Is TBI a Mental Illness?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a serious injury that can have lasting repercussions for your life. In addition to its many potential complications for your physical health, a TBI can have a significant impact on your mental health. Not only can it exacerbate common mental conditions such as anxiety and depression, but a TBI can also raise your risk of developing serious psychiatric issues. Unfortunately, many people overlook the potential link between TBI and mental illness. That’s why it is so critical to act immediately to protect your legal rights if you have sustained a head injury as a result of another individual’s actions.
Potential mental health complications of TBI
Mental health complications are among the most insidious complications of a traumatic brain injury. After all, TBI results from a blow or impact to the head, which causes damage to your brain tissue. Your brain serves such a central role in your mental health that even a minor amount of damage can affect your emotions, your behavior, and your thinking patterns in ways that can be difficult to predict.
At least one study has found that individuals who suffer moderate or severe TBIs are at a notably greater risk of later developing a psychiatric condition. Even those who sustained only a mild TBI had a higher likelihood of experiencing a mental health issue in subsequent years. Even if your TBI appears mild at first, the long-term effects of it could eventually be severely disruptive to your life.
Why children are at higher risk of mental health issues after traumatic brain injury
The risk of a traumatic brain injury is especially dangerous for individuals who are still developing. A study published in 2018 showed that children who have sustained a TBI have a 15 percent likelihood of developing a mental disorder, a 13 percent likelihood of developing an intellectual disability, and a 5 percent likelihood of subsequently experiencing depression or anxiety. Indeed, the study found that 41 percent of children who experience a TBI would still experience symptoms after a five-year period.
Parents and siblings of children who have been injured in accidents because of others’ negligent behavior shouldn’t hesitate to get qualified legal advice. If you have a younger loved one who sustained a TBI, it’s important to consult a traumatic brain injury attorney as soon as possible.
How can I tell whether my traumatic brain injury affected my mental health?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the full effects of traumatic brain injury do not necessarily emerge full-blown in the minutes following your injury. While some symptoms of TBI—such as headache, nausea, or dizziness—may appear right away, others will manifest only gradually. If you have recently sustained an injury that you think might be a TBI, it’s a good idea to keep a daily diary of your symptoms. Make a note of how you are feeling every day, and be sure to note any changes in your mood or thinking, even minor ones. When you first speak with your Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer, bring along the diary so that you can show how your condition has evolved over time since your injury.
Contact Ellis Law for the fair legal representation you deserve
If you have suffered a head injury in Southern California, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself in the event that you have sustained a TBI. At Ellis Law, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible legal representation for their personal injury claims. Our Los Angeles accident lawyers will bring more than a quarter-century of experience to your case, so you can count on them to fight hard on your behalf. We will never charge you unless we win your case! To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a case evaluation.