A social worker comforting a client dealing with mental health issues

Mental Health Issues Associated with Concussion and Brain Injury

By | November 5th, 2020

We have long identified the association of mental health issues with traumatic experiences. However, when it comes to concussions and brain injury, there is less scholarly research to draw upon. As a result, individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often not properly treated for the mental health issues that may arise from the injury. In fact, many who suffer a concussion experience only mild symptoms which are resolved in 7 to 10 days. For others though, the effects can linger for years. Properly addressing and treating these associations of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues which may arise from a brain injury are critically important, yet sadly, for many, often overlooked. 

Properly addressing mental health issues in concussion patients is further complicated due to the fact that these types of injuries can result in confusion, disorganization and in some cases Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result, it can be difficult for brain injury sufferers to identify some of the underlying issues that require attention. 

Mental health disorders such as mood swings, anxiety, apathy, depression and irritability can all take root after a serious injury to the head. These symptoms can negatively affect a person’s ability to conduct their normal relationships and lifestyles. As a result, only when we properly treat these problems can we hope to achieve a positive recovery process. 

A further complication can be determining the root cause of the mental health issues after a brain injury is sustained. The ensuing symptoms can be a direct result of the physical injury itself, or they may be related to negative situations that occur post-injury. If an individual is unable to work or attend school for a period following the injury, this situation can lead to mental health issues. 

It is important that a concussion patient connect with their doctor to determine the proper path to wellness. A comprehensive recovery plan can include many aspects of treatment. Mental health services such as counselling are available to help those dealing with brain injuries as they navigate the path to recovery. Talk to your doctor to see what options are available and which treatments may help you in your personal recovery.