A traumatic workplace accident can have lasting effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD results from a catastrophic event such as a physical attack, a violent accident or the loss of a loved one. Post-traumatic stress disorder leaves people desperate, depressed and fearful that they may never get their lives in order.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates are experienced in handling PTSD. If you or a loved one has been involved in a life-threatening situation at work that resulted in PTSD, you should call us today to ensure you receive the Workers’ Compensation you are entitled to.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychological condition, classified as an anxiety disorder. PTSD is most often associated with veterans’ who have returned home from war. PTSD has existed for many decades and was originally termed ‘shell shock’. The truth is that anyone can suffer from PTSD as it develops after a person has experienced a traumatic event, such as a serious accident, serious injury, extreme violence or an explosion. PTSD develops after the event occurs, sometimes within weeks, but occasionally months or years later. Strong emotions caused by the traumatic experience create changes in the brain that cause PTSD to develop. PTSD is a disorder characterized by four categories of symptoms which are outlined below. Each of these symptoms can cause great distress to the individual, disrupting his or her personal and professional life. If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, animal attack or workplace accident, and think you may have PTSD as a result, you should contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney handling PTSD claims.
While symptoms vary among individuals, and can manifest in different ways, the four main types of PTSD symptoms are:
Re-experiencing the event. When bad memories of a traumatic event continue to haunt someone, this can be considered a symptom of PTSD. Whether the person is awake, and experiences a flashback, or is asleep and has a nightmare, the individual feels like he or she is going through the event again. He or she suffers the same fear and suffering as during the original trauma. Sometimes the person may have a flashback for no reason, but sometimes a “trigger” can cause the experience. For PTSD victims, a trigger could be caused by witnessing a similar event in person or even on television, or hearing a loud or sudden noise that catches him or her off guard.
Avoidance behavior. Another symptom of PTSD involves the individual avoiding people and places that somehow remind him or her of the original trauma. For a victim of an offshore accident, this may include anything from refusing to go near the water to avoiding TV shows or newscasts that discuss accidents at sea. He or she may also choose not to associate with former coworkers if the trauma occurred on the job.
Feeling numb. Victims suffering from PTSD experience changes in the way they express their emotions. Activities that they once loved taking part in may now hold no interest; they may treat loved ones, even spouses or children, as though they were strangers. PTSD sufferers may also be unable to talk about, or even remember, details of the traumatic events they experienced.
Hyper-vigilance. Hyper-vigilance can be defined as being extremely on edge. It is also commonly referred to as hyper-arousal. Individuals experiencing this symptom may suddenly become angry, for no apparent reason. If experiencing hyper-arousal, a person might feel jittery, and have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. He or she might also react with disproportionate fright if taken by surprise.
While these four categories of symptoms are most typical of PTSD victims, other forms of behavior are also common in individuals suffering from the disorder. Due to the strong emotions overtaking them, PTSD victims often turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with their feelings. Typically, victims may have trouble keeping or finding a job, as their behavior makes them difficult to employ. Post-traumatic stress disorder victims may also experience problems with their relationships, even going through traumatic severances like divorce, because of their inability to connect with others emotionally.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a potentially disabling mental disorder, which can be brought on by any type of accident or traumatic event. Individuals who suffer from PTSD can experience relief from their symptoms, even making a full recovery, but only with the proper treatment. Physicians who specialize in treating PTSD victims frequently recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Certain medications, like Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may also help PTSD victims cope with their symptoms and achieve recovery.
Dealing with a traumatic situation related to work may seem overwhelming. Count on Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at E.S. Borjeson & Associates to handle your claim and provide peace of mind. We offer a no-risk, free consultation. Contact us online or call our Center City, Philadelphia law office to schedule an appointment. We can help.