How Do Brain Injuries Impact Mental Health?
Updated: May 5
Brain injuries occur due to a number of reasons. You can have a physical impact from the exterior of the body that causes an injury. This could be something like a car accident, a fall or being assaulted. There are internal injuries that can occur on their own, such as a stroke. Regardless of the cause of the injury, having some sort of trauma that occurs to your brain can cause a whole host of symptoms. Mental health concerns are just some of these symptoms.
Physical Damage, Mental Impact
The symptoms that you feel from a mental standpoint relates to what area of the brain you had an injury within. For example, the amygdala is the part of the brain that will control your fight or flight response. If this becomes damaged, you could experience more anxiety attacks. The limbic system controls your happiness. If you were to experience an injury here, you could experience more mood swings and depression symptoms.
More Susceptible to Mental Disorders
Whenever your body experiences an injury or trauma of some sort, this can cause certain hormones to become unbalanced. Certain signals can be sent out to different areas of the body when they normally wouldn’t be. This is where mental issues like depression and mood swings can come in. One study found that traumatic brain injuries doubled the rates of PTSD, making a significant impact, especially on soldiers and drivers.
Up to 71 percent of patients that suffer from a brain injury will experience angry outbursts at some point during their recovery. Sometimes these outbursts will occur without warning. Other times, there may be an external trigger that makes a person lose control. The person will experience trouble trying to regain control of how they feel, and they will not have the rationale to understand they are losing control.
The good news is, there is help out there for people who have experienced brain trauma that is causing mental health issues. You should speak to your neurologist about what you’re feeling. You should also get assistance from a trusted mental health professional in your area that has dealt with brain trauma victims. This is a difficult situation to treat because of the added aspect of brain injury. There could be a change in symptoms as the brain is healing. If you move forward and find help, you will be able to find ways to be happier and healthier in your life.