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PTSD: Recognizing the Signs Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

September 01, 2017

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often recognized as something that soldiers experience after they’ve been in combat situations. However, motor vehicle accidents are actually the leading cause of PTSD in the general population, according to an article published by the American Psychological Association.

The Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

PTSD caused by a motor vehicle accident (MVA) is a serious mental health problem and should be appropriately diagnosed, according to the psychologists who authored the book, “After the Crash: Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Survivors of Motor Vehicle Accidents.” If not properly diagnosed or if misdiagnosed, they concluded, PTSD victims are susceptible to suffering long-term symptoms.

According to an article from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), approximately 9% of MVA survivors in the general population develop PTSD. However, it said that with PTSD caused by MVAs, as compared to PTSD from other reasons, there’s an increased likelihood of being injured or developing a chronic pain condition following the trauma because of the delay in seeking psychological treatment.

Many people who have been in MVAs seek treatment from their primary care physicians first and don’t consider the need for psychological treatment for some time. Unfortunately, according to the VA, studies have shown that of the people who develop PTSD and do not seek psychological treatment, approximately half continue to have symptoms for more than six months or a year. This means it’s important to identify the symptoms early on and seek appropriate psychological treatment as soon as possible.

What Are the Signs of PTSD Following a MVA?

According to, some feelings are normal following a vehicle accident; however, with PTSD, these do not go away over time and actually tend to get worse. These feelings may also begin to interfere with the victim’s normal activities, or cause them to feel and behave differently than they would normally. Here are some of the signs of PTSD following a MVA:

  • -Ongoing, general feelings of uneasiness.
  • -Anxiety about driving or riding in motor vehicles.
  • -Reluctance to undergo medical tests or procedures.
  • -Irritability, or excessive worry or anger.
  • -Nightmares or trouble sleeping.
  • -Feelings of being disconnected to other people or activities.
  • -Ongoing memories and thoughts of the accident that you can’t stop or control.

Get the Help You Deserve

If you believe you’re experiencing PTSD from a motor vehicle accident, Marrick Medical can help you get the treatment you need. We provide medical funding for uninsured and underinsured accident victims. Our patients seek the critical treatment they need free from fear of high interest rates, debt collectors, and negative credit reporting. Our vast network of healthcare providers allow personal injury patients to prioritize healing and recovery. For more information, please contact us today.

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