Many frightening and distressing events can cause trauma, emotional upset, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Car accidents and truck accidents, by their very nature, can cause severe trauma that lasts for weeks or even months. Even after the physical personal injuries of a trucking accident have begun to feel, the emotional aftermath of the accident can remain.
Each patient reacts to the trauma of a truck accident differently. Some patients return to work and normal activities normally and with a little help from supportive friends quickly seem to recover. Other patients struggle more severely with the emotional effects of a truck accident. Although it can be difficult to pinpoint when trauma becomes a serious problem, there are some symptoms that should not be ignored after an accident:
1) Difficulty returning to work or home activities. A return to usual home and work responsibilities is usually a very healthy and positive sign. When it does not happen a few weeks or months after an accident, it may be time to seek professional counseling or help. Sometimes, this symptom is difficult to determine because a patient may devise many plausible-sounding reasons why he or she is not returning to normal activities.
2) Continued and severe depression, fear, and anxiety. It is normal to have intense feelings after a truck accident, but as the weeks go by, most people are able to return to an emotional equilibrium and a more calm emotional life. If this does not happen, it could be a sign of larger problems that need to be addressed. In some cases, extreme fears and anxiety manifest themselves in flashbacks or nightmares, which can be another symptoms of problems.
3) Relationship problems. A truck accident and the injuries it can cause can be isolating. It is possible that a patient will initially struggle with themselves as they adjust to life after the accident, and this struggle can place a strain on relationships. However, if a patient becomes emotionally numb and withdraws from others, this can be a sign of depression or other problems. Lack of close relationships and sudden relationship problems need to be addressed.
4) Avoidance. A patient who is avoiding more and more things after an accident may be having trouble coming to terms with the trauma of the accident and may need some help. Avoidance may come in many forms. It can include avoiding everyday activities such as driving, due to irrational fears. A patient with this symptom may also avoid social contact and may stay home alone much of the time.
5) Substance abuse. Use of alcohol or drugs is common in people who have sustained a severe trauma. The drugs and alcohol become a way to momentarily feel better but these substances can of course cause all sorts of secondary problems, including loss of relationships and jobs.