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Can I file for workers’ compensation if my job gives me PTSD?

First responders and emergency medical technicians injured by their exposure to violent events can apply for workers’ compensation in Louisiana. If you qualify, benefits may cover your treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Workers well-trained in handling catastrophic events may often escape serious physical injuries. Their constant exposure to grueling events, however, could result in symptoms of trauma or other psychological health issues.

Common symptoms of PTSD

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 55% of adults experience one or more traumatic events throughout their lifetime. While it is normal to feel shocked or distressed after an accident or disaster, when the effects last longer than six months, it may be a sign of PTSD.

Common PTSD symptoms include recurring nightmares or flashbacks relating to a distressing event. You may feel agitated and avoid places that act as a reminder. Mood swings, heightened arousal and anxiety may also indicate PTSD.

The dangers of not seeking professional treatment

Long hours and the demanding work expectations placed on first-response employees could affect their emotional health. As reported by the Bossier Press-Tribune, firefighters and law enforcement officials do not always seek health care treatment when they need to.

Instead of professional treatment, injured employees may turn toward drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate and control their PTSD. This carries the potential for impaired on-duty employees to cause harm to themselves or others through accidents or errors.

PTSD may also affect an individual’s marriage and family life. Early intervention and treatment, however, may result in a significant lessening of the impact.

Nearly 4% of American adults experience PTSD symptoms. The number of first-response workers is reportedly higher. The Bayou State provides workers’ compensation benefits when you require treatment and time off from work to recover from PTSD.

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