An attack by a dog can be a frightening and stressful experience for anyone to endure. It does not just inflict serious physical trauma on the person who was attacked, it can leave emotional and psychological scars as well. It does not matter whether the individual loved dogs before the incident or if they always harbored a fear of them, the trauma caused by an attack can be a heavy burden to bear. However, that burden does not have to be borne alone.
A personal injury attorney can get you the justice and the compensation you deserve after being attacked by a dog. The owner of the animal must be held accountable for failing to contain or restrain their pet and allowing it to injure someone, and a personal injury attorney will do just that. A personal injury lawyer will do their best to make sure that the victim receives the compensation they need to take care of the economic fallout of the attack like, medical bills and lost wages. They will also make certain that victims seeking compensation for their pain and suffering are accounted for as well.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Explained
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that can affect anyone and as the name indicates, it happens after someone experiences, or even just witnesses a traumatic event. Most people will experience some stress and anxiety after a traumatic event but they will eventually be able to return to normal with the proper treatment. However, people who develop PTSD may have more serious problems than those who manage to recover from the event. Those with PTSD may have intense nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic event, and they may be unable to stop constantly thinking about the event.
When those problems get worse and start to affect their daily life, then there is a good chance that they might have PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD may not manifest immediately after the event, sometimes they can take days, weeks, or even years to show up, but when they do emerge, they tend to have a deleterious effect on a person’s work life, social life, and personal relationships. The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into four different types and they are as follows:
- Intrusive Memories – These can include flashbacks to the traumatic event where the traumatized person feels like they are reliving the event. The person may also have recurring memories and nightmares about the event and may experience physical and mental distress when something triggers their memory of the event.
- Avoidance – The person will go out of their way to avoid anything that reminds them of the event as well as the location where the event took place. They will also try to avoid talking about the event and may lash out at people who try to get them to do so.
- Negative Mood Changes – These can include emotional numbness, which means that the afflicted person has trouble feeling much of anything. When they do feel any emotions, they tend to be negative, such as a feeling of hopelessness or dark thoughts about other people and the world in general. That can instill a feeling of detachment that makes personal relationships with friends and family difficult to maintain.
- Arousal Symptoms – These symptoms are about a person’s emotional and physical reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. They may become easily startled or frightened, which means that they are in a constant state of alertness all the time. That can result in them having trouble sleeping and concentrating, which can lead to self-destructive and hostile behaviour.
All of these symptoms can vary from person to person and can intensify over time; they might start out as relatively mild but eventually become overwhelming. For people who experience PTSD because of a dog attack, the symptoms can be particularly bad because they are likely to have physical scars that constantly remind them of the attack. Plus there is the simple fact that dogs are everywhere so they could easily become triggered when they least expect it.
How To Treat PTSD
PTSD is mainly a mental and emotional problem, but it can have some physical effects as well. That is why anyone who is experiencing symptoms of PTSD should contact a physician and a mental health professional to get the help they need. PTSD may also lead to self-destructive behaviour like drug or alcohol addiction and suicidal ideation. If a person is exhibiting that kind of behaviour, then they should seek the help of experts in those fields as well.
People suffering from PTSD should also reach out to their close friends and family because they have every interest in helping them to get better. If the person suffering from PTSD has strong religious beliefs, then they can speak to a spiritual leader of their faith. Mental and emotional trauma should be treated similarly to physical trauma; that means if someone suffers a serious injury, they will seek the help of a professional rather than attempting to treat it themselves. The same goes for emotional and mental trauma, the person afflicted needs to get the help of professionals rather than suffering in silence or attempting to self medicate.
An Attorney Can Help You With PTSD After a Dog Attack
A personal injury attorney cannot heal your physical or mental wounds in the aftermath of a dog attack but they can help you to get the compensation you need so that you can get the help of those who can. Treatment for PTSD requires the help of experts in the field of mental health and you should seek their help as soon as you can if you start to experience any of the symptoms of PTSD.
Since a dog attack is an act of negligence on the part of the animal’s owner, you are entitled to get the compensation you need to cover the costs of your mental and physical recovery. You should absolutely take advantage of that entitlement because PTSD can cause emotional scars that are even deeper than the physical ones.