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Why Do Some People Get PTSD and Others Not?

DALLAS, Texas. At the Law Offices of Robert Gregg our personal injury attorneys in Dallas, Texas see a range of car accident and injury cases, many involving physical injury, but some involving psychological injuries, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can be debilitating, impacting a person’s ability to work, enjoy life, sleep, and concentrate on tasks. Yet, not every person who has been in a car accident or who has suffered a traumatic event goes on to develop PTSD. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, anywhere from seven to eight out of every 100 people who experience a traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD. While some kinds of sudden and unexpected trauma can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD, it can sometimes be difficult to predict who will go on to develop PTSD. Some populations seem to be more likely to develop the condition. For example, women are more likely to develop PTSD over men.

What are the symptoms of PTSD? Individuals must experience at least one symptom of re-experiencing the trauma in a given month, must experience avoidant symptoms in a month-long period, have at least two cases of reactivity or heightened arousal in a given month, and must experience at least two incidents of mood changes or cognitive changes in a given month. According to the NIMH, re-experiencing symptoms include: flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts. Avoidance symptoms include avoiding events that remind you of the trauma, like driving a car or avoiding certain highways after a car crash. Reactivity symptoms include difficulty sleeping, feeling on edge, or being easily startled. Mood symptoms can include depression, problems with memories, distorted feelings of guilt or blame, or a loss of interest in regular life activities.

These symptoms combined can be debilitating. But why do some people go on to develop PTSD and others do not? According to the psychologist writing for the New York Times, resilience against developing PTSD may have to do with how strong your brain connections are in a part of the brain related to self-control. Researchers found that individuals with stronger connections in this area were less likely to experience physiological reactions to stressful events. While some people might naturally have these connections, it is possible to grow these connections by mindfulness training, and by controlling where you direct your attention when facing stressful or negative life events. However, patients who do best might be more likely to receive better quality rehabilitative treatment. This treatment can sometimes be costly and may not always be covered by insurance.

So, what can you do if you are suffering from PTSD after a car accident and are struggling to receive the medical care you need? Consider speaking to the Law Offices of Robert Gregg, a personal injury lawyer in Dallas, Texas. Our firm may be able to help you seek damages to cover your medical care and rehabilitation expenses. You may only have a limited amount of time to seek the recovery you may deserve, so contact us today to learn more.