The first thing we look for after being caught up in a traumatic event is to our physical well being. The pain, the bruising, the inability to move and think – those physiological injuries jump out and demand our attention right away. What is not so easy to recognize for you or your doctors is the psychological damage done by that trauma. Things start to happen that you don’t understand or try to just ignore – you cannot sleep, you have nightmares, you feel helpless or depressed, you cannot get yourself to drive in the area of the collision or walk where you fell or were hit, you react violently to the slightest surprising sound or close call… These are some of the signs of a hidden psychological injury – post traumatic stress disorder- an injury in need of care and treatment just as are your physical injuries. To get started learning more about what it is and how to get help see the National Center for PTSD at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp.
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