Addressing mental health after a TBI

| Mar 7, 2020 | Personal Injury

A traumatic injury can affect more than the physical function of the body. According to WebMD, more than half of people who sustain a traumatic brain injury develop major depression afterward.

Often, mental health issues affect trauma victims profoundly. You may not feel like yourself anymore, to the point that it disturbs your everyday life.

Emotional and psychological symptoms

You may feel anxious, angry or sad when you think about your injury. Thoughts of the accident and fear of reliving it may plague you to the point that you cannot think of anything else. It may become difficult for you to concentrate or think clearly.

Physical symptoms of a mental health issue

Mental health issues often take a physical toll on the body. If you develop headaches or stomach pain and digestive issues, it could be a sign that the emotional and psychological trauma you are experiencing has become more serious.

You may notice that you startle easily or feel on edge and jumpy, or that your heart rate is too fast and you sweat more than you used to. Changing sleep patterns, insomnia and fatigue are also common symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Treatment options

While counseling often has significant positive effects, sometimes mental health providers prescribe medication. A doctor or therapist may also recommend meditation, mindfulness and techniques to interrupt negative thought patterns and redirect to healthier thoughts. Many people find it helpful to join a support group for those who have suffered the same kind of physical injury.

Other steps to recovery

You may feel tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, but this often has the opposite effect, making symptoms worse. Instead, ask family and friends to spend time with you and involve yourself as much as possible in activities you enjoy. Do your best to stick to a healthy routine, and remember to give yourself time to heal from the mental trauma as well as the physical trauma.