An auto accident is never a pleasant situation to be in. It is often traumatizing, to say the least. If you’re lucky enough, you may walk out of your accident without a single scratch. Or, your injuries are simply so minor and won’t leave any scar, physically and mentally, in your life.
But the truth, however, is that severe injuries after a car accident may occur, and could be incurable in some cases. Or, even after long treatment and rehabilitation, some side effects may linger. Some of these effects may be either be physical or mental.
This article explores some of the lifelong effects of car accidents on the victim’s health.
Acute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Among the many mental health effects a car accident may cause, one of the most common, and possibly the one that lingers the longest if left untreated, is Acute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
This disorder may manifest itself differently from one person to another. In fact, its symptoms may not even start to manifest until a few weeks after the car crash, when the victims are still trying their hardest to get a sense of normalcy back into their life. The most common symptoms of a patient suffering from Acute PTSD include:
- Being constantly anxious and paranoid, especially when inside a vehicle
- Suffering from night tremors or constant flashbacks of the accident.
- Avoiding places or people that remind them of the crash.
If you or anyone close to you starts to manifest any of the symptoms above, contact a psychologist immediately. If left untreated, PTSD can escalate to violence, anger management problems, or suicidal tendencies.
Traumatic Head Or Brain Injuries
Some head injuries are minor, and won’t even have any effects on the victim’s brain. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and some victims suffer the long-term effects of a brain injury.
Head injuries can be in the forms of the following:
- Coup-contrecoup injuries
- Penetrating head wounds
Serious brain injuries are characterized by the following symptoms:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Seizures or convulsions
- Altered state of consciousness
- Dilated pupils
In severe instances, a brain injury can have dire effects on a person’s mental capacity.
Persistent anxiety may develop in patients who show an aversion towards being inside a car or those who prevent any family member from riding a vehicle. In mild instances, the anxiety can go away on its own months after the car accident. But, in severe cases, the anxiety can be so persistent to a point that the patient will find it challenging to proceed with their daily routines without feeling any form of fear.
Alongside anxiety are the following symptoms:
- Physical symptoms manifested through persistent headaches, chest pains, and muscle tension
- Phobias, heightened fear of car accidents, or any accident in general
- Sleep disorders, where patients develop sleeping difficulties or spend long hours at night thinking about the accident.
Anxiety isn’t something to be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be reduced to stress, and it’s not something to be ignored. If you start to notice anxiety creeping into your life and affecting your ability to function daily, it’s a telltale sign to see a psychologist.
Lack Of Time And Ability To Enjoy Life
One of the lifelong effects of an auto accident is the lack of time to do all the things you used to enjoy before the car accident. This can affect your ability to recover well from the accident and get your life back in order.
For instance, your free time may now be eaten up by all of your doctor’s visits, lawyer’s appointments, and consultations with your psychologist. On the worse end, you may have sustained physical injuries that prevent you from enjoying your usual activities. It’s not easy to adjust to those inabilities, and the victim will need all the support they can get. Otherwise, this situation may lead to more serious mental health issues.
After a serious car crash, it’s important not to only focus on physical healing, but also to give close attention to its mental effects. Mental injuries are as serious as physical injuries. While the lifelong effects are often filled with agony, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel. Help the victim get a better quality of life. If you’re the victim, reach out to your loved ones or talk to a psychologist.
Victims should make it a point to consult a doctor regularly. Moreover, having a lawyer by your side is beneficial in claiming the compensation rightfully due to you. If you’re a victim of negligent driving, assert your rights and take your time in recovering from the incident.