Symptoms of Psychological Injuries
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tom Metier with Metier Law Firm.
Physical injuries are not the only kind of injuries that deserve treatment when they are caused by another party’s negligence or intentional conduct. Psychological injuries can be extremely damaging, with emotional and physical symptoms that go on to affect a person on a long term or even permanent basis. The good news is that resources exist to help people work through the psychological injuries which are normal reactions to abnormal events; reach out to an experienced mental health professional to discuss your options for psychological recovery, and reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your options for financial recovery.
Any traumatic event can lead to psychological injuries that far outlast the physical.
When someone experiences or witnesses a particularly traumatic event, such as a catastrophic accident, disaster, act of violence, or abuse, there is a possibility that they may develop a psychological injury. In some cases, a psychological injury may coincide with a physical injury, or they may occur separately. A common example of psychological injury is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often developed by servicemembers after stressful combat situations, though it can occur in other situations as well. If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic event, it is important to be aware of the symptoms which may indicate a psychological injury.
Symptoms of psychological injuries may include the following:
- Seemingly unfounded anger or irritability
- Mood swings
- Denial or disbelief
- Withdrawing from family and social relationships
- Mentally reliving the incident (i.e. flashbacks)
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of numbness
- Constant fatigue
- Becoming easily startled or agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hyper-focus on mortality or death
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Muscle tension
- Exhibiting infantile behavior, if the trauma was experienced by a child
- Playacting the traumatic incident, if the trauma was experienced by a child
Proving a psychological injury can be challenging.
When seeking compensation for psychiatric damages from the responsible party, it is necessary to prove the existence of the psychological injury. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Unlike physical injuries, there are no bruises or medical records to confirm the legitimacy of the injury. Instead, your attorney will likely bring expert psychiatric resources into the case, as well as relying on testimonies of the people closest to you who have witnessed the symptoms of the psychological injury firsthand.
It is important to seek help from a trained mental health professional as soon as possible.
Many of the symptoms of psychological injuries can worsen with time and exacerbate a person’s emotional suffering. This is why it is important to prioritize meeting with a mental health professional such as a counselor, therapist, or psychologist to talk about your experience and learn about potential coping mechanisms to help in your recovery. It is not uncommon for psychological injuries to far outlast physical injuries, clarifying the need for psychological injuries to be treated with the same care and understanding as those that are more visible.
To learn more about psychological injuries and your options for emotional and financial recovery after a trauma, reach out to a personal injury attorney.