Traumatic Brain Injuries (sometimes abbreviated as TBI) are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States today. A study in 2010 conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that over 2.5 million TBIs occurred during the year and accounted for at least 1/3 of all injury-related deaths in the United States. Even when not fatal, this serious condition can lead to everything from severe mental impairment to unusual mood swings and requires immediate medical attention.
What is a TBI?
At its most basic level, a traumatic brain injury is any sort of injury that damages the normal functioning of the brain—this can include anything from a bump on the head to a particularly nasty fall. Within the category of TBI, injuries can range anywhere from mild (which include only brief changes to mental processes) to severe (which affect the brain over extended periods). The most commonly known form of traumatic brain injury is a concussion, although it is by no means the only type that exists.
Most TBIs occur within three particular age demographics—children at or under 4 years old, teenagers between 15 and 19, and the elderly over 65.
What are the Symptoms of a TBI?
The most severe forms of traumatic brain injury can result in prolonged periods of amnesia or unconsciousness. However, even milder forms of TBIs can have an effect on sufferers.
One of the most commonly associated symptoms with traumatic brain injuries is unusual mood swings after the injury—many patients suffering from TBI report feeling like they are on an emotional roller coaster. These changes in mood are unprovoked and unwarranted and often appear confusing to friends and family who may not be familiar with this classic symptom of TBI.
Depression and anxiety disorders are also common among sufferers of a traumatic brain injury, and a history of psychiatric illness is a big contributor to the likelihood that a patient with a TBI will be affected by these conditions. It’s estimated that about 60 percent of patients with a TBI will experience some level of depression or anxiety after the incident.
Please call me if you are experiencing symptoms of a TBI or have been affected by a TBI.