Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident

Cite this


This case study assignment will examine and provide a detailed analysis of the case study about Jane, a 54-year-old Black female, who became a victim of a terrifying car accident. The paper will provide such essential characteristics as the critical issues of the diagnostic case study, the suggested assessment, diagnostic impressions, and treatment recommendations. Jane’s problem is developing, and the patient is terrified, searching for qualified help and treatment.

Key Issues

After the car accident, Jane obtained rather serious but rehabilitated physical injuries. At the same time, the emotional consequences turned out to be more severe and challenging as the problems for her health and activities. This section will determine the main implications according to the exceptional gradation of biological, social, psychological, and spiritual issues.

Biological Issues

Biological affairs are connected with the body, genetic predispositions, and chemical processes in the brain. According to the case study, Jane suffers from complications with sleep. She reported that she is commonly awakened by nightmares connected with the car crash; moreover, it is hard for her to fall asleep in the evening. She also felt difficulties even on days without nightmares, struggling with anxiety and trouble.

Psychological Issues

Psychological concerns are connected with the mind’s activity and way of thinking. Jane pointed that she could not control the negative thoughts that dismissed her back to the crash. The memories are evocated in her mind multiple times a day and disturb her concentration. Jane puts forward her notifications and thoughts about people’s attitudes to her problems and the impact of that cause.

Social Issues

Social questions are influenced by communication with other people and participation in public social life. Jane is exceptionally terrified that all her relations with people will end because of her emotional trauma and disability to communicate with friends and colleagues right now. She also feels guilty because she stopped attending church.

Spiritual Issues

Spiritual issues in Jane’s case are primarily connected with the disconnection with God and the loss of her beliefs. She does not understand the crucial aim of this terrifying event that happened to her and cannot stand the idea that God let that happen to her. Jane feels extremely upset and disappointed because she clearly understands that she is losing everything essential to her.


According to the provided case information, it seems to be the manifestations of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. As for the assessment, I suggest the CAPS-5, one of the elaborated questionnaires, to identify the severity rate of PTSD symptoms during the time lapses (Segal, 2019). CAPS-5 is the perfect model for the research aims and it will help to analyze the stage of the condition and commonly provide the understanding of the following steps in treatment.

Diagnostic Impressions

In the case study, various signs and symptoms make it possible to provide some considerations and suggestions about the illness and health condition. The signs and symptoms are structured according to the suggested form, including the ICD-10 codes. In Jane’s case, some states should be noticed as prevailed, such as terrifying memories, panic attacks, the disorder of sleep, and mood changes.

Signs and Symptoms

DSM Letter DSM Criteria Client Report
A Nightmare disorder no physiological affects (# F51.5) Distressful dreams; anxiety after awakening; Nightmares about the car crash; can’t sleep after the nightmare till morning;
A Panic Disorder (# F41.0) Potential causes for panic attacks Short panic attacks while crash memories overwhelmed
A Post-traumatic Disorder (#F43.10) Stressing memories; prolonged distress; nightmare/dreams related to the event; flashbacks; Memories about the accident multiple times a day; nightmares about the car crash; panic attacks; the flashbacks and panic while being in the car;
A Specific Phobia, other (#F40.298) Life-limiting; immediate anxiety; The social disconnection: the disability to drive: the panic attacks; the desire to complicate conditions in case of avoiding the problematic place.

Other DSM Conditions Considered

Jane’s case illustrates the complexity of the problems caused by the sudden accident in an individual’s life. I also inspected the case of depression disorder, but currently, there are no particular evidence of depression, such as depressed mood all day, significant weight loss, fatigue and energy loss. Although Jane has such conditions as a feeling of being worthless and a diminished ability to concentrate, these conditions were suggested as signs of the post-traumatic disorder.

Consideration of Theories and Factors

The cause of PTSD can be any strong experience beyond the usual experience and causing extreme overstrain of all emotional-volitional spheres of the person. According to the classical theory, another event or circumstance that is neutral in itself, but somehow related to the traumatic stimulus-evidence, can serve as a conditioned-reflex stimulus. In our case study, this is any type of connection with the car driving for Jane.

There are also interesting studies of the physiological processes underlying emotionally intense behavioral reactions, many of which are included in the list of diagnostic criteria for PTSD. For example, according to psychiatrist Lawrence Kolb, any stimuli that are in any way associated with an extreme situation cause excessive concentrations of a certain hormone in the brain, which leads to an imbalance of excitation and inhibition reactions (Nemeroff & Marmar, 2018). In such cases, post-traumatic patients have a feverish pulse and a sudden jump in blood pressure, which are inadequate in intensity to the situation.

Multicultural or Social Justice Considerations

Jane’s accident is rather severe and rarely happens in people’s life. Jane’s upbringing and social features help her deal with this problem as a brave person and seek various solutions, including professional help. It is also horrible that social justice is still argumentative in the questions of mental health problems. She needs particular documents not to drive a car, but when it ends, she will face driving regardless if she can do it or not. Otherwise, she risks becoming unemployed.

Treatment Recommendations

Key Issues

In case of any serious mental health problems, the treatment demands a long and challenging process from the patient. It is preferable to consider cognitive behavioral therapy which focuses on changing the thought patterns and behaviors responsible for negative emotions. CBT is an effective treatment for PTSD (Zayfert & Becker,2019). With many medications, residual PTSD symptoms after treatment are the rule, not the exception.

Individual Counselling

Three main aspects on that point are nightmares, panic attacks, and the phobia of driving. According to nightmares, I would like to try image rehearsal therapy (Pagel,2020), while cognitive therapy will manage panic attacks and phobias. It is also necessary to test the complexity of individual sessions with the doctor and the group sessions to overcome the refusion of social activities and communications.

Specific Considerations

The triggering conditions are a severe point for Jane in her everyday life experience; that is why I believe that the CBT will work with the questions of triggers that cause anxiety and phobia. The key to successful treatment is a doctor-patient relationship based on trust, support, understanding, empathy, and respect. The treatment should comfort the patient; that is why in the case of Jane, it is essential to build a connection between her and the doctor because the case study shows her disconnection from society and her unwillingness to come out from her shell.


Nemeroff, C.B. & Marmar, C. (Eds.). (2018). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Oxford University Press.

Pagel, J. F. (2020). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Guide for Primary Care Clinicians and Therapists. Springer International Publishing.

Segal, D.L. (2019). Diagnostic Interviewing. Springer US.

Zayfert, C. & Becker, C.B. (2019). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD, A Case Formulation Approach (2nd ed.). Guilford Publications.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2023, January 23). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2023, January 23). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident.

Work Cited

"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident." PsychologyWriting, 23 Jan. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident'. 23 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident." January 23, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident." January 23, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After Car Accident." January 23, 2023.