California Dog Bites Can Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is absolutely normal to feel depression, anxiety, or emotional trauma following a serious dog bite injury. You may feel frightened of dogs, sad, angry, or hesitant to leave the house. These symptoms may fade over a few weeks or months, or they may go away with the help of a counselor or therapist. In some cases, especially with children, these symptoms may be severe and difficult to treat. These dog bite victims may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a person experiences an extremely stressful event—usually one involving the risk of serious injury or death. Survivors of assault, rape, war, terrorism, and natural disaster are examples of people who may be susceptible to PTSD. Researchers are struggling to understand why PTSD affects some trauma victims more than others. There may be hormonal and genetic factors. In addition, past experiences may affect whether a trauma survivor develops PTSD.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

Many PTSD sufferers relive the event through flashbacks, nightmares, and reoccurring memories. These painful memories can cause avoidance and emotional numbness, which can affect work, school, and everyday life. PTSD also can cause various other issues, including the following:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Behavioral issues
  • Agitation
  • Substance abuse issues

PTSD usually is treated with a combination of therapy, desensitization treatment, and medication.

What Is the Connection Between Dog Bites and PTSD? 

A high number of dog bite victims—especially children—develop PTSD. Dog attacks often are violent and emotionally distressing. An attack may cause a victim to fear for his or her life. Victims also may fear leaving their homes due to the violence they experienced outside of their home. Memories of the dog attack may crop up each time a victim sees a dog, when they pass the place where the incident occurred, or each time the victim is startled.

Orange County Dog Bite Lawyer

In the aftermath of a California dog bite, it is important to know you might deserve compensation both for the physical and the emotional injuries from your attack. The dog’s owner (or, a property owner) may be responsible for the cost of treating your child’s post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health issues. To learn more about your rights and your case, call Russell & Lazarus today. Our Newport Beach dog bite attorneys offer free, confidential consultations: (949) 851-0222.

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