If you have ever been around dogs, you know how unpredictable they can be. While some dogs demonstrate warning signs before they attack, others bite with virtually no notice. Depending on the extent of your injuries and other factors, a dog attack may leave you with catastrophic physical injuries.
Even though it can be tempting to focus on your physical health after a dog bite, you cannot ignore your mental and emotional well-being. After all, a dog attack can cause you to experience anxiety, depression or even a panic attack. You may also be vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder.
What is PTSD?
According to the National Institutes of Health, PTSD is a serious mental health disorder that stems from either going through or witnessing a stressful event. Therefore, even if you merely see a dog attacking a loved one, you may develop the disorder.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
It is normal to have an adverse reaction to a dog attack. Still, your anxiety should diminish with the passage of time. If it does not decrease or worsen, you may want to visit a mental health professional. He or she is likely to ask you whether you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Flashbacks to or nightmares about the attack
- Frightening thoughts about the attack or a sense of impending doom
- Mood changes
- Avoidance of dogs or places where dogs are likely to be
How do doctors treat PTSD?
If you have PTSD, your doctor may prescribe both medication and therapy. Nevertheless, your symptoms may never go away entirely. You may also have to spend a fortune on ongoing treatment. Ultimately, by pursuing compensation from the dog’s owner, you may have the financial means to pay for the care you need to thrive.