How long can stress disorders last?

Even when physical ailments heal after a car accident, doctors have found that those who have been in accidents could deal with stress and anxiety disorders after the incident. These are often referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. What is interesting about PTSD is that the symptoms may end up lasting for a long time—think in terms of years, not months—and they can become chronic.

For example, one man was injured in a wreck when he was just 22 years old and his van hit a bridge. He was in terrible pain and was trapped in the vehicle. It took workers 45 minutes to get to the scene and another 30 minutes to get him out of the car. For the hour and 15 minutes that he was stuck, he could smell gas—which no doubt made him worry that the vehicle would catch on fire before he could get out.

While in the van, he felt disconnected from everything happening around him, he lost control of his bowels, and he was only partially conscious.

At the end of the day, he had a broken jaw, a compound fracture in his leg, and a broken hip. Those injuries healed, but he showed up at the doctor a dozen years later. He had headaches, he worried constantly, he had insomnia, and he was dealing with gastrointestinal discomfort. He said it was often hard for him to concentrate while driving.

The doctor eventually determined that his physical issues were caused by psychological issues, all linking back to that accident.

This case shows why it's so important to know what rights you have to compensation for all issues after a wreck in Nevada, not just physical ailments.

Source: AAFP, "Post-traumatic Stress Reactions Following Motor Vehicle Accidents," DENNIS J. BUTLER, accessed March 25, 2016

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