It is common to experience anxiety after a motorcycle accident. If you or someone you know has been feeling increasingly more irritable or fearful since getting into a motorcycle accident, this is a normal reaction. Many people experience the same or similar feelings after an event as traumatic as a collision.
It is widely documented that motorcyclists face more dangers on the road than other motorists. They are more exposed to the elements, including the open road, weather, and unsafe drivers who do not consider the safety of other road users.
While wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of suffering a brain injury or dying in a motorcycle accident, more than 5,000 motorcycle accident fatalities occurred in 2018, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI). This is more than twice the number of fatalities recorded in 1997. The knowledge that an accident could have resulted in death can lead to severe anxiety and other mental health struggles.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Affect Your Mental Health
Despite the risks, motorcyclists brave the roads and ride anyway, realizing that an accident can come at any time. When they do happen, some will walk away from a collision with a few bruises and scratches, while others will suffer more serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or broken ribs.
Many motorcyclists will make a full physical recovery from a traumatic accident, even if it takes several weeks or months. Yet, as their bodies heal from these wounds, their mental health may continue to suffer.
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How to Identify Symptoms of Anxiety After a Motorcycle Accident
As Healthline notes, specific symptoms could indicate that a person has general anxiety. Among them are:
- Nervousness and restlessness.
- Elevated heart rate.
- Rapid breathing.
- Concentration difficulties.
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia).
You also could experience twitching muscles, excessive sweating, gastrointestinal problems, and tiredness or lethargy. You might repeat certain actions again and again or avoid anything that triggers certain thoughts or memories about your accident. Healthline also notes that anxiety will not look the same for everyone, so you could have none of these symptoms.
The key is to think about any changes you have seen in your mood, thoughts, and behavior since the accident. If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above or others you are concerned about, you might want to consider visiting a doctor or mental health professional who could help determine if anxiety or an anxiety disorder is the issue.
Anxiety from a Motorcycle Collision Can Lead to Other Issues
It is common to experience a range of thoughts and emotions after a motorcycle accident, including anxiety. The American Academy of Family Physicians shares that it is common for people to experience strong feelings after an accident, among them shock, fear, disbelief, anger, or even guilt. These emotions can linger for a while, and that is also normal.
Anxiety can be a fleeting feeling that arises at certain times, such as when you think about the accident or what happened before it. Reminders of these events may cause you to feel overwhelmed and have panic attacks, nightmares, or perhaps feel angry, afraid, or out of control.
All of these may be signs that the anxiety has become a deeper problem. If you find that your anxiety has lingered in the weeks and months after your accident and gotten worse, it could mean you require professional treatment.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect some 40 million U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Anxiety is also a symptom of other disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For a motorcycle accident victim, experiencing intense bouts with anxiety could mean losing confidence in their riding skills and giving up riding a motorcycle for some time, or forever. It could also mean avoiding driving altogether.
The Link Between Anxiety and Depression
Depression is also common in people who have anxiety. Healthline says anxiety can be a symptom of clinical or major depression. Some of the symptoms listed above, such as tiredness and insomnia, can also indicate that depression is present. It is important to note that depression is not the same as “feeling down in the dumps” or “feeling blue.”
Rather, depression tends to consist of intense sadness or apathy, and even a loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy. It can affect your ability to go through your day-to-day tasks, often leading to feelings of dysfunction at home or in the workplace.
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Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders Are Treatable
Mental health disorders are serious matters, but they are treatable. Each person’s condition may require different methods of treatment. Your primary care physician can determine if there is a medical reason for your anxiety. For example, a medical issue during your recovery from the accident could be contributing to your anxiety.
If an underlying medical condition is not the case, your doctor could refer you to a mental health professional for a psychological examination. Psychotherapy and medications are the primary treatments for anxiety disorders, and you might receive a prescription for either one or both.
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Work with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Medical treatments for anxiety are not without their costs. If you are recovering from a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, you might be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver to cover your treatments and other accident-related losses. You should not have to foot the bill yourself.
If you are interested in pursuing legal action in a motorcycle accident case, Randy Sevenish—an Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer and avid motorcycle enthusiast—can help you with your case.
Randy is the Lawyer Who Rides, and he is also a respected motorcycle advocate who understands the rights of fellow motorcyclists. He can fight for you to win the compensation you deserve.
Contact Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., at (317) 720-3229 today for a free case evaluation.
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