Treating PTSD Following a Car Accident with Clinical Psychology

PTSD is a common condition that victims stand to suffer following a car accident. Because of this, you may require more than just treatment for the injuries you have sustained. In some cases, you may experience a condition known as post traumatic stress disorder in the wake of an accident. PTSD is not an injury that can be seen by the visual eye. This can make it challenging for many to understand. If you are noticing signs that you may need assistance, it’s important that you consider obtaining mental health services from a clinical psychologist. 

What is clinical psychology?

Clinical psychology is a form of psychology that is used to assess, diagnose and treat mental illness and other psychiatric problems. Clinical psychologists generally practice in specialized areas, meaning, it’s important to work with a psychologist who has experience in treating PTSD. Clinical psychologists treat conditions such as: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar
  • Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • +More

Working with a clinical psychologist may be key in that they can assist you by implementing a treatment plan and monitoring your progress. 

What is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that a person who has either experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may stand to face. Unfortunately, those who suffer from PTSD may experience symptoms for years following a traumatic event. There are a variety of traumatic events that may result in PTSD including:

  • Natural Disaster
  • War
  • Sexual Assault
  • Car Accidents 

What are common symptoms caused by PTSD? 

Generally symptoms for PTSD fall within four categories: 

  1. Intrusive Thoughts
  2. Avoidance
  3. Changes in Mood
  4. Changes in Physical/Emotional Response

The severity of PTSD can vary. However, if you find that you are having any of the following symptoms, it may be in your best interest to seek help from a clinical psychologist as soon as possible: 

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Panic Attacks
  • Avoidance 
  • Isolation
  • Irrational Behavior
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Suicidal Ideation

How long will it take before I notice an improvement from my PTSD symptoms?

Immediately following a car accident, you may not notice symptoms of PTSD at first. In some cases, it can take up to a month before PTSD begins to present itself. However, it’s important to note that in some cases it may take longer. There are a variety of ways that you can help to maximize your treatment. Having a strong support network of family and friends, in addition to seeking regular care from a clinical psychologist can provide you with the best opportunity at better symptom management. Therapy sessions may occur over the course of 6-12 weeks but, it’s important to be aware that some may require a longer period for recovery. 

Once your wounds have healed, you may still be left to contend with the psychological impact that the accident you were in has had on you. Clinical psychology can provide treatment following a car accident to help you better manage symptoms associated with PTSD. For more information on how to get started, contact an experienced trauma therapist in Palatine, IL to schedule your first appointment. 

Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into counseling and PTSD after a car accident.