One result of an auto accident that cannot be overlooked is the psychological effects experienced by those involved. A person may experience feelings of guilt if another party in the car was injured or killed, or they may struggle with the lasting physical effects of an injury, such as paralysis or disfigurement.
The worse the injury, the more likely a person is to have adverse psychological effects and need professional help. Psychological issues resulting from a serious auto accident are often diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The three main symptoms of auto-accident-related PTSD are:
- re-experiencing the traumatic event, as through nightmares or flashbacks;
- avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, such as fear of driving; and
- heightened anxiety.
While symptoms of PTSD often appear within weeks of the traumatic event, some patients do not develop symptoms for months or even years. Counseling, group therapy, and other treatment by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed professional counselor can help patients manage these symptoms.