Traumatic Brain Injuries and Suicide Risk
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently released an interesting study regarding traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and suicide risk. When an individual suffers a traumatic brain injury, this can cause far more than just a headache. It can lead to alterations in the way that neurons in the brain talk to each other. This is only one of the many reasons why individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders. It is these mental health issues that could make these individuals more likely to commit suicide. According to the study:
- The researchers compared individuals who had previously sought care for a TBI with those who had not.
- In these individuals, the researchers compared the rates of suicide.
- The researchers recorded more than 35,000 deaths by suicide throughout 35 years.
- A large percentage of these individuals had suffered a TBI.
- Types of traumatic brain injuries noted by the researchers included concussions, skull fractures, and structural brain injuries (herniations, contusions, and brain bleeds).
- The highest risk of suicide was noted in the first six months after hospital discharge for a TBI.
- Those who suffered multiple TBIs, or stayed in the hospital for a prolonged period, were more likely to commit suicide.
This study paints an important picture regarding traumatic brain injuries and suicide.
Mental Health Issues are Common Following a Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is responsible for so much more than just motor and sensory function. The brain also controls people’s personality including their executive functioning, their judgment, and their inhibitions. Therefore, those who sustain a severe blow to the head could develop mental health issues including:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social phobia
- Bipolar Disorder
Anyone of these disorders carries with it an increased risk of suicide. People might become depressed over an inability to return to work, go to school, or enjoy the activities that previously brought them happiness. To minimize these risks, it is essential for everyone to seek help following a TBI.
Help for Those who are Suffering
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around mental health in this country. It is this stigma that could prevent people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders from seeking help. Therefore, following a severe TBI, it is important for everyone to seek the assistance of a professional mental health counselor. Some of the resources that could be available include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive behavioral modification
- Medical management if needed
Counseling is not something to be judged or stigmatized but rather something to be welcomed. It is this balanced treatment approach that can help individuals recover following a serious head injury.
Watch YouTube Video: Severe Head Injuries and Suicide Risk. This short news clip on NBC News Channel 8 discusses the link between a traumatic brain injury and suicide risk.
Contacting an Injury Attorney
Severe head and brain injuries are some of the reasons why someone might seek medical care. If an individual has suffered damage to the neurons in his or her head, this is often permanent. Therefore, those who are dealing with a TBI need to know that help is available. Meeting with a brain injury attorney in Redding can help families find assistance. Some of the ways that a trained injury lawyer can help include:
- Assisting families in reviewing their case and pursuing damages stemming from their head injury and all of its consequences, both physical and emotional.
- Serving as an objective party to help families make smart and challenging decisions.
- Reviewing accident records to ensure that the fault has been assigned to the appropriate party.
- Taking a case to court if needed.
No family should ever feel like they need to face a traumatic brain injury alone. A lawyer can provide valuable assistance to families who are in need.
Redding Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a brain injury lawyer in Redding. Traumatic brain injuries should always be taken seriously, particularly when the research shows that suicide is a very real risk. If you or a loved one has demonstrated evidence of a severe mental health disorder following a traumatic accident, contact me today at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries and Suicide Risk: Autoaccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Traumatic Brain Injuries and Suicide Risk.
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