Workplace accidents can leave lasting impacts on individuals beyond physical injuries. While immediate medical attention often addresses visible wounds, it is important to acknowledge the psychological aftermath.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD, is a condition that can show up after an accident at work. Recognizing the signs of PTSD is important for getting timely support.
Extreme emotional changes
One common indicator of PTSD following a workplace accident is a notable shift in emotional well-being. People may experience intense feelings of fear, sadness or anger that persist long after the incident. These emotional changes may hinder their ability to cope with stressors and affect their job performance.
PTSD often leads to intrusive memories. These are where the individual repeatedly relives the traumatic event.
Individuals may find themselves haunted by vivid flashbacks or nightmares related to the accident. These memories can disrupt daily activities, making it challenging for them to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Hyperarousal is another sign of PTSD that includes heightened states of alertness or agitation. Individuals may have difficulty sleeping or struggle with concentration.
Those suffering from PTSD may engage in avoidance behaviors as a coping mechanism. This could involve avoiding discussions about the accident, steering clear of specific work-related activities or distancing themselves from colleagues.
PTSD often leads to social withdrawal, as people may struggle to connect with others due to feelings of guilt or anxiety. Those around them may notice signs of the individual’s social isolation. These could include a decline in communication or a noticeable decrease in interpersonal relationships.
Experts estimated that 13 million Americans struggled with PTSD in 2020. By understanding the changes associated with PTSD, loved ones can foster a supportive environment.