Symptoms Post Traumatic Stress: UK solicitor sets out the symptoms you must experience to allow a compensation claim for PTSD in the UK
If you are experience a serious accident, such as a road traffic accident or work accident and have faced a situation involving an actual belief of death or threat of death and serious injury and an intense fear and helplessness it is possible that you could suffer symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder / PTSD.
To claim compensation for a psychological condition, such as PTSD, your solicitor must instruct an independent medical expert to examine you and verify you as experiencing unmistakable symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
What are the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder?
There are three groups of symptoms you might experience from post traumatic stress, which include:
1. Symptoms which cause you to re-live the accident events
Accident event re-experience post traumatic stress symptoms can include: repeat recollections about the accident; recurring nightmares or distressing dreams re-enacting the accident; increased stress when exposed to reminders that resemble the trauma events; physical reactions to reminders that resemble or symbolise the trauma; feelings as though the experience is being relived.
2. Avoidance symptoms
Avoidance symptoms of post traumatic stress include some sort of emotional avoidance following the accident event which might be: avoidance of conversations or thoughts relating to the accident; avoiding places or people or activities which remind you of the accident; a lack of ability to remember certain parts of the trauma which you experienced at the time of the accident; a reduced interest or ability to participate in previous hobbies; a distancing or lack of contact with friends and family; an inability to express emotion which might include regular depressed and low moods; an inability to consider the future which might present itself by you living day to day or a worry about the future.
3. Involuntary or subconscious reactivity
Increased subconscious involuntary reactivity will include: irritability or out bursts of anger which were not present prior to your accident; difficulties in concentrating for long periods; problems with sleeping including falling asleep or staying asleep; jumpiness especially following unexpected events; exaggerated behavioural reactions to any threats you might perceive causing you undue anxiety.
What are the duration of symptoms necessary for you to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder?
For it to be possible for you to be diagnosed with PTSD you must have suffered symptoms (as described earlier) for at least one month – this is to demonstrate the severity of the condition of PTSD, which must start to affect your life.
More serious symptoms, or chronic post traumatic stress, will last for at least 3 months following the accident event.
How long can symptoms of PTSD last?
Studies show that certain individuals will recover from the symptoms from PTSD within a month following an accident, others will recover within three months- but if symptoms persist over two years it is likely that the post traumatic stress disorder will be permanent until treatment is received.
The treatment that is necessarily can be reasonably short and can include eight to ten session of various different types of therapy, including trauma focussed cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT.
How is the severity of PTSD symptoms measured?
PTSD causes a significant effect on your ability to function normally which can include your ability to take part in occupational activities, social activities, enjoyment of your hobbies.
The classification of the severity of your post traumatic stress disorder symptoms will depend upon the extent of how your life has been affected, for example:
1. Severe symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder
The worst symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder will prevent you from being able to take part in major areas of your life which you were previously able to enjoy prior to the accident. In less extreme examples it will not be possible to function in a limited manner, but still this will cause you a considerable amount of stress and require a large amount of effort
2. Mild to moderate symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder should not be underestimates but in the mildest of cases your PTSD will cause a minimal amount of distress and will not affect your ability to enjoy your life as you did prior to the accident. In moderate examples of post traumatic stress disorder you will feel distress and notice that you must put a certain amount of effort to enjoy activities that you enjoyed previous to your accident.
Do you need the help of a solicitor if you are suffering from PTSD?
”Yes,” making a claim for compensation when you have suffered an accident and are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress is highly complicated – not least by the fact that GP’s and other doctors often wrongly diagnose the condition and recommend the incorrect treatment.
The correct medial expert must be selected – which will typically be a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who understands the tests necessary to prove PTSD.
Specialist Solicitor Free Online Help
Should you suspect you are suffering symptoms of post traumatic stress following an accident – you may wish to ask a few questions, have your potential claim assessed or wish to just speak to a solicitor before committing yourself to making a claim.
We offer a number of specialist solicitor free online / telephone help options – select the one that is most suitable for you.