According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “anyone can get PTSD at any age…[and] not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people get PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or is harmed.” A change in behavior is natural in the wake of a personal tragedy or exceptionally stressful experience. When a survivor or witness of abuse, combat, or another traumatic event falls into a rut, they should not be expected to just “snap out of it;” they require time to recover, and impatience by friends and family can easily make things worse. However, if months or years begin to pass without much progress, it may be time to seek additional help.
PTSD cannot be self-diagnosed, as the interaction of multiple symptoms is what enables a correct identification of the disorder. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take a professional to detect its warning signs. Awareness is essential to proper care, both for the affected and their friends and family.
While people without PTSD have been known to experience flashbacks in isolated instances, recurring episodes are a cause for concern. It can be difficult or nearly impossible to overcome a traumatic experience if its memory is allowed to persist in the mind of the survivor. Anyone suffering from persistent flashbacks should seek the advice of a mental health professional.
Repression of memories
On the other end of this spectrum are those who live in a state of denial. People with PTSD often try to push their experiences into the furthest corners of their mind, in order to avoid the pain they cause. Such repression, however, makes the event a more permanent mental fixture by preventing its resolution. The prospect is daunting, but traumatic memories must be dealt with and not denied.
Even without flashbacks, the subconscious effects of PTSD can still be present. Nightmares are one of the disorder’s most common and unpleasant side effects. They may occur as a result of repression, or simply due to the depth of a severely traumatic and persistent memory. In any case, recurrent nightmares are not a common consequence of an accident and often indicate PTSD.
PTSD can lead to other sleeping problems in addition to nightmares. Insomnia can interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and recuperate emotionally from a traumatic incident. If a person’s sleep patterns change dramatically following an incident, it could indicate that they are suffering from PTSD.
The emotional, mental, and physical toll of PTSD can leave a person utterly drained and simply exhausted. Physical side effects like numbness can occur as a result of this and impede the recovery process. Exhaustion is a common and expected phase when overcoming emotional and physical trauma, but it should not be allowed to escalate. Physical energy and mental resolve are crucial to overcoming PTSD, and exhaustion and numbness are detrimental to their maintenance.
Alternately, a sufferer of PTSD may be perpetually antsy for no apparent reason. This reaction makes some sense considering the theory that PTSD is simply an extreme “fight-or-flight” response. A certain amount of jumpiness following an accident is understandable, but again, its persistence should merit professional help.
One of the most observable indicators of PTSD is withdrawal from regular activities. The healing process should prepare a person to resume their normal life, not cause them to retreat from it. If a survivor or witness of a traumatic event is reluctant to participate in activities they once enjoyed, it is possible that they are suffering from PTSD.
Unfortunately, PTSD is not always immediately considered in the aftermath of a traumatic event or accident. However, its repercussions are as serious and damaging as any physical injury and should be treated as such. While a sufferer of PTSD may run into obstacles in their effort to receive financial assistance for treatment or other expenses, an experienced personal injury lawyer is a valuable ally.
If you or someone you care for is suffering from PTSD, you deserve a helping hand. If the condition resulted from an accident for which another party is liable, you are entitled to sufficient compensation. To consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Idaho, call us at (208) 577-5300 or fill out the free consultation form on this page.