Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

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Sherrie Paterson,
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Research suggests that over one fifth of road traffic accident victims suffer from an acute stress syndrome characterised by mood disturbance and horrific memories of their accident.

Anxiety and depression can last for twelve months or more after the event, and a range of mental disorders can occur.  These include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – there are many different symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). The most common include:
    • Re-experiencing the accident through flashbacks and bad dreams
    • Feeling guilty, depressed and anxious
    • Feeling detached and losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
    • Finding it difficult to sleep or to control your emotions
    • Feeling tense all the time
  • Acute stress disorder – this is very similar to PSTD, but results in an increased emotional detachment and reduced awareness of or involvement in everyday life.
  •  Adjustment disorder – this disorder tends to occur when someone cannot cope with a particular difficult event, such as an accident, bereavement, or even a wedding. However, for the condition to be diagnosed, the emotional distress or behaviour shown by the sufferer must be clinically significant – beyond what would normally be expected from those who have been through a similar experience.
  • Specific phobias - , it is quite common for car accident victims to develop a fear of driving or travelling in a car. If this fear becomes extreme – to the extent that it is out of proportion to the risk involved, and interferes with the victim’s day to day life – then it may have turned into a phobia.

These conditions can be particularly intense in patients with multiple personal injuries and continuing medical complications. They are not usually  associated with a neurotic predisposition but are strongly associated with horrific memories of the accident.

Post-traumatic symptoms are often very depressing, hurtful and disabling experiences, but it is thought that early information and advice might reduce them.  So it is worth obtaining professional help, as speaking to a specialist shortly after the accident can minimise the unpleasant consequences.

As part of the claims process, Thompsons can arrange for you to receive counselling and other treatments you require and recoup the cost directly from the negligent driver’s insurers.  We can therefore not only secure the compensation to which you are entitled but get you the best rehabilitation as quickly as possible.  Through our rehabilitation service, making a claim becomes part of the healing process.

If you have been the victim of a road traffic accident, contact Thompsons No Win No Fee specialists on 0800 0891331 and we will advise you on your first steps to receiving the compensation you deserve.

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