May is Mental Health Month, and it would be remiss to skip over the very serious impact that brain injury can have on mental health. Unidentified brain injury is a very common problem that can negatively affect your life. The injury may have happened recently or many years ago, even in childhood. The symptoms are incredibly varied. Cognitive difficulties, memory problems, difficulty in social situations, problems with mood including depression and extreme anger, are among the many potential outcomes for people with brain injury. Unfortunately, doctors and other health professionals rarely warn patients of the potential long-term outcomes if a brain injury is deemed mild, and many people suffer brain injury without ever realizing it.
Head Injury and Mental Disorders
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2014 found that people with head injuries were 439% more likely to develop organic mental disorders than people without and:
- 65% more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia
- 59% more likely to develop depression
- 28% more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder
Unidentified Brain Injury
Unidentified brain injury. You may not even realize you suffered a brain injury because it is normal to have no memory of the accident or injury when the brain is injured. If no one was around you may not know anything happened. And in many cases people minimize events because they do not recognize the seriousness. People around you might say, “You got your bell rung.” In a medical setting they may tell you that you suffered a concussion, without explaining that this is indeed a significant brain injury even if you are treated and released as if nothing serious has happened.
If you were injured in an accident and did not lose consciousness or only briefly lost consciousness but had to her injuries requiring treatment, such as broken bones or cuts requiring stiches, medical professionals are prone to focus on the more obvious injuries and skip over your brain injury. This was especially true in the past when the long-term effects of brain injury were not well-known, but it still happens today.
The standard procedure today is that if you lost consciousness or experienced a period of confusion you are given a clinical neurological exam and a CT scan, but if you are deemed safe to go home it is rare for doctors to warn you of the potential long-term consequences of your brain injury.
Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injury
Brain injuries can also occur as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain. Examples of events and conditions that can lead to this type of brain injury include:
- Brain inflammation
- High fever
- Near drowning
- Drug overdose
- Anesthesia accident
- Heart attack
- Severe asthma event
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Electric shock
- Severe blood loss as a result of injury to any part of the body
For more information, please download our free Head Injury Guide. This easy to read guide will walk you though everything related to brain injuries, including common types, symptoms, at risk populations, and steps you should take to recovery.
If you need to speak with a lawyer that specializes in brain injuries, search through our qualified accident attorneys today.
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