Addressing and Managing a Victim’s PTSD Following a Traumatic Truck Accident

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A traumatic truck accident usually results in catastrophic injuries. However, the event can cause more than broken bones and lacerations for some. Sometimes, the most painful injuries from a horrific truck collision aren’t visible to the naked eye. Many are left with deep, painful psychological scars that aren’t easily seen. Mood swings, sleeping disorders, and PTSD are just some conditions a victim could suffer after a tragedy involving a big truck.

If you’ve been the victim of a big rig accident and don’t know what to do next, Find a truck accident attorney at Meldon Law Firm. During a free consultation, one of their caring and qualified personal injury lawyers will help you seek justice and compensation.

What Is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that occurs after a person witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. A person could experience PTSD after being in a potentially life-threatening event such as a horrific vehicular accident. This disorder negatively affects the victim’s quality of life and could be quite debilitating without professional treatment. The symptoms of PTSD typically fall into two main varieties and can vary in severity.

  • Intrusion – The sufferer of PTSD can have intrusive thoughts or dreams where they relive the tragic event repeatedly. Sometimes, these intrusive memories can be so intense that they relive the event in real-time.
  • Avoidance – A person with PTSD will do anything to avoid thinking about or doing anything closely related to the traumatic event. After a truck accident, they may have an irrational fear of driving or perhaps even fear leaving home.

How To Help an Accident Victim With PTSD

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help your loved one cope with the accident and their PTSD. While professional treatment is best, knowing how to handle their condition can be incredibly beneficial. It can help the victim move forward while also helping you maintain a healthy relationship with them. Here are a few suggestions as to how to approach this delicate situation.

Provide Support

It’s not uncommon for those with PTSD to withdraw and isolate from family and close friends. Some are ashamed of their condition, while others don’t want to be a burden. Respecting their boundaries is fine, but while doing so, let them know that you’re available to meet and provide them with whatever support they need.

Be patient and never pressure them to talk about the truck accident. Simply letting them know that you’re open to discussing it or not discussing it is fine. Allow them to set the tone and topic of conversations.

Lend Them a Sympathetic Ear

While not persuading them to talk about the incident or their PTSD, be willing to listen if and when they’re ready to discuss it. Listening without judgment is key, and patience is also needed as they may repeat themselves or express irrational thoughts. Respect their feelings even if you don’t agree with them. Listen to them attentively. There’s no need to offer advice. You are offering them a sympathetic ear, not judgment or criticism.

While listening, never do the following:

  • Tell them to be thankful it wasn’t worse
  • Invalidate or minimize the event or their feelings
  • Stop them from talking about their anxieties

Be Aware of Their Triggers

Triggers could be anything that instantly reminds them of the accident. They don’t necessarily have to be directly related to the event. They could be something as seemingly harmless as the song playing in their car when the accident occurred or perhaps the location of where they were driving. It’s important for both you and the PTSDer to know what these triggers are and to devise a plan for how to deal with them.

When triggered, a great plan is to have them do some grounding exercises. If you’re with them during a time of stress, you can participate with them. If not, ensure that they know what they can do to help calm down. Breathing exercises are a great way to calm the mind and body and can be done anywhere and don’t require any props.

Encourage Them To Seek Treatment

Unfortunately, your love and support most likely won’t be enough to help them combat the issues associated with PTSD. Timing is important when considering professional treatment, especially if they’ve been reluctant to seek help. Mention the benefits of treatment and how it will help them to reduce their anxiety and fears. Finding the right therapist is key, and it could take working with several of them before they find the right fit. However, professional PTSD counseling can provide miraculous results.

PTSD, Traumatic Truck Accidents, and What You Can Do Explained

A particularly frightening accident involving a big commercial vehicle can physically and emotionally scar a person. People with PTSD aren’t only those who’ve experienced military combat. Some working in high-risk jobs or who’ve survived a near-death experience during a harrowing truck accident can have all of the symptoms of PTSD without being anywhere near a war zone.

If you or a loved one has been gravely injured in a commercial truck accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They’ll fight to ensure all your damages, including any psychological trauma, are compensated.

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