You get in a car accident, and you’re badly injured. In fact, you lose consciousness at the scene and have to be rescued by emergency crews, who use the Jaws of Life to cut into the car and get you out.
In the end, your physical injuries do heal. It takes time, it’s painful, it’s difficult and it is certainly expensive, but you do heal.
Even so, you feel like you can’t bring yourself to get into the car again. At first, you think it’s just nerves. You decide to wait a month to drive again. But it’s no better. You really cannot work through the emotional trauma and you feel that you’ve lost your ability to drive — even though, from a physical standpoint, you should be able to do it. What’s happening here?
PTSD and avoidant behavior after a car wreck
The fact is that avoidance behavior is one of the main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When you go through something that leaves such a mark on you, your mind’s first reaction is to keep you from harm by avoiding similar situations.
While the goal of this reaction is good — to prevent further injury — it can be debilitating. If you cannot drive, can you still work? Do you feel just as anxious riding in someone else’s car? How does this change both your personal and professional life?
Don’t tell yourself that it’s all in your head. PTSD is a very real condition that doctors learn more about every year. If it has changed your life forever, make sure you know all of the legal steps you can take to assert your right to compensation.