Traumatic Brain Injury and Your Mental Health
Traumatic Brain Injury is a disruption of normal brain function, caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head. Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. In fact, TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths. Effects of TBI can last days or forever and can lead to cognitive, physical, and psychosocial impairment.
Straightforward symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury:
- Loss of consciousness
- A headache
- The feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
Psychiatric Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Studies have shown that individuals with TBIs (including concussions) are 4 times more likely to develop a mental illness. Furthermore, these individuals often exhibit symptoms of heightened levels of anxiety, depression and mood swings. Also, left untreated, these patients are more likely to develop severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts.
New Research Shows Cognitive Therapy Can Help
A recent study by the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas is shedding new light on TBIs and mental illness. The findings suggest that cognitive training can reduce symptoms of depression. Additionally, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT or psychotherapy) is used in treating mental health disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood memories to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions. Through talk therapy, CBT encourages patients to modify emotions, behaviors and thoughts. Therefore, the goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in treating TBI is to decrease depressive symptoms and improve life satisfaction.
If you have had a head injury, don’t ignore any symptoms you may be experiencing. Also, if you feel anxious or depressed, don’t assume it’s unrelated. Don’t be told twice, see a doctor immediately, before it gets worse.
D’Amore Healthcare is a Mental Health and dual diagnosis treatment center in Orange County, CA.