If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you may be experiencing emotional and mental symptoms requiring treatment by an injury psychiatrist in San Antonio. Here’s what you should know before scheduling an appointment and beginning treatment.
Symptoms of Emotional Distress After a Car Accident
Car accident survivors may experience the following symptoms after a car accident:
- Mood swings
- Flashes of anger
- Feelings of humiliation
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in daily activities and/or hobbies
Most survivors are focused on dealing with their physical injuries and ignore the signs of emotional distress. However, it’s common for individuals to experience emotional symptoms that cause them to be too afraid of car accidents to continue driving, going to work, attending school, or even getting out of bed. This can keep survivors from attending important appointments and receiving the treatment their body and mind needs.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is a mental health condition that may develop after a highly traumatic incident, such as a serious car accident. Though PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans, car accidents are a leading cause of PTSD in the general population. More than one out of three car accident survivors develop severe symptoms of PTSD.
Risk Factors for PTSD
The risk of developing PTSD in car accident survivors is increased if they:
- Experienced dissociation during or immediately after the accident
- Experienced extreme feelings of helplessness, fear, horror, guilt, or shame during or immediately after the accident
- Experienced trauma in the past
- Have a family history of psychopathology
- Have pre-existing psychological conditions
- Lack social support
Symptoms of PTSD
Common signs of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks that can sometimes lead to “blackout” periods
- Severe emotional distress or a physical response to triggers that remind them of the accident
- Recurrent, unwanted, and disturbing memories of the accident
- Avoiding thinking about or discussing the accident
- Avoiding the location of the car accident
- Negative changes in thoughts and mood, such as:
- Memory difficulties
- Unusually strained close relationships
- Feeling distant from family and friends
- Disinterest in activities they previously enjoyed
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Changes in physical and emotional responses, such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Aggressive behavior
- Self-destructive behavior
- Angry outbursts
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame
An injury psychiatrist in San Antonio will ask the patient to describe their symptoms and the event(s) that trigger their symptoms.
If the patient is diagnosed with PTSD, the psychiatrist will explain the various treatment options, such as cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and more. Depending on the patient’s condition and severity of symptoms, a trained psychiatrist will develop a personalized treatment plan.
When searching for an injury psychiatrist in San Antonio, it’s important to make sure the clinic offers psychiatric treatment for PTSD. If you’re experiencing symptoms of PTSD, contact My Doctor Sam to schedule an appointment and receive the psychiatric treatment you deserve.