Brain Injury And Mental Illness: What You Need To Know

What Is A Brain Injury?

A brain injury can be caused by any event that has an impact on your brain and affects the way it functions. Events that may cause a brain injury can range from a bump to the head, to an injury that actually penetrates the skull. Brain injuries can range from mild to severe in nature. If you or a loved one is suffering from the results of a brain injury, Miracles Recovery Center will place you or your loved one on the road to recovery.

Severe injuries to the brain are referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries can result in you or your loved one living with a disability. Traumatic brain injuries are also a major cause of death in the United States. 

 Brain injuries happen as a result of: 

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Health complications (such as a stroke)
  • Sports-related accidents
  • Child abuse
  • Blast injuries from an explosion
  • Gunshots

Types Of Brain Injuries

There are three main types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). 

  • Mild TBI or concussion
  • Moderate TBI
  • Severe TBI

Mild TBI Or Concussion

Fortunately, the majority of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that occur each year are mild cases. Mild traumatic brain injuries happen when your body gets jolted. This jolt then causes your head to be moved enough to cause your brain to actually move around in your skull.

The results of a mild traumatic brain injury can cause chemical changes to your brain and damage to your brain cells. If you experience repeated mild TBIs it is likely to have an effect on the length of time it will take you to recuperate. You can also experience various health issues in relation to your TBI.

Moderate TBI

A moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur as a result of a direct blow or jolt to your head. Any type of injury that penetrates the brain – such as a gunshot wound – is considered a moderate TBI as well. A moderate traumatic brain injury can cause long-lasting, sometimes lifelong, health problems.

Severe TBI

A severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may also be the result of a direct blow or jolt to your head. It may also be a result of an injury that penetrates your brain. Death or a life-altering disability can be the result of such a severe injury.

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Potential Causes Of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can happen due to many events. These events can include:

  • Falls
  • Firearm-related incidents
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Assaults
  • Blasts due to explosions
  • Being struck by an object

Symptoms Of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

No matter how severe the traumatic brain injury (TBI) is, the symptoms can overlap. After the injury occurs, it is not always immediately obvious that you or your loved one has symptoms of a TBI. It is very important to watch for signs of injury. 

Mild TBI symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Changes in mood or temperament
  • Memory issues
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sensitivity to light

Moderate or severe TBI symptoms include many of the above and also:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Anger or aggressiveness
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Large dilated pupils
  • Coma
  • Fluids draining from ears or nose
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) And Mental Illness

When you or your loved one experiences a traumatic brain injury there is also a chance that your mental health will be affected as well. You may feel the impact of the TBI for a brief time, or the problems may last for years. The potential for long-lasting mental health problems makes it very important for you to seek immediate treatment after a head injury occurs.

A brain injury may not affect your mental health until many months after the incident. There are many signs that traumatic brain injury (TBI) has produced symptoms of mental illness. Problems may arise such as

  • Major depression disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar affective disorder

One of the most common mental health issues that can occur after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is depression. TBI and depression coincide because the part of your brain that was injured is the one that controls your emotions and behaviors. You may also feel frustrated and sad about the situation that your TBI has presented to you. This can trigger you to feel sad and depressed as well.

TBI and depression are very connected. If you are struggling to come to terms with your disability, our staff at Miracles Recovery Center can help. Our therapy plans are individualized and focused on your needs.

Mental Illness Before And After A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Your mental health can be compromised due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It is also possible that prior to experiencing a TBI that you or a loved one may have knowingly or unknowingly been dealing with mental health issues. If this is the case, the traumatic brain injury will only magnify the situation.

An example of someone whose mental health was compromised before experiencing a traumatic brain injury may include a person who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder before their traumatic brain injury. After their TBI occurs they may begin to experience more severe moods swings or elevated moods. 

On the other hand, it is possible for an individual to develop a mental illness after suffering a traumatic brain injury. For example, someone who experiences a traumatic brain injury from an assault is more likely to develop PTSD than someone who suffered a TBI from a fall. Head trauma increases the risk of developing many mental disorders.

Treating Mental Health Disorders From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The possibility of recovering from a traumatic brain injury is good. Unfortunately, the brain cells that are destroyed or damaged do not recover, but the brain can retrain itself over time. It will put other areas to work in order to make up for the loss of the tissue that was damaged by the traumatic brain injury.  

Treatment plans and various therapy options are available to help in your rehabilitation from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Therapy treatments options include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): improves memory, perception, attention, judgment
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT): helps you talk about and understand any difficult feelings
  • Physical therapy: works on coordination, strength, and physical strength
  • Occupational therapy: re-teaches basic skills such as getting dressed, bathing, and cooking
  • Speech therapy: focuses on word annunciation and re-learning communication skills

Other general areas or concerns that are focused on after a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Vocational training
  • Support for your family as a whole
  • Pain management
  • Relearning socialization skills

How Miracles Recovery Center Can Help

Recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be an intense process. Miracles Recovery Center, located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, is able to offer you or your loved one a safe, caring environment to begin healing. Our goal is to give you the ability to regain the life you deserve.

Our staff is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day. Please contact us today to begin the process. We can offer a treatment plan to help you or your loved one find renewed hope for their future. We look forward to speaking with you.

References

https://futuresrecoveryhealthcare.com/blog/brain-injury-and-mental-health/

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/traumatic-brain-injury