PTSD caused by an Injury
An injury can cause PTSD. We usually think that PTSD is caused by a life-threatening event, war, natural disaster, or sexual assault. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines PTSD as a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. The experience of a severe or traumatic injury can start a number of different negative emotions in our minds. The impact on the life of the victim who has suffered this type of traumatic events, which may result in some cases with a disability, either a permanent disability or a partial disability, can initiate the symptoms of an emotional trauma. PTSD can also develop from injuries with deformities or severe permanent scars. Pain is part of the process of rehabilitation and recovery after an injury; it is an emotional response that is natural and common due to the traumatic event. Clinical symptoms of PTSD may also result from the chronic pain following an injury. Children and teenagers can also suffer from PTSD. In the very young, the signs and symptoms may not be the same as in adults. The very young can start to wet their beds, forget to or stop talking, become more needy or act out the scary event during play.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Having recurring flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts of the injury/event.
- Problems with concentration, confusion, and memory.
- To avoid thoughts or feelings related to the injury/event.
- To feel sad, numb, depressed or hopeless.
- Problems or difficulty sleeping.
- Feeling angry, anxiety, tense, fear, easily startled.
- Feeling of guilt, shame, denial.
- Loss of interest in activities, family or people you used to enjoy.
These symptoms can be explained as normal reactions to a severe injury or trauma. Everybody is different and these symptoms may take time to recover. If the symptoms persist for a longer time than the natural, let’s say more than 6 months, there is a high probability that professional help is required to resolve these symptoms.
Medical interventions can help control and/or minimize symptoms with medications. While a mental health professional, a specialist in the area can provide treatment using therapy techniques to process and alleviate emotional symptoms. A help focused on the emotional trauma provided as soon as possible will allow to accelerate the recovery of the physical injury.
Signs that You may need Professional Help for PTSD
- The recurring flashbacks, bad dreams, and frightening thoughts of the injury/event continue for more than 6 months.
- Feeling depressed or hopeless.
- Continue to avoid situations or places that remind you of the injury.
- Your work, your relationships are affected, your family continues to tell you that they are concern about you.
- Inability to initiate new relationships.
- To begin or to increase substance abuse, alcohol or prescription medications to treat your emotional pain.
Anyone who is sufferings from PTSD should seek a Mental Health Professional to alleviate their pain. The signs and symptoms that we described above will not resolve on their own. Everybody is a different person with different symptoms. A Mental Health Professional can provide individualize therapy to accommodate the specific issues of the person. Depending on the severity of the PTSD some people may only require therapy, others may require medical treatment and therapy sessions, and others may need a long term commitment to their treatment. A Mental Health Professional can help to minimize or eliminate the negative thoughts, memories, and sensations that linger and continue to affect your quality of life in a negative way. Time is very important in the treatment of PTSD, the earlier the treatment starts, the sooner you start resolving all the symptoms that are affecting your quality of life in a negative way and you will be able to have a faster and healthier recovery.
For more information contact Irene Rodriguez, LMHC, CAP, CCTP at 954-376-0496 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida or Dr. Caroline Rodríguez Mercado, M.A., PSY.D. at 787-690-0311 in Santurce, PR.