New Study Links TBI with PTSD & Major Depressive Symptoms

Each year, over 3 million Americans sustain mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) that lead to lasting cognitive side effects and disabilities. However, because we live in a society that underestimates concussion symptoms and stigmatizes whiplash litigation, many accident victims are checked out of health care facilities with empty assurances and ineffective pain medications. These survivors are consequently ill-prepared to deal with the dangerous emotional and mental repercussions associated with TBI.

A recent study released by JAMA Psychiatry analyzes how TBI can lead to adverse mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression disorder (MDD). According to the study, 21.2% of 752 hospital patients with mild TBI experienced PTSD and/or MDD for at least six months after sustaining their injuries. Comparatively, these symptoms only appeared in 8.7% of the accident survivors who didn’t suffer head injuries.

The subjects of this study sustained mild traumatic brain injuries after:

  • Motor vehicle collisions (61.8%)
  • Falls or other incidental accidents (29.2%)
  • Acts of violence or assault (6.1%)
  • Unspecified causes (3%)

The researchers assessed each patient’s condition shortly after they were admitted to the hospital and then revisited them for check-ups every three months for a year. The researchers discovered that patients with mild TBI were likely to report PTSD and MDD symptoms about three to six months after sustaining their injuries.

TBI patients with PTSD and MDD tend to experience the following symptoms:

  • Crippling anxiety
  • Avoidance tactics
  • Distorted feelings of guilt and blame
  • Detrimental flashbacks and nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Aggressive mood swings
  • Negative and even suicidal thoughts

In the conclusion of this study, the researchers note, “After mTBI, some individuals, on the basis of education, race/ethnicity, history of mental health problems, and cause of injury were at substantially increased risk of PTSD and/or MDD.” Of course, additional research is needed to further analyze these disparities, but their initial findings do conclude that PTSD and MDD is especially common for “those with prior mental health problems.”

Pursue Justice & Restitution with the Scarlett Law Group

Contact the brain injury lawyers at Scarlett Law Group if you’ve sustained a mild traumatic brain injury after a serious accident. Our compassionate, trial-tested legal team is renowned for securing million- and multimillion-dollar verdicts on behalf of TBI victims and their families. We can investigate your case, consult with medical experts, and help you secure an advantageous settlement or verdict that covers your existing and potential medical debts, loss of earning capacity, and more.

Call the Scarlett Law Group at (415) 688-2176 to schedule a consultation today.

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