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TBI Patients At Risk For Depression | Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

TBI Patients At Risk For Depression

It is normal for someone who has had a traumatic brain injury to feel sad by the problems caused by this injury. But for some people, those feelings can extend beyond normal feelings of sadness.

People with depression feel sad, lack energy or feel tired, or have difficulty enjoying routine events almost daily. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, poor attention or concentration, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, or thoughts of suicide.

Research has found that patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely to experience depression than those who have not had a brain injury, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For every 10 people who do not have a brain injury, approximately one person will have depression. But for every 10 people who do have a brain injury, approximately three people will have depression.


The risk of depression after a TBI increases whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe. Researchers cannot say if age, gender, the part of the brain that was injured, or the type of injury makes depression more likely.

Researchers do not know when depression is most likely to occur after TBI. Some people experience depression right after their injury, while others develop depression a year or more later.

Experts say it is important to tell your doctor about any symptoms of depression you may be having even if it has been a while since your head injury. Your doctor or health care professional will ask you a series of questions or have you fill out a questionnaire or form to see if you have depression.


There are ways to tell if you are depressed.

  • Feeling down, depressed, or sad most of the day.
  • Changes in your sleeping habits, such as sleeping poorly or sleeping more than usual.
  • Losing interest in usual activities such as favorite hobbies, time with family members, or activities with friends.
  • Increasing your use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.
  • Not eating as much or eating more, whether or not you are hungry.
  • Strong feelings of sadness, despair, or hopelessness.
  • Thoughts of suicide.

You may not notice some of these symptoms, but people living and working around you may see them. You may want to ask the people close to you if they notice these signs in you. Tell your doctor or health care professional as soon as you or others around you notice any symptoms.


Depression is usually treated two ways:

  1. Personal counseling with a special kind of health care professional. This is called “psychotherapy”.
    1. In psychotherapy, you and a trained health care professional talk about your symptoms and how to develop ways to deal with them.
    2. You might meet with your therapist weekly for several months or longer, depending on how you feel.
  2. Medicines called “antidepressants”
    1. Several types of antidepressants are used to treat depression and anxiety.
    2. You might need to take these medicines for several months or longer, depending on how you feel.

Many times, people need both psychotherapy and medicines. Researchers do not know the specific benefits and harms or side effects of psychotherapy and antidepressants for people with TBI. However, both psychotherapy and antidepressants have helped people with depression.

For more on medical issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach personal injury attorney.

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