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Risk factors that make PTSD more likely after an accident

\pAfter a car accident, it is very possible that you will develop mental and emotional issues that are linked to the crash. These could include things like anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Naturally, every accident is unique and every individual is unique. Some people move on quickly after a crash, while others deal with PTSD for months or even years. If you're wondering how likely it is that you will develop this disorder, consider these risk factors that can increase the odds:

  • Coming from a family in which psychological problems are already well-documented.
  • Having different psychological problems yourself, even before the crash.
  • Getting into another traumatic and perhaps similar situation.
  • Losing a loved one in the car accident.
  • Suffering from potentially life-threatening injuries; even if you survive, these injuries could change your life forever.
  • Dealing with strong emotions such as shame, guilt, horror, helplessness and fear during or after the wreck.
  • Not getting proper emotional and mental support in the wake of the crash, either from professionals or those close to you.

Do not underestimate the way that a simple car accident can impact you. Yes, car accidents are common, but the reality is that many people live very calm, uneventful lives that shelter them from these types of issues. Getting in a wreck, especially one involving serious injuries and death, is horrifying and frightening. It's very hard to deal with the fallout, and you may never have experienced anything else that compares.

If you do develop PTSD after someone else causes an accident, be sure you understand all of your legal rights.

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