Do you have post-traumatic stress disorder after a work accident?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2017 | Workers' Compensation

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that many workers in Southern California suffer from. Some employees who work in particular fields, such as law enforcement, manufacturing and health care, may be more likely to experience PTSD. Workers can learn how to identify the signs of PTSD so they can better understand their workers’ compensation rights.

How post-traumatic stress develops

Workers can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when they witness or experience serious workplace accidents and situations that result in injuries and death. These issues can also develop from working in environments where there are high levels of stress. Not all people who witness and experience traumatic events and workplace accidents go on to develop the condition.

As time goes by, most people’s reactions to workplace trauma and stressors tend to diminish. Not all people respond in the same manner to stressors. Some workers may be able to process the traumatic events they see and experience with little to no residual concerns. Others may experience issues that interfere with their ability to act and function normally on the job and in other areas of their lives.

For example, an employee might witness a coworker accidentally cut off his finger while working on a piece of equipment. Although the witness was not the one who was physically affected by the situation, he or she may develop trouble sleeping and eating because the event is continuously playing out in memory. That person may become unable to set foot inside the workspace because there is too much emotional trauma from the ordeal.

The psychological effects of workplace stress

The psychological signs of post-traumatic stress disorder vary from person to person. However, the most common symptoms include anxiety, emotional detachment, inability to concentrate and focus, drastic changes in mood and behavior, anger, nightmares and flashbacks. Some people who suffer psychologically from this condition are able to manage it with treatment and regain the ability to work their jobs comfortably without any setbacks.

The physical effects of workplace stress

People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may also exhibit physical symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure and heart attacks. These symptoms may get better with time and professional treatment. However, they can negatively impact the body in other ways, magnifying their effects on the health and lives of victims.

When employees are experiencing what they believe are signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, they should file a report with the employer. Seeking out professional medical help can lead to treatment to help minimize the effects of the condition. Matters involving workers’ compensation and post-traumatic stress disorder are often complicated. If you are experiencing PTSD after a work accident, speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about to learn more about the available benefits.

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