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Depression Common After TBI

There are various factors that can contribute to development of depression after a traumatic brain injury.

Depression Common After TBI

When someone feels depressed or loses interest in usual activities for several days per week, and it lasts for more than two weeks, it becomes a cause of concern. Unfortunately, depression is common after a traumatic brain injuries. In this post, we will discuss depression after TBI.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling down or hopeless
  • Feeling guilty or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sleep or appetite
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Moving or speaking more slowly
  • Feeling fidgety or restless

After suffering a TBI, it is normal for a person to feel sad, however, prolonged feeling of sadness and not enjoying the usual things are signs of depression.

Depression After a Traumatic Brain Injury

As we said earlier, depression is common after a traumatic brain injury. Around 50 percent of all people who suffer a TBI are affected by depression within the first year of injury. Nearly two thirds of TBI patients are affected within seven years after suffering the injury. More than 50 percent of the people with traumatic brain injury who have depression also have anxiety.

What Causes Depression After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are various factors that can contribute to development of depression after a traumatic brain injury. Some of the common causes include:

  • Emotional response to the traumatic brain injury is a common cause of depression. The patient often struggles to adjust to disability, role changes within society, and other losses.
  • Traumatic brain injury can also cause physical changes in the brain. If the injury occurs in the area that controls emotions, it can cause depression. Changes in the levels of neurotransmitters, the natural chemicals in the brain can also cause depression.
  • Other factors unrelated to the TBI such as high risk of depression due to hereditary factors, family history, and other factors that were present before the injury can also contribute to the development of depression.

Treatment of Depression

If a TBI patient exhibits any signs and symptoms of depression, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Depression requires treatment like any other illness such as diabetes or hypertension. Anti-depressant medications and psychotherapy treatments are often effective in the treatment of depression.

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