Motorcycle accidents can be extremely traumatic, even when you aren’t physically injured. In fact, the emotional shakeup can sometimes be worse than minor injuries for some people.
If you’re feeling shaken up after being injured in a motorcycle accident, it might help to get counselling in addition to medical care. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical body, and a traumatic event like a motorcycle crash can impact you more than you think.
However, before you call a counsellor, make sure you get your medical needs taken care of and consult with a motorcycle accident attorney, especially if you’re in Florida. Each state has different rules, but since Florida is a no-fault state that requires everyone to carry PIP coverage, not everyone can legally file a lawsuit after a crash. An attorney will tell you what your options are and help you navigate your insurance settlement.
How counselling can help you after a motorcycle accident
If you’re experiencing driving anxiety or you just can’t bring yourself to get on a bike or even ride in the passenger seat of a car, you might benefit from counselling. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone just to get your feelings out and share how you’re feeling. It won’t make your injuries magically disappear, but there is power in expressing yourself, especially after a traumatic event.
A good counsellor will teach you coping skills along with methods to relax your nervous system and restore your body to its normal state. They’ll help you address and work through the fears that keep you from getting back on your bike. The sooner you find a therapist, the sooner you’ll feel comfortable getting back on the road, even if all you do is ease back into it slowly using local backroads.
You can also try meditation to reduce your anxiety
Meditation is another way to manage anxiety after a motorcycle wreck, and your counsellor will probably suggest it to you. By sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, or by following a guided meditation, you’ll be able to put your brain into a relaxing state that will calm your entire nervous system. If your nerves are on overdrive, you’ll be amazed at how well meditation works to bring a sense of peace and calm to your body and mind.
Why are motorcycle accidents emotionally traumatic?
Being in a wreck is scary. Even when you don’t sustain injuries or your injuries are minor, a motorcycle accident can still have a major impact on your psyche. They happen fast, hard, and unexpectedly, and even when you see them coming at the last minute, you may not have time to react.
Regardless, your body will go into a state of fight or flight, shooting your adrenaline levels through the roof. This state is supposed to automatically shut off after a short period of time, but sometimes it doesn’t, and the result is a lingering sense of heightened anxiety and stress.
After a motorcycle accident, many people are afraid to get back on their bikes, and some won’t even drive a car. Just being on the road is too nerve-wracking to think about. This is understandable, and it’s exactly why many people see a counsellor after being involved in a crash.
Don’t wait to get help
Just like you wouldn’t wait to see a doctor to care for your physical injuries, don’t wait to get counselling after a motorcycle accident. The longer you wait to address the emotional impact of your accident, the harder it will be for you to get back on the road and resume life as usual.
If you choose not to actively work through the emotional trauma, you could end up with a long-term fear of driving. Not driving will have a negative impact on your life in many ways. For instance, you’ll have to catch a ride to and from work or take public transportation, and you won’t be able to go to the store whenever you need something. It’s going to make life inconvenient for you if you don’t work on healing the emotional trauma.
Even if you aren’t sure, it won’t hurt to try counselling. You can book one appointment and see how things go, and then decide if you’d like to continue. However, you might be surprised at how much even one session can start to alleviate the anxiety and fear that keep you from riding your motorcycle again.
Robert Haynes, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.