Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
No other condition presents itself in such a disguised, varied and riddled form, or invokes the darkness of emotional and physical pain, more so than depression.
While any serious physical injury can, and often does present some level of risk for depression, the risk for depression following a traumatic brain injury is extremely high; according to one study, 60 out of 100 patients report one or more bouts of severe depression shortly after their brain injury occurred. A potential reason behind this high risk is that a common side effect of the medication taken for pain following such injuries is depression.
Patients with untreated post-TBI depression are:
- slower to recover;
- have poorer rehabilitation outcomes;
- are less active;
- experience increased stress and a sense of failure;
- are less apt to find employment and experience greater family burdens, including a higher divorce rate.
In addition to these aforementioned risks of untreated post-TBI, they tend to think more about suicide, less about social involvement, and suffer less of a quality life flanked by increased health problems.
In many cases, it’s not clear if the depression is caused by, or made worse by the actual brain injury itself, hindering one’s ability to manage normal social or emotional triggers, perhaps chemically.
As noted in “Living with Brain Injury” by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), a greater sense of loss may play a significant role as, “…an injured person is becoming more aware of his/her deficits.”
The Good News
According to the BIAA, for many there’s a path to healing and overcoming depression after brain injury.
By seeking professional help early on with someone who is familiar with the unique physical and emotional challenges of a brain injury, multi-pronged forms of treatments can address current emotional difficulties, while also providing the means of properly assessing new or changing symptoms as healing begins. Early treatment can also help to prevent a worsening of symptoms from occurring if disabilities resulting from the injury are permanent.
Medications, psychotherapy (talk therapy) and a variety of exercise programs, used individually or together, can often help someone regain a sense of control and hope.
For a more complete guide to depression after brain injury, or how to get help, download the BIAA’s pdf, Living with Brain Injury.
Our Illinois Brain Injury Attorneys understand the importance of immediate access to quality medical care, including rehabilitation therapies and ongoing disease management as a means to reduce complications following a serious brain injury.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates invites you for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss your injury and any questions you may have. You can also email us or even speak with us right now on LiveChat, located in the lower right corner of the screen.
Please call our Chicago office at (312) 372-8822, or our Joliet office at (815) 723-8822, or you can call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819