Thursday, April 26, 2007

PTSD after car crash

I just moved from one office to another in my building and ran across an article that was brought to my attention a while ago, but I never got around to writing about it.

Many of us are aware of the potential for death and injury in motor vehicle crashes (we had quite the confluence of them locally last week end):
“…traffic injury remains the leading health threat to children in the United States. In 1996, 938,000 children under 21 years of age were injured as passengers in cars, 39,000 pedestrians and 33,000 bicyclists.”

What isn’t often noted, looked at or realized is the psychic trauma that accompanies being in a crash, even if you are minimally injured. The study the article referred to found that after involvement in a motor vehicular crash, even with minimal injury:
“25 percent of these children and 15 percent of their parents suffered PTSD”

The lack of recognition of this problem leads to those folks not seeking or receiving care and treatment for their symptoms and problems. Only a minority of these folks even talked their symptoms over with others, so they were getting no support through their difficulties. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can lead to long term difficulties and even suicide, so it should not be ignored. It needs to be made clear to folks that these psychic injuries are no less real than the physical ones, and no less worthy of treatment than the physical ones (both can lead to chronic problems).

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