What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological condition which usually results directly from trauma experienced following a major event or series of events. PTSD was often associated with the effects of war or combat, but in the 1980s came to be formally recognised as an anxiety disorder and which now is also seen to relate to different, life-threatening, shocking or frightening events. PTSD may come to the fore following a violent incident or assault. It can also occur following a car or other accident. Natural disasters or other major events have also been triggers of the condition in those who suffer.
PTSD is a specific illness which relates directly to a life changing or dramatic events. Increasingly it is recognised in a broader range of circumstances. There are also occasions where people who suffer psychological injury have some of the symptoms of PTSD but may not have the condition. So what are the symptoms of PTSD and how is it diagnosed?
Symptoms and Diagnosis
PTSD symptoms are broad ranging. People suffering from the condition may have many, but not all of the following experiences or feelings:
- Experienced or witnessed a traumatic event
- Suffered physical injury during a traumatic event
- Intense fear or horror during the event
- Recurring thoughts about the event or events; thoughts that are intrusive or hard to set aside
- Replaying the event in your mind or a feeling that you are reliving the experience
- Nightmares about the experience
- Intense stress when something you see or hear reminds you of the event
- Actively trying to avoid feelings or thoughts which remind you of the event
- Avoiding places, people or circumstances which remind you of the event
- Less interest in hobbies, fun or activities
- Feelings of anger or upset which arrive suddenly
- Difficulty expressing emotions in the way you used to
- Sleep problems from insomnia to irregular sleep patterns
- Feeling jumpy, anxious or easily startled
- Lack of concentration, problems with normal routines
If you have many of the symptoms above, especially for more than one month, you may be displaying some of the signs of PTSD. It can affect up to 30% of people who have experienced a traumatic event. It's vital to seek medical advice and psychological expertise to ascertain if you have the condition, so you can work with experts in addressing what you are feeling or experiencing. Diagnosis and professional help are crucial to improving your mental health and wellbeing. If you don't have PTSD, but are suffering from any of the symptoms listed, you can work with professionals to help address them. If however, you do have PTSD, it's vital that a plan is put in place.
PTSD and Personal Injury Claims
If you've experienced trauma, be it as the result of a car accident, medical negligence or any other serious event, you need to make sure that you are addressing your mental health as well as your physical recovery. Often people naturally focus on the immediate physical injury, but overlook the effects of trauma on the whole person. If you have PTSD as a result of a trauma, which was not your fault, you may have grounds to make a claim; this may be in isolation or in addition to a claim for physical injury.
Increasingly PTSD has been cited in personal injury* cases. People have become more aware of the condition and sufferers are more likely to seek diagnosis and treatment. Mental health is a vital part of overall health and as such, psychological injuries are now viewed with the seriousness they deserve. The most important thing is to look after your physical and mental wellbeing following a traumatic event. If the actual event which caused the trauma was as a result of someone else's negligence or inaction, they may be liable for resulting physical or psychological injury. If PTSD was as a direct result of the traumatic event, it may be taken into account in relation to a personal injury* claim. It's important to remember that PTSD is treatable and that there is expert help and advice out there and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
If you have suffered from PTSD following a traumatic event, you may have a case to make a personal injury* claim. At Pilar our solicitors will advise you on whether we think you have grounds to make a claim. We will give you honest and expert opinion about all aspects of your case, using clear and jargon free language.
You can call us on 01 2943846 to discuss your case in confidence. You can also contact us by our easy to use form on our homepage