Individuals who experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) have more than just a physical condition. They also experience psychiatric conditions as well. Psychiatric conditions can occur after suffering from a physical injury even when the physical injury may be improving. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are two of the more common psychiatric conditions that occur after a traumatic brain injury. Individuals who experience a TBI are thought to be at higher risk for developing depression and/or PTSD.
Common Reasons for PTSD
An individual who suffers from the psychiatric condition, PTSD, experience symptoms of an emotional kind. They are reminded with these symptoms of the trauma they experienced. Furthermore, likelihoods of developing PTSD after a trauma is increased by the seriousness of the injury. However, some individuals tend to be more susceptible to it than others. Common reasons for developing PTSD include the following:
• Military Combat
• Sexual Assault
• Violent Assault
• Witnessing a Tragedy
• A Serious Injury Such as TBI
PTSD can be caused by anything threatening death. Also, PTSD develops more in women due to their increased likelihood of experiencing extreme impact incidents. When compared with adults, children under the age of 10 are more unlikely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event. One of the greater risks for the development of PTSD is with military veterans.
PTSD and TBI
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly seen in individuals who suffer from traumatic brain injury. While many symptoms overlap, some of the other symptoms of PTSD include:
• Sleep Disturbances
• Reliving of the Traumatic Event
• Crowd Avoidance
• Difficulty Focusing
• Dissociation and Numbing due to the Traumatic Event
Symptoms of TBI can include:
• Problems with Memory
• Trouble Focusing
• Light and Noise Sensitivity
• Changes in Personality
Same with PTSD, some individuals with TBI can have no visible physical symptoms while living a normal life.
Some individuals never develop PTSD after suffering a TBI. However, it is possible for individuals not to recover from their PTSD even after recovering from TBI.
Depression and TBI
Depression is another psychiatric disorder associated with TBI. Individuals who suffer from depression have lower levels of serotonin in their brain chemistry. Levels of norepinephrine may be lower as well. Although depression is known as a chemical condition, there is evidence to support that traumatic events, particularly TBI, predispose individuals to develop depression. The likelihood for an individual to develop depression are increased for ones who suffer from TBI due to possible social and personal losses. Depression due to TBI can include the following symptoms:
• Sleep Changes
• Loss of Energy
• No Longer Interested in Usual Activity
In some cases, the thought of suicide or death accompanies depression.
Approximately half of all individuals who suffer from TBI develop depression as well within the first year following their injury. Within seven years following their injury, individuals with TBI develop symptoms of depression. However, individuals without TBI only develop depression in one out of ten people per year.
Depression Following TBI
Physical changes in an individual’s brain can be one of the factors for depression following a brain injury. Depression can be due to different concentrations of neurotransmitters. Emotional changes after a traumatic injury which result in disability, changing an individual’s role not only in their family but with society as well can cause depression. Seeking medical assistance immediately when developing symptoms of depression after traumatic brain injury is imperative. Speak with a medical professional with experience in dealing with depression after TBI.
It is impossible to determine if an individual with a traumatic brain injury with develop depression or PTSD, however, they are at higher risk. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact us today for more information.