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Can a car accident trigger a panic attack?

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are a common occurrence on roadways in New York and across the country. Still, even though there are roughly 7.5 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year, you may never have had to deal with one. Put simply, you may not know how your brain is likely to react.

As the Mayo Clinic points out, a panic attack is a sudden episode of extreme fear that does not correspond to a real threat. While your panic attack may subside eventually, you must not let it prevent you from receiving the care you need after an accident.

Symptoms of a panic attack

Any stressful event can cause a panic attack. Because car accidents are inherently stressful, you should closely watch for the symptoms of a one. These may include one or more of the following:

  • An overwhelming sense of doom or despair
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Perspiration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Headache
  • Numbness throughout the body

Treatment for your panic attack

While you are unlikely to die from a panic attack, your overall health may be in danger if you have certain underlying conditions, such as heart disease. Regardless, if your panic attack is serious, you may need immediate medical treatment. Doctors often have a variety of options for ending panic attacks or helping patients cope with them.

The aftermath of your car accident

Even though you may want to withdraw during a panic attack, you must be certain you have not suffered a catastrophic physical injury in the crash. Because some injury symptoms may not show up immediately, is often critical to go to the emergency room and request a full medical evaluation.

Ultimately, if you have a serious panic attack or other injuries, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the responsible driver.