Victims of car accidents in Pennsylvania might not realize that emotional problems in the accident’s aftermath may have a direct link to the trauma of the crash. While your physician can identify and diagnose most physical injuries during a thorough examination after the accident, emotional wounds sometimes appear later. Your family and friends may notice them before you do.
Emotional health can deteriorate over time after the accident. If you do not seek professional help, it could adversely affect your outlook on life and result in long-term mental health problems. If you receive the necessary treatment as soon as emotional problems start, you can document the costs along with other medical expenses, should you ultimately choose to pursue financial relief through the Pennsylvania civil justice system.
Symptoms of emotional trauma
You and your family members should make a point of looking out for any of the following signs of psychological trauma:
- Negative outlook: You struggle to have positive emotions about anything.
- Avoidance and denial: You struggle or refuse to think of or discuss anything that is associated with the accident.
- Intrusive thoughts: In contrast to avoidance, you might find it impossible to get distressing thoughts out of your mind or suffer recurring nightmares.
- Arousal symptoms: These symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, irritability and trouble concentrating.
- Dissociative symptoms: You may feel as if time slows down and you feel numb or in a daze or experience a feeling of looking at yourself from the perspective of someone else.
When should you seek help
Emotional trauma can lead to anxiety, and certain feelings may manifest. When these start to interfere with your life as you knew it, it may be a good idea to seek help. You may experience a feeling of imminent doom that might cause you to be nervous, restless and tense or experience excessive trembling, sweating and an increased heart rate. Sometimes, anxiety causes gastrointestinal problems. As soon as any of these conditions last longer than two or three days, professional care becomes necessary.
Although most people associate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with returning soldiers, anyone who goes through a traumatic experience can develop PTSD. Acute stress disorder is another condition that could affect your day-to-day life. It is not as severe as PTSD, but if left untreated, it could develop into post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you have to face the physical and mental consequences of a car accident, financial challenges might exacerbate the trauma. You need not deal with these problems without legal counsel. An experienced personal injury attorney in Western Pennsylvania can be an invaluable asset in your corner throughout ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of financial and emotional damage recovery.