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Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Car Accidents > Whiplash Injuries May Involve Psychological Factors

Whiplash Injuries May Involve Psychological Factors


The Journal of Psychosomatic Research published an article in 1993 detailing how those who recently suffered whiplash in a car accident are more prone to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression after the accident than those in the control group. According to the study, psychological state, response to pain, and style of interpreting everyday experiences were measured in 32 patients who had suffered a whiplash injury. There was a control group of 15 individuals who did not suffer a whiplash injury in recent months.

The study found that ratings of depression and anxiety were greater in patients who had suffered a recent whiplash injury than those who did not. Patients also reported more cold-induced pain during a cold pressor test. Those with the longest history of pain gave the highest ratings of whiplash injury pain and were also the most depressed.

Chronic pain and depression

 Chronic pain has long been associated with psychological harm such as anxiety and depression. In many cases, depression is both the result of chronic pain and manages to make the chronic pain worse. Chronic pain can cause a wide variety of other symptoms. These include:

  • Unusually high levels of stress hormones
  • Low energy
  • Mood disorders
  • Muscle pain
  • Lower-than-normal mental or physical performance

Chronic pain can become worse when changes in your body make you more sensitive to pain. Those who suffer from chronic pain also report psychological symptoms such as depression. Chronic pain may make it more difficult to sleep at night. This can create psychological problems in other areas where you used to be fine.

Whiplash injuries and depression 

Neck pain and headache are two of the most common complications of whiplash injuries after a car accident. What most people don’t understand is that these physical injuries can have psychological complications. Whiplash patients are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or depression as the study above shows.

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems facing Americans with chronic pain. Depression can make treatment for other conditions more complicated. According to the American Pain Foundation, about 32 million Americans report that they have suffered some form of pain that lasted over a year. More than half of those who reported chronic pain also reported symptoms of depression. On average, 65% of those diagnosed with depression also report experiencing pain. Those who report that pain limits their independence are the most likely to suffer from depression.

While whiplash isn’t considered to be a life-altering injury, it certainly can be for those who suffer chronic pain as a result of a car accident. Headaches and neck pain are not uncommon. This, in turn, leads to an aggravation of the patient’s psychological health in the form of depression. Depression can be seriously debilitating impacting your ability to concentrate, enjoy activities, or maintain your close relationships.

Talk to a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Today 

Gillette Law represents the interests of Jacksonville residents who have been injured in car accidents. Call our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing how you can recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.




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