Sometimes it is easier to define an emotion then it is to understand an emotion. Defining an emotion or feeling is about giving meaning, form, or prescribing basic qualities to the word. Understanding something is a completely different beast. When someone tries to understand an emotion or feeling it is about achieving a mental grasp, a person is acquiring the power of comprehension, and conceptualization occurs by embracing a level of empathy. Bearing this in mind, it is quite simplistic to say that you know what trauma is and it’s different to say that you understand trauma. By definition trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience or event. However, to understand trauma one has to know what it is like to be going through your day like normal when you are struck by an intense feeling of distress, when similarities to the original traumatic circumstances create a vivid flashback as if the traumatic event is occurring again, or for the emotional memories of the traumatic event to disconnect you from going forward with life as normal. These are all obstacles that a person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has to endure.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a response to seeing, hearing, or being involved in a traumatic event. Common contributing factors include combat exposure, abuse or assault, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or serious accidents.1 During the traumatic event your emotional response is that you either believe your own life or the lives of others are in danger. Persistent emotional reactions such as negative changes in your beliefs of feelings, hyperarousal (such as exaggerated startling or irritability), avoiding people or places that remind you of the trauma, and re-experiencing symptoms identified by flashbacks or nightmares occurring after the traumatic event has past may indicate that you suffer from PTSD.2
Traumatic Stress and Auto Accidents
According to a study conducted by the National Center for PTSD, under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, auto accidents were the most frequently experienced traumatic event for 25% of men and the second most frequent traumatic event for 13% of females surveyed. Besides the psychological cost, over 100 billion dollars are spent every year on the damage caused by traumatic auto accidents.3 These statistics are not shocking considering the fact that approximately 1% of the US population is injured in an auto accident each year which equates to three million or more injuries.4 Though only 9% of those injured in an auto accident develop PTSD, many others experience depression and anxiety disorders.5 Though the specific mental health concerns vary based on the traumatic auto accident and persons involve, there is a consistently increasing risk of developing psychological problems specifically PTSD as a response to experiencing serious auto accidents.
PTSD, Auto Accidents, and Litigation
If you were in an auto accident and now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or another psychological problem you may be able to get compensation for the disorder as part of a personal injury lawsuit. If you need the advice of an experienced attorney consult the The Bruning Law Firm Law Firm for a free consultation. An experienced auto accident attorney can determine what claims should be filed and protect your rights and interests as a victim of a car accident. To contact an auto accident attorney and set up your free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.