A car accident can cause persistent symptoms of psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), requiring treatment. If you’re searching for a car accident injury clinic in San Antonio to treat your symptoms of PTSD, here’s what you need to know.
PTSD Caused by Car Accidents
Car accidents are a leading cause of PTSD in the general population. More than one out of three car accident survivors will develop PTSD and require treatment.
Risk Factors for PTSD
Car accident survivors may be at increased risk of developing PTSD if they:
- Dissociate during or immediately after the accident
- Have a family history of psychopathology
- Experience extreme feelings of fear, helplessness, horror, guilt or shame during or immediately after the accident
- Have a history of trauma
- Lack social support
- Have pre-existing psychological conditions
Symptoms of PTSD
Individuals with PTSD may experience the following symptoms:
- Intrusive memories
- Severe emotional distress or physical response to triggers that remind them of the car accident
- Recurrent, unwanted, and distressing memories of the accident
- Avoiding thinking or talking about the accident
- Avoiding the location of the car accident
- Negative changes in thoughts and mood
- Difficulty with memory
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling disconnected from family and friends
- Disinterest in activities they once enjoyed
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Changes in physical and emotional responses
- Self-destructive behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
How PTSD is Diagnosed
A doctor at a car accident injury clinic in San Antonio will conduct a physical exam to check for potential medical issues that may be causing symptoms. The doctor will also perform a psychological evaluation by asking the patient to discuss their symptoms and the event that triggered the symptoms.
Treatment for PTSD
PTSD can be treated through a variety of methods, such as:
- Teaching coping skills, such as stress management
- Cognitive therapy. This form of talk therapy helps the patient identify patterns of thinking that are keeping them stuck, such as negative beliefs about themselves and the risk of a car accident occurring again.
- Exposure therapy. During a session of exposure therapy, the therapist may use a virtual reality program to expose the patient to a car accident so that they can form a proper response to the accident. This type of therapy is helpful for patients experiencing flashbacks and nightmares.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This type of therapy involves accessing the memory or memories causing symptoms of PTSD and helps the patient re-process the trauma.
- Medication. Patients may benefit from the following medications:
- Antidepressants. Can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve sleep and concentration.
- Anti-anxiety medication. Can relieve severe anxiety and other related problems. Typically prescribed for short-term use.
- Prazosin. Could help reduce or suppress nightmares.
When searching for a car accident injury clinic in San Antonio, it’s important to make sure the clinic offers psychiatric treatment. If you’re experiencing symptoms of PTSD, contact My Doctor Sam, San Antonio’s injury expert, to schedule an appointment and receive the treatment you deserve.