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Traumatic Brain Injuries and Their Long Term Impacts on Your Mental Health

October 22, 2021

The 10th of October represents World Mental Health Day, a day to bring awareness to the prevalence of mental illness across the globe and continue to advocate for the destigmatization of mental illness. While it is important to bring awareness to how depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental illnesses affect people 365 days a year, one major impact on mental illness that does not get enough attention is the impact of traumatic brain injuries on mental health. 2.8 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain every year, and TBIs can have a direct impact on a person’s mental health. Trauma of any kind often results in an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression, or PTSD, but TBIs are even more often the culprit of affecting a person’s mental health. At a basic scientific level, even a mild traumatic brain injury can disrupt the process of neurovascular coupling in your brain, which affects your ability to regulate emotions.

As explained by the CDC: “The brain affects how you think; how you feel; how you act. So a TBI can affect your physical functions, thinking abilities, behaviors, and more. The injury can increase your risk for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as sleeping problems.” These long-term consequences from a traumatic brain injury can occur even if the injury is not severe, and a long-term neurological impact on a person’s mental health can be difficult to navigate for even the most mentally healthy person, but given that 20% of the population in the US struggles with some sort of mental illness, preexisting mental health issues can be exacerbated by a traumatic brain injury or even manifest new symptoms. According to Dr. Alina Fong, an expert in neuropsychology, 83% of the patients she sees at her post-concussion treatment clinic report changes in mood or personality after their injury.

One of the most difficult aspects of navigating mental health after a traumatic brain injury is that mental health is not the only factor that affects a person after a TBI. While many traumatic brain injuries can be caused by accidents where you are the sole party involved, a much larger percentage of traumatic brain injuries are caused by accidents involving another party, including slips & falls, car accidents, workplace and construction accidents, and medical malpractice. In fact, the third-largest payout in a medical malpractice case in legal history in the US was due to a brain injury caused by malpractice.

Here at Deratany & Kosner, we see our fair share of brain injuries and some of our biggest settlements and jury awards for malpractice are from cases involving a traumatic brain injury. Regardless of the cause of the traumatic brain injury, navigating your mental and physical health after a TBI is difficult enough without needing to worry about medical bills, long-term care, and treatment, or advocating for yourself in the instance of malpractice or accident involving another party. We’re here to advocate for you and effectively negotiate on your behalf to make sure you receive the maximum compensation so you can focus on getting better.

If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or other types of accident or malpractice, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you achieve justice.

1 in 5 individuals who experience war or state conflict will deal with mental illness. 1 in 7 individuals globally live with 1+ mental or substance use disorders. Anxiety affects 284 million people globally. Depression affects 264 million people. Around 8 million deaths annually are attributed to mental illness.
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