The Post-Crash Anxiety Screen is a battery of evidence-based screens that looks for symptoms related to Acute Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder consistent with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V. It is an on-line screen that can be completed anywhere there is internet access.
It takes about 15 minutes to complete.
It identifies the level of post-crash anxiety and stress-related symptoms that help to determine the risk of developing a chronic disorder e.g PTSD.
Symptoms can be both physical (trembling, sweating, accelerated pulse, dizziness) and psychological (anxiety, panic attacks). Stress-related symptoms can include sleep disturbances and reliving the stressful event. Sometimes symptoms are experienced immediately following the crash, and for some they appear days, weeks or even months later. Anxiety and stress-related symptoms that persist over a long period are considered chronic e.g. PTSD.
The most common cause of driver anxiety is traffic crashes. Being in a bad road accident (or even just seeing one) can be the trigger for anxiety. 25% - 33% of people involved in a crash that resulted in a referral to a hospital experience fear of driving ( Beck JG, Coffey SF (December 2007). "Assessment and treatment of PTSD after a motor vehicle collision: Empirical findings and clinical observations". Prof Psychol Res Pr. 38 (6): 629–639. PMC 2396820. PMID 18509507). Some people find that there is no particular trigger involved; it may just be anxiety focusing on a regular activity as part of a generally rising anxiety state.
It is normal to feel afraid during and after a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle crash. Many people experience a range of reactions after a serious motor vehicle crash, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who experience problems may be diagnosed with acute anxiety or PTSD. They may feel anxiety or fear even when they are not in danger.
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as adults. In very young children (less than 6 years of age), these symptoms can include:
Older children and teens are more likely to show symptoms similar to those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.
For additional information, visit the Learn More section where the NIMH offers free print materials in English and Spanish. These can be read online, downloaded, or delivered to you in the mail.
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your doctor.
To help yourself while in treatment:
Seeking support and caring for yourself are important throughout your treatment and recovery ..
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