Many people’s first thoughts if you mention post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be of servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan or Iraq. Yet, it’s also common among those who aren’t in the military, particularly those who’ve had vehicle accidents. It can result from any traumatic incident and can affect you in four main ways:
You might be lying in your bed, then all of a sudden, get a flashback of the moment the truck hit you. Typically you don’t just remember it; you relive it with all the terror it implies.
Perhaps you avoid driving or avoid the road where the crash happened. Maybe you cannot even talk about the incident. Not being able to drive or always having to take the longer route could make life challenging for you and your family. Your inability to discuss things could leave your loved ones feeling locked out – they want to help you, but you won’t let them.
Changes to how you think
What happened to the old you? The one that was fun to hang out with, who could always see the positive side to any situation. People around you may struggle to understand why you are not like you used to be, but PTSD can make positivity difficult.
Maybe you jump every time you hear a truck honk its horn because it reminds you of the 18-wheeler that did just that before it plowed into you. Perhaps you can’t sleep because even though the crash was not your fault, you feel guilty about your passenger who died.
If someone injures you in a crash, it’s crucial to consider all aspects you will need compensation for, not just the physical injuries.