A road traffic accident can be a shocking and distressing experience with long-term psychological consequences. In many cases, people who are involved in a road traffic accident suffer from immediate shock, even if they have not suffered from any physical injuries. This is because in stressful situations of this sort, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream to keep muscles tense, ready to react at any second.
Even though this is a natural reaction to stressful situations, it does have negative side-effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, shakiness, mental distress and digestive problems.
Physiological and psychological shock
This "psychological" shock is not the same as "physiological" shock, which is a recognised medical emergency caused in part by lack of blood flow round the body. Physiological shock is often caused by problems with the heart, major blood loss, or a severe allergic reaction, and must be treated immediately.
Psychological shock can be more difficult to identify and address. However, someone experiencing psychological shock may benefit from regulating their breathing and drinking plenty of water to expel toxins that have been released through stress. A calming bath and a light meal may also help – as can talking things through with a friend.
Furthermore, even if you are not displaying any strong symptoms of physical injury, if you are feeling unusual in any way following a road traffic accident, it is a good idea to get yourself checked over by a doctor.
Sometimes the psychological symptoms of shock last longer than you might expect. If they don't seem to be going away, it might be useful to seek counselling; even a relatively minor car accident can result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD in car accidents
According to the United States' National Center for PTSD, 9% of all car accident survivors develop some form of PTSD, while studies also indicate that 60% of of those who seek psychological help following a car accident have PTSD. Additionally as many as 53% of car accident survivors develop depression.
Scotland's leading personal injury firm
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a motor accident, contact Thompsons accident compensation specialists on 0800 0891331. We will advise you on the best way forward. Claims are made on a no win, no fee basis.