When loss of limb occurs as a result of a motorcycle accident, the effects extend far beyond the physical. Many accident victims also experience a range of serious emotional and psychological complications, which can have an impact on the person for many years to come. Physiopedia explains some of the mental challenges linked to amputation and how patients learn to cope.
Many people respond poorly to amputation, and this can be impacted by the reason it occurs. For instance, people who receive an amputation because of a chronic illness usually adjust better since they’ve had time to process the situation. Conversely, people who undergo amputation suddenly often have a harder time adjusting. Loss of limb can impact one’s self-esteem, sexuality, and even result in phantom limb syndrome. This is where a person experiences the sensation of the removed limb.
In these cases, a person may adapt poorly. Some people refuse rehab and physical therapy after surgery in an attempt to remain helpless in their condition. Others refuse assistance, preferring to remain autonomous even when help is warranted. On the other hand, some people adapt in a positive manner, sometimes using humor as a way to come to terms with their new reality.
It’s not uncommon for a person to cycle through the five stages of grief after an amputation. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not all people will experience all five stages. Also, some people may never fully accept what’s happened to them. If acceptance is reached, it usually occurs during rehabilitation, which can increase a person’s mobility and introduce methods for physically coping with the loss of a limb.