Why Is PTSD Affecting My Job?

man stressed at work

Recovering from a car accident isn’t just about healing from physical injuries. In the wake of a traumatic crash or the death of a loved one, people are listless, depressed, or have a hard time focusing. In a perfect world, they’d be afforded all the time they need to recover emotionally and psychologically.

But this is not a perfect world.

People with PTSD often have a hard time holding down a job. Perhaps there are triggers all over the office, or maybe their brains associate work with the accident. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of work being too mentally demanding for an injured brain. Accident survivors may be suffering from the stresses of financial uncertainty long after the incident, which is its own form of trauma. That’s why it’s vital for accident victims to get all of the resources they need to recover—not just medical bills. Read below to learn how PTSD negatively affects your work life in specific ways.

If you need practical, concrete ways to deal with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, read "9 Ways to Deal with the Daily Effects of PTSD" today.

Impact on Mental Capacity

Typically, someone dealing with PTSD will encounter three different symptoms that sap their mental capacity.

These include the following:

  • Reliving the traumatic events in their heads.
  • Displaying avoidance tendencies, which manifests as dissociation or disconnecting from everyday life.
  • Displaying arousal tendencies in order to heighten their awareness and/or vigilance to avoid triggers—it is natural for the body to respond with anxiety if they are having intrusive thoughts or feelings about the event happening again.
  • Reliving the incident may be triggered by a loud crashing noise or a horn that sounds like a vehicle honking. Noises that the brain associated with the original trauma are typically where triggers are formed.

How PTSD Affects Physical Capabilities

For some, PTSD could cause a person to freeze up from anxiety, almost as if they are frozen in time. This is similar to dissociation, in which the individual feels out of their own body—in essence forcing them to stop conversing or even moving during the moment of fear.

Typically, the effects of PTSD are primarily mental; however, there are physical symptoms that can arise from post-traumatic stress. For instance, when someone is dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, they may experience dizziness, headaches, or even fainting. Although there is no research that proves PTSD is linked to poor physical health, cases show that those who report PTSD symptoms are more likely to have a greater number of physical health issues than those who don’t.

Here’s what we mean:

Say you were injured as a result of a crash where another driver ran a red light. The moment prior to the crash, all you heard was a horn, felt a loud collision, and saw glass flying around you. While trying to work months later, someone near you drops a piece of glass. You hear the bang and the shatter, bringing memories of the crash back. In that moment, the anxiety could cause a survivor to stand still in a daze.

In jobs that require consistent focus (especially jobs that are physically demanding or risky), PTSD might prevent a person from making a living.

Some examples of problems associated with the workplace for those who have PTSD are:

  • Memory problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty retaining information
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Unreasonable reactions when triggered
  • Feeling of fear or anxiety

Unfortunately, going back to work may be a path to normalcy for many accident victims, but it’s not always a possibility. There are many instances where a victim of an accident simply can’t overcome the symptoms of PTSD in order to work. It’s not impossible, though, and healing will take time, but it is something that you can do with the right help and support.

HHR helps accident victims get back on their feet. Give us a call to learn what you'll need to put your life back together.

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