Car Accident Article: Car Accidents & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
By Anna Henningsgaard
www.ezinearticles.com

There has been recent debate in the medical community about defining and prescribing medication for such “disorders” as social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. American society is plagued by self-induced stress. Should this be something we pop pills for? Retrospectively, society accepts the unhealthiness of prior forms of medicated stress relief. It is generally accepted that smoking, for example, causes more problems than it relieves. Why does America swallow anti-anxiety medication so freely, without worrying about harmful side effects? These are powerful drugs that target chemicals in the brain. Medication should be the last resort in any anti-anxiety therapy. First, people who suffer anxiety should be proactive and try to resolve their concerns.

One example of a disorder that is suddenly widely prescribed is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD was first recognized as a serious problem among veterans returning from war. These men suffered cold sweats, panic attacks, nightmares, and compulsive behavior as a result of near death experiences and the mental anguish of war. Some doctors are now claiming that this same level of shock is regularly induced in car accidents, they cite numbers as high as 9% of car accident victims suffer “significant post-traumatic stress symptoms”.

A few years ago, I was in a rather serious car accident, and I experienced symptoms like these medical journals described. I would often upset myself by dwelling on the accident. I displayed obsessive behavior in that I avoided left turns wherever possible, even on deserted streets. I could not manage this out on country roads, but in the city grid I was careful to take three right turns instead of making just one left. Riding in a car that slams on its breaks still causes me to spin around and look behind for the car that always seems to be on the verge of collision. Was this Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? As annoying as these symptoms were, I find it would take a rather presumptuous hypochondriac to insist that these small neuroses could rival the intense stress of a veteran returning from the horrors of war. Perhaps I was stressed and absorbed by my experience, but I certainly never needed medication.

What I did need to do was to be proactive. I worked with the insurance companies to work out the claims. I spoke with my lawyer and found someone who wanted to buy and rebuild my totaled car so I did not have to consign it to a junkyard. I took responsibility for the situation and did not let it take control of me. It did hurt to think about my car for months, but I don’t obsess about it anymore. If you feel overwhelmed by a car accident experience and all of your real medical needs are met, you do not need a doctor. Talk to a lawyer about your situation and be proactive about filing papers and taking action. I felt overwhelmed after my car accident, but talking to an experienced car accident attorney helped me to answer my questions, address my doubts, and quell my anxiety. No pills required.