Know the symptoms of PTSD

Most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder with military service. While many veterans do, in fact, suffer from PTSD, this is a psychological condition that applies to many other professions and situations. Anyone who suffers from trauma has the potential to develop PTSD.

Psychology Today describes trauma as any event that is out of the ordinary for an individual. A car crash or the effects of this and other types of accidents, for instance, might lead to PTSD. The shock of the incident and the resulting pain is what contributes to the negative mental effects.

The symptoms

Psychology Today identifies three main types of PTSD symptoms. The first is the flashbacks. Some people get terrible flashbacks in dreams or even while wide awake, where they begin to relive traumatic experiences. Sometimes a specific thing triggers this, while other times, it happens spontaneously.

Hyperarousal is another symptom, which might manifest in insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks. People might feel jumpy, have racing thoughts and feel on edge even when they cannot identify a specific threat.

Finally, people might suffer from avoidance. The person might begin to avoid anything that triggers memories of the trauma, such as refusing to drive again, avoiding a certain part of town or staying away from certain types of people.

The diagnosis

WebMD explains that doctors wait at least one month after the traumatic incident occurs to diagnose PTSD. The doctor might first complete a physical and medical check to identify other potential contributing factors before referring the affected individual to a psychiatrist. Some people end up needing medications to manage their PTSD, while others respond well to cognitive therapy and other forms of non-chemical treatments.

If someone suffers from PTSD related to personal injury, it might lead to the inclusion of pain and suffering in the compensation awarded. There is no guarantee of this, but it is often the case.