Patient’s Guide to PTSD
May 21, 2019
Although many people associate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with soldiers, it can actually affect anyone who experiences a traumatic event including children, those diagnosed with serious illnesses, and workers. Firefighters, police officers, and first responders are most at risk of suffering from work-related PTSD, however workers in almost any industry may develop the disorder.
It is important for workers to be aware of the symptoms and causes of PTSD so that they may seek treatment and compensation as soon as possible. Those who have mental stress injuries such as work-related PTSD may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Symptoms of PTSD
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines PTSD as a serious mental health condition affecting those who experience a shocking, scary or dangerous event. When that event happens at work, it may be compensable under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers who believe they may be suffering from PTSD should seek treatment and legal advice as soon as possible.
According to the chief patient officer (CPO) at Pfizer, PTSD symptoms may be separated into four categories, each related to a different phase of mental processing. During the first phase, patients tend to re-experience the trauma through memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts. The second group of symptoms include changes in behavior such as avoidance of certain places or topics, and feelings of emotional numbness.
The third phase is categorized by anxiety/panic attacks, a heightened state of arousal, insomnia, emotional outbursts, and self-destructive behavior. The fourth and final group of symptoms include changes in a patient’s mood and thinking. Those going through this phase may experience mood swings, angry outbursts, depression, and detachment.
Causes of PTSD
PTSD may either be caused by a single trauma or a series of ongoing traumatic events. Everyone is different; therefore, the extent to which a traumatic event or series of events will affect a person varies. Some people may not experience any symptoms after a traumatic event whereas others may develop PTSD.
Women, smokers, and those with another mental disorder such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia may be more likely to develop PTSD. However, according to the Pfizer CPO, approximately 7 or 8 people out of every 100 in the U.S. will have PTSD at some point during their lives.
Treatment for PTSD
The sooner patients seek treatment for PTSD, the better. Early intervention has been linked to decreased risk of developing PTSD. Treatment options include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). These treatments may be covered by workers’ compensation. However, laws on this issue vary by state, therefore workers should contact a local attorney regarding this type of claim.
Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Obtain Benefits for PTSD
Pennsylvania workers who develop post-traumatic stress disorder due to a workplace physical or psychological stimulus may be eligible for benefits under state workers’ compensation laws. Contact a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to discuss your case. Our skilled attorneys are experienced in handling these complex cases and can help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled. We proudly represent workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
We have several office locations to represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.