Did Your Auto Accident in North Carolina Traumatize and Change the Very Structure of Your Brain?

December 18, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Whether a big rig caused your injury crash in Charlotte or you witnessed a gruesome car accident aftermath, your life has changed. Friends and family members have counseled you to let go of the past and focus on the future – to avoid getting hung up on “reliving the drama.” While you appreciate the concern, you’re having a devilishly difficult time returning to your previous emotional equilibrium.


Evidence from studies of victims of traumatic events suggests that our reactions to shocking and disturbing “stuff” can literally change our brain chemistry by etching new neural pathways. Studies of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, who have witnessed roadside bombs or other horrors of war, suggest that the brain responds to terror by releasing a flood of hormones, which disassociate the conscious experience from the emotional experience.

This may be why PTSD victims often have no problem reciting details about their trauma but fail to be able to access the emotions associated with said events. Some scientists have hypothesized that the flood of neurotransmitters released may actually alter certain neurochemical signaling in the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain responsible for integrating our personality and calibrating our emotions.

There is no quick fix, but proper a diagnosis can help

Posttraumatic stresses caused by a North Carolina car accident or other traumatic event can be complex and challenging to treat, even when the condition gets properly diagnosed. However, you may find it somewhat comforting just to read that your inability to let the accident “go” may have less to do with your lack of willpower or self-control and more to do with biochemical issues that potentially can be repaired with effective treatment.

Of course, this isn’t a medical blog, so we can’t help you understand or treat the potential PTSD associated with your accident. However, you likely also have legal concerns, in which case, please give the team here at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo a call for a free consultation about your Charlotte car accident.


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