Being attacked by an animal can be a gravely traumatic experience. Animal attacks can severely harm a person physically as well as mentally. Animal attack victims often suffer from emotional damage long after the physical wounds have healed. Symptoms of these damages may range from fear of animals and the outdoors to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This traumatic experience can affect both adults and children though younger animal attack victims are more likely to experience the brunt of it. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can affect anyone who has seen or experienced a traumatic event involving a threat of injury or death. This disorder can change the way that a person responds to stress. Some examples of the mental trauma and anguish an animal attack victim can feel are as follows:
A person can experience extreme anxiety after being attacked by an animal. Any reminder of the incident may bring on an anxiety or panic attack in the victim. Reliving the experience can be almost as traumatic as the incident itself sometimes even worse. The common symptoms associated with anxiety are cold and clammy hands and feet, sleep issues, panic, fear, feeling of “butterflies” in the stomach, heart palpitations, numbness of hands and feet, nausea, muscle tension, dizziness, restlessness, and insomnia.
Extremely vivid dreams that are scary or alarming are called nightmares. While children may be more prone to nightmares, traumatic incidents like animal attacks can trigger nightmares in adults as well. People generally have nightmares after being attacked by an animal, mostly reliving the incident in their dreams. Nightmares cause anxiety and may result in a loss of productive, restorative sleep, a loss of appetite, and attribute to depression and obesity causing heart problems.
An increased fear of animals is one of the most troubling outcomes of an animal attack. People who have suffered an attack are uncomfortable being around animals. Nowadays, pets are everywhere and the probability of an anxiety attack from seeing an animal is very likely for someone who has experienced a traumatic animal attack. Victims may feel uncomfortable even around small and docile animals. Children who have experienced trauma from an animal attack at an early age have a more difficult time getting over this fear as adults.
Animal attack victims can become agoraphobic; that is they may develop a fear of leaving their house. Such victims may foster this fear because they could risk running into an animal again and feel the panic and fear associated with the attack all over again. Such attacks can also trigger other trauma from a person’s past and create a constant fear and anxiety that was not present before the incident.
Animal attack victims have been known to develop a disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder. They suffer not just physical scars but emotional ones as well. Victims may also become permanently disfigured. This can cause them to feel bad about themselves and experience feelings of self-hatred. The most horrific cases of animal attacks however, occur in children. A child’s mind is not developed the way as an adult’s mind is and the resultant mental anguish from an attack can change a child’s personality and last well into adulthood. Most children who are victims of dog attacks suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you have been a victim of an animal attack you should seek the counsel of a competent dog bite attorney as soon as possible to safeguard their rights and protect their future.
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