Those who suffer a head concussion are three times more likely to commit suicide caused by depression.
Car accidents, slips and falls, and other types of accidents can lead to head injuries or concussions. Concussions are considered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBIs) and they can happen to anyone, anywhere. Even minor accidents causing mild concussions can cause certain changes in brain activity, without the injured even being aware of the injury.
According to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, there is a link between concussions and cases of suicide. The research indicated that those who have had head concussions are three times more likely to commit suicide caused by depression. The research also showed that suicide was higher among those who had a concussion on a weekend. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide ranks 10th among the leading causes of death in the U.S.
The Link Between Suicide and Concussion
Researchers looked at data covering a 20-year period, from a healthcare insurance database covering 235,000 individuals in Ontario, Canada, who experienced concussions. These individuals did not have any underlying psychiatric problems, previous attempted suicide, or had been hospitalized before. In order to understand demographic influences, the researchers drew comparisons between those experiencing concussions on weekdays and those on weekends.
The research results showed that over the course of nine years, about 667 individuals had committed suicide, out of which 519 had concussions on a weekday and 148 on weekends. The research concluded that the average time between suffering a concussion and suicide was about six years.
The research also showed that though weekday concussions resulted in about three times higher rates of suicides, weekend concussions showed four times higher rates of absolute risks of suicide. The reason for the higher chances of suicides in weekend concussion cases is due to the fact that these usually happen during recreational activities and these victims tend to ignore their injuries. Concussions happening on weekdays often take place at the workplace, where proper treatment protocol is followed. Weekday concussion cases have a better chance of immediate diagnosis and receiving treatment.
Regardless of demographic considerations, the research proved that risks of suicide were independent of psychiatric conditions. In another study conducted more recently in 2014, TBI victims were two times more likely to commit suicide than healthy individuals.
These studies show that medical practitioners should consider these findings serious enough to incorporate proper assessments and treatments for future TBI patients, where the possibility of psychiatric conditions such as depression in TBI patients are monitored and treated accordingly. Suicide is a complex issue and what can compel an individual is unique to the circumstances an individual faces. However, precaution exercised for TBI patients can help reduce the risk of suicide.
Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a TBI caused by the negligence of another person, speak with a Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.