Can a Brain Injury Cause PTSD?
Brain injuries occur when an individual receives a sudden blow or jolt to the head, often through some type of trauma, such as an accident or a fall. These injuries can either be mild or incredibly severe, resulting in permanent disability or death. However, every brain injury should always receive medical attention, regardless of how minor it might seem. Additionally, the experience of enduring a traumatic accident can sometimes lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the injury itself cannot cause PTSD, the even can have a lasting impact on a person. It can be difficult to diagnose and effectively treat these two conditions in a person since symptoms have a tendency to overlap.
Symptoms Commonly Found in Brain Injury Victims
No two head injuries are alike and, as such, every person will experience different symptoms to varying degrees. Some of the most common symptoms one might experience include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vision problems
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Trouble with memory
- Difficulty focusing
- Mood swings
- Changes in personality
- Poor judgment
The presence of these symptoms do not signify lasting brain damage and are usually to be expected in those who sustain brain injuries. That said, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for a speedy recovery.
Some of the symptoms present in brain injury victims overlap with PTSD. Depression, mood swings, anxiety, and other symptoms are often present in those suffering from PTSD, making it difficult to understand the underlying problem in a patient.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD, unlike brain injuries, is a mental disorder. That said, the stress associated with it can sometimes cause physical damage. When this disorder coexists with a neurological disorder like a brain injury, the two feed and reinforce one another, creating a complicated mix. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, those suffering from PTSD might also experience:
- Unwanted and repeated memories of the traumatic event
- Shame regarding what happened
- Emotional numbness and feelings of detachment from loved ones
- Avoidance of places, people, or other reminders of the traumatic event
- Hypervigilance for potential threats
- Loss of touch with reality
The best for of treatment for most individuals who suffer from brain injuries is often to rest and refrain from resuming normal activities, which can sometimes take weeks. Even if you feel fine, returning to work or engaging in physical activities might aggravate your condition and lengthen your recovery period. Your doctor will likely have you slowly ease back into your routine to avoid any potential complications. There are also some rehabilitative treatments that are effective at addressing both the effects of a brain injury as well as PTSD. This includes Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE).
Coping with the Aftermath
Sustaining any kind of injury always adds more stress to a person’s life, especially something as serious as a head injury. It goes beyond the bumps and bruises you walk away with. The experience itself, having to visit the hospital, being forced to take time off from work or school, having to refrain from partaking in activities that bring you joy, and not being able to engage in your normal routines will all take a toll. Even as you are able to slowly resume your life, it still might not feel right, which might cause further stress and frustration. To help get through this tough time, involve your friends and family.
It is also important that you do not demand too much of yourself. If you have trouble focusing when you return to work or school, remember this is normal. Your level of fatigue might prevent you from working as hard as you are typically able to. Do not expect yourself to perform as you did prior to your injury. You will only cause unnecessary disappointment and stress. If you are suffering from PTSD, this kind of emotional turmoil will only worsen it.
Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury in Atlanta, you will need the fierce legal advocacy of a personal injury lawyer who will work diligently to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Brain injuries tend to result in high medical bills, loss of income, or even loss of work, which can cause an enormous amount of financial and emotional stress to you and your family. You should not have to suffer for someone else’s negligent or careless actions. The responsible party should be held accountable for your injuries and we are here to do exactly that.
At Schneider Hammers, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys do not believe you should suffer in silence or settle for less than what is rightfully due to you. We will fight to protect your interest and uphold your rights. Our legal team is well-versed in Georgia injury law and is equipped with the litigation experience you need to create a results-driven claim for your brain injury. Schneider and Hammers has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of catastrophic injury, including a $450,000 settlement for a traumatic brain injury that occurred due to a collision with a commercial vehicle. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, you can be confident in our ability to obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your recovery and your life.
Contact Schneider Hammers today at (770) 884-4626 for a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.