Brain Injuries and the Psychological Impacts

Brain Injuries and the Psychological Impacts

Brain Injuries

Circumstances such as slip-and-falls, workplace accidents, sporting accidents and physical assaults are common events that cause brain injuries. The outcome of a brain injury varies from individual to individual. It can affect physical or cognitive aspects of your body resulting in problematic issues such as emotional difficulties, physical disabilities, lack of sleep, impulse control, and other impairment issues. It is very important for patients who have any signs of these injuries to reach out to a medical professional to treat these issues. 

Importance of Treatment

It is crucial that patients understand the importance of getting the appropriate treatment. Brain injuries can be visibly detected for some, but not for others. It is important to identify these issues even if you are unsure or hesitant with proper examination from a medical professional. The sooner the diagnosis the better. Immediate treatment can prevent further complications in the future. 

Identifying Signs of Depression and Anxiety

In addition to physical and cognitive complications – whether mild or serious, individuals are also susceptible to anxiety and depression. It is common for patients to feel alone; or that they are losing themselves after sustaining such injuries. Patients are expected to adjust to a new way of living, which can be very stressful. 

A patient’s quality of life is very important after sustaining any type of brain injury. It is important to understand that it is very common for individuals to struggle with anxiety and depression. Anxiety can make patients feel trapped in their thoughts, forcing them to focus on irrational fears. These fears can result in seclusion from the outside world and loved ones. Anxiety can lead to depression. 

Signs of Brain Injury

  • Short temper 
  • Irritability 
  • Distancing from loved ones, family, and friends 
  • Change of appetite (either an increase or decrease) 
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping all the time 
  • Unwanted thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • No motivation towards daily tasks or work involvement
  • Lack of interest to participate in activities 

Unfortunately, the effects of anxiety and depression can lead to individuals self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. This is a result of hitting a “breaking-point” and not addressing the signs immediately with a medical expert. 

Treatment Options

It is important to identify what may be triggering you, and to find a resolution to avoid them. Identifying what you think may be the issue can be crucial to professionals being able to help as well. 

Treatment plans ultimately depend on what is recommended and what the patient wants to do. Some patients want to be independent focusing on self-care and lifestyle modifications rather than medicating to achieve their results. There are many options available including counselling, cognitive behavioral therapy, consistent exercise routines, getting a good night’s sleep, adding activities and hobbies to your lifestyle. If those suggestions seem to not be helping enough, speak with a medical professional to find a suitable medication to take as a temporary or long-term solution. 

Outside of patients, it is crucial as caregivers, families and friends to look out for abnormalities. Some individuals have trouble recognizing when they need help, and you could possibly identify the signs before they do. Encourage them to seek the attention when needed.