Your life changed in an instant. You were driving your car when you were hit by a semi-truck. There was no warning, just loud noise and pain. You couldn’t prepare. Truck crashes can cause serious physical injuries, and they also cause just as serious mental/emotional injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is not uncommon for trucking accident victims to suffer from PTSD in the months following the crash. A truck accident is an unexpected trauma, and it is a lot for the mind to handle. PTSD occurs as the brain copes with the reality of the accident.
PTSD is a normal reaction to a traumatic event, but it’s hard to live a normal life while suffering from the effects of PTSD. Treatment will help you to deal with the accident and regain control of your life. If you suspect you have PTSD, you should see your doctor and get a diagnosis.
Treatment for PTSD often includes both medication and psychotherapy. The combination of treatments will improve your symptoms while you learn the skills you need to cope with the role the truck accident has played in your life.
There are several types of medications that are used to treat PTSD:
- Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed class of PTSD medications. SSRIs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and panic. They can also help with sleep and aggression.
- Antipsychotic drugs: Patients with PTSD may be prescribed a short course of antipsychotics, such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Risperdal. Antipsychotic drugs relieve severe anxiety symptoms, such as hypervigilance, flashbacks, agitation, and paranoia.
- Anti-anxiety medications: Benzodiazepines like Klonopin, Xanax and Valium can be used to treat anxiety and stress. These medications are usually prescribed for short periods of time or for use only during acute anxiety or panic attacks.
- Mood stabilizers: Lamictal, Gabitril and Depakote are mood stabilizers that are sometimes prescribed to treat PTSD.
- Prazosin: Prazosin is a blood pressure medicine that is also used to treat insomnia and recurrent nightmares from PTSD.
There a several psychotherapy options for truck accident victims with PTSD. Doctors may recommend one or more types of therapy. Some of the types of therapy used to treat PTSD include:
- Cognitive therapy: Cognitive therapy is a type of talk therapy that helps PTSD victims recognize patterns of thinking that are contributing to their symptoms.
- Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy helps you face your fears by exposing you to the situation that caused the PTSD through "virtual reality" programs.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR combines exposure therapy and guided eye movements that try and help the Atlanta truck accident victim process his traumatic memories.
Your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you. Many people with PTSD see an improvement within a few weeks. Let your doctor know if you experience any negative side effects or a worsening of your symptoms. It can take a few tries to find the best treatment option.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, your insurance claim will cover the cost of PTSD treatment. To learn more about your rights or about compensation, please contact Kaufman Law. Call us today to schedule an appointment with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.