Brain injuries and mental health disorders

If you are a victim of a brain injury, whether it is mild or severe, you probably have more than just physical symptoms. There are many causes of traumatic brain injuries, and, depending on the severity, these injuries can result in short- or long-term consequences.

Although physical symptoms are obvious consequences, most people who suffer from TBIs also have mental and emotional symptoms. These often last long term and may require rehabilitation services to help the victim function in daily life.

Causes of traumatic brain injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, the general cause of a TBI is a blow or strong force to the head. The specific cause can vary. The most common cause is a fall, although motor vehicle accidents are also common causes. Sports injuries from high-impact sports are common causes for younger individuals. Other causes include violent assaults and explosive blasts.

Examples of cognitive and emotional symptoms

Mental-related symptoms can begin to show up within hours or days of the accident. Common signs include coma, extreme confusion, slurred speech and agitation. Over time, there may be additional damage to the brain cells. This may result in long-term complications that show up as:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Intellectual problems
  • Emotional changes
  • Sensory problems
  • Language and communication issues

Some people may think that mental health symptoms only occur in those who suffered a severe TBI, but the National Institutes of Health discusses that even mild brain injuries, such as concussions, can cause mental health issues in around 20% of mild TBI victims. The most common disorders include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.