Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Car Accidents Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Survivors of car crashes often suffer from a post-traumatic fear of driving, generalized anxiety and depression. Unremitting pains are also common. As part of a pilot study 30 referred subjects were exposed to imagery of driving and accidents. Seventy-seven percent were phobic of driving. Fifty-three percent responded with increased anxiety to the imagery. Twelve treatment referrals received exposure therapy and six improved markedly. An additional four improved when a Benzodiazepine was added temporarily. Four out of eight subjects lost their unremitting pains along with their fears. When guided imagery evoked intense anxiety this seemed to predict a favourable outcome. A resumption of pleasure trips was a reliable criterion of recovery. The frequency of phobic symptomatology and it's importance to the understanding and management of post-traumatic anxiety states is discussed.

publication date

  • October 1985