Traumatic brain injury (known as TBI) can have a profound impact on a person’s psyche later in life. Even if a person manages to slowly regain a life, it frequently isn’t paved in normalcy as it might have been before. Out of myriad problems TBI can cause, it can also cause various psychiatric problems that you may not have known.
Despite lack of analysis on how some people acquire mental illnesses, could TBI be the reason behind some of the common psychiatric disorders? You’ll be surprised at how being hit by a blunt object can twist your mind into dealing with the worst mental diseases anyone can experience.
A Common Cause for Depression
Those who’ve suffered from TBI sometimes get depression issues after healing from initial injuries. Science Daily says this type of depression is usually noted as Major Depressive Disorder, which ably describes the depressive intensity. Studies showed at least half of those who experienced TBI in car crashes or other mild cases exhibited this type of depression in the first year after the injury occurred.
Many of these cases had anxiety issues as an adjunct problem with the depression. What’s most alarming is that 44% of the studied cases didn’t take antidepressants to help solve the problem.
Could some mysterious depression issues in people be the result of some sort of head trauma? With the large percentages, it might give some inroads to figuring out why some people suffer from being inexplicably chronically depressed.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
This other common mental illness has also been linked to TBI. The National Institutes of Health says the incidents are very small, though could easily be confused with other conditions that don’t relate to traumatic brain disorder. That’s why careful diagnosis has to be made and treated in the same way all other OCD patients are.
In the rare cases of OCD occurring after TBI, it was found to be the result of lesions in the frontal regions of the brain. These weren’t necessarily the result of major cases either and could be from mild TBI.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There’s no denying that PTSD is the most talked about mental illness next to depression. Traumatic brain disorder has also been linked to PTSD, even though it usually starts as post-traumatic amnesia. Memory loss and how TBI affects how we process memories can ultimately lead to symptoms of PTSD later on. This happens when there’s a persistent memory behind the incident that caused the TBI in the first place.
Antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications are frequently given to all PTSD victims to help control symptoms. It should be better known, however, that not all PTSD comes from personal trauma or being in war as most commonly shown in the media.
Being hit in the head can ultimately cause far more psychiatric conditions than most people have ever known. The National Institutes of Health lists many more, including apathy, aggression, and extreme personality changes. They even note an early case going back to the mid 1800s where someone who suffered a mild TBI ended up having a polar opposite personality from the one he had prior to the accident.
It gives us a more open book to finding answers to mental illnesses we can’t understand and what might be driving those people to do things that don’t make sense.
That means it’s time to protect our heads as much as possible and realize what’s inside there is much more fragile than we care to admit.