After a traumatic event — such as sexual abuse or a car accident — you may undergo physical and emotional pain. Accidents are terrifying events and you may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. According to Mayo Clinic, people may go through traumatic experiences return to normal after an adjustment period.
However, those with PTSD have symptoms that worsen over time and can last for months or years, interfering with a person’s ability to function.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
One of the main symptoms of PTSD may be intrusive memories. You may have recurrent memories of the event or upsetting dreams that make it difficult to sleep. When reminded of your accident, you may become severely upset or have a strong physical reaction.
Some victims undergo negative changes to their moods and thinking. You may have difficulty thinking positively and may feel hopeless about your future. With the mood change, you may have trouble maintaining relationships or engaging in the activities you enjoyed before.
For people living with PTSD, common issues include being on guard at all times or becoming irritable or aggressive above your normal moods.
How can symptoms vary?
Your symptoms of PTSD may not remain the same throughout time. They can become intense or fade and return at a later time. PTSD symptoms may worsen during times of unrelated stress or you may experience symptoms when faced with a reminder of the accident. For example, driving on a particular street or the sound of a collision may bring back memories of your accident.
Disturbing thoughts that last for over a month may require medical intervention and therapy.