you recently experienced a serious work injury, it may help to recognize the signs and symptoms of PTSD, including:
- Re-living or re-experiencing the event: You may have periods where you feel the same way you did when the accident occurred, including the same feelings of fear, anxiety and grief. You may find you have certain “triggers” for the memories, such as driving past a construction site or hearing certain mechanical sounds. Flashbacks and terrible nightmares are another possible complication of PTSD.
- Repressing feelings: You may feel emotionally “numb” as a means to protect yourself and avoid painful memories. This can impact your relationships with family members and friends and may make it difficult to engage in activities that previously brought you pleasure and joy.
- Avoidance: You may find yourself going out of your way to avoid “triggers.” This may include not wanting to talk to people who remind you of the event, such as former co-workers.
- Anxiety: You may feel like you are always on alert and worried about suffering another accident or injury. This may make it difficult to sleep or concentrate and may negatively impact your mood.
Speak to a doctor if you experience any of these signs or symptoms after suffering serious injury in a work-related accident.
Addressing PTSD after a Serious Work Accidents
PTSD is closely linked to numerous other mental health conditions, including depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts, according to the Mayo Clinic. Early detection and treatment may help lessen the long-term effects and associated mental health concerns.
Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment is available to accident victims to help restore a feeling of calm and control in a survivor’s life. Treatment may include a combination of regularly scheduled therapy sessions (talk therapy, exposure therapy and other options) and prescription medications (antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids). A comprehensive work accident claim should include the cost of treating PTSD.
Have you recently suffered serious injury in an on-the-job accident? Are you experiencing symptoms of PTSD? The personal injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik can help you understand your rights to compensation. Call (954) 476-1000 or complete our evaluation form.