Brain injury and its link to depression

A brain injury from a workplace accident in San Antonio can affect people in numerous ways. One of those ways is depression. According to Brainline.org, three out of 10 people who incur a brain injury will experience depression, while only one out of 10 people without a brain injury experiences the disorder.

For people who do develop depression, the symptoms vary. In addition to suicidal thoughts, signs include the following:

  • Regardless of hunger, people eat more or less
  • Disinterest in being with friends or family
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Sleeping changes
  • Increased use of tobacco, drugs or alcohol

It is important for people to understand that the severity of the brain injury has no influence over the development of this disorder. Those who suffer just a mild concussion are as susceptible to it as those who have been hospitalized. Furthermore, there is no current method for doctors to predict if, or when, someone will experience it.

The causes of depression in relation to a brain injury are many, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center states. Some people may have a previous history with the disorder, have family members who have been diagnosed with depression or may be genetically higher at risk. For some, the trauma of losing certain skills may trigger it and in other instances, it may be linked to changes in the amount of neurotransmitters in the part of the brain where emotions are managed.

Regardless of the causes, people should not dismiss the symptoms and assume they will go away on their own. It is important for them to talk to their doctor about what is happening so the proper treatment can be administered. This may be in the form of biofeedback, exercise, behavioral activation therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy or medication.

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