Increased Depression Risk Following Concussions

Increased Depression Risk Following Concussions

Concussions have been a hot-button issue recently for multiple reasons. According to a recent study that was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, one of the potential complications following a concussion is an increased risk of depression. While depression is already widespread throughout society, concussions can make this worse. Some of the essential points from the study include:

  • The researchers studied individuals who had sustained mild traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, throughout several years.
  • They noted that those who had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury were more likely than their unaffected peers to develop depression.
  • Some of the most common signs of depression include irritability, feelings of guilt, changes in their appetite, and difficulty sleeping.
  • The researchers also noted that if they suffered repeated concussions, their risk of depression was even higher.

Those who suffer from depression are more likely to have difficulty maintaining relationships with their family and friends, holding down a job, finishing school, and could even commit suicide. Therefore, it is important to understand how depression and concussions are related.

Statistics on Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health recently released some statistics on depression that everyone needs to understand. Some of their numbers include:

  • More than 16 million adults in the United States suffered at least one episode of depression in 2016.
  • This is close to 7 percent of all adults in the United States.
  • Females are about twice as likely as males to suffer from depression.
  • Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to be diagnosed with depression.
  • Those who come from a minority or mixed-race background are also more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

These statistics from the NIMH show that depression is common. Unfortunately, many people with depression are still reluctant to ask for help. Stigma around mental health still exists in this society. It is vital for everyone to understand the risk factors for depression. One of these is head injuries, such as concussions.

Concussions and Depression

While many people have heard about concussions, Second-Impact Syndrome, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), depression is far more common and often overlooked. When an individual suffers a concussion, it may look like there are no lasting impacts. Sometimes, people with concussions might not even lose consciousness. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that the brain has escaped unscathed. When an individual suffers a concussion, there is damage done to the neurons underneath. Even though people might not be able to see the damage on an imaging scan, repeated concussion has the potential to rewire the neurons of the brain. When this happens, people can suffer from mental health issues. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Changes in sleep schedule, such as sleeping more, sleeping less, or sleeping at odd hours.
  • Saying inappropriate things at the wrong time.
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships with their loved ones.
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness.

Because of how serious mental health disorders are, those who have suffered a blow to the head should speak with a professional mental health counselor about what they are feeling. It could save their life.

Watch YouTube Video: Concussions, Depression and Suicide. The video below discusses the links between concussions and depression.

Contacting an Experienced Injury Lawyer

Concussions are serious injuries and must be treated as such. Repeated concussions can lead to motor and sensory issues along with mental health problems. One person, families can turn to for help is an injury lawyer. An attorney can help families through:

  • Explaining challenging jargon and assisting them in making tough decisions.
  • Speaking with professional accident reconstructionists to ensure that the mechanism in the accident report is correct.
  • Pursuing damages that are related to both their physical and emotional pain.

Most importantly, families are not alone following a severe accident. Speak with a Bay Area traumatic brain injury lawyer today to learn more. You and your loved ones could be entitled to a financial reward.

San Francisco Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a San Francisco traumatic brain injury lawyer. Repeated concussions have the ability to cause mental health issues, including depression. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health after a serious accident, feel free to contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Image Attribution: The photograph at the beginning of this post is seen in its original form on Pixabay. This image has been shown here with permission/ Increased Depression Risk Following Concussions.

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