What TBI victims in California need to know about depression

While there are a variety of different consequences brain injury victims may suffer from after an accident, many eventually develop depression.

When accident victims in California incur a traumatic brain injury, they may experience a wide range of different effects because every TBI is different, states the Brain Injury Association of America. This is because the consequences of these injuries often depend on the location, severity and cause of the trauma. However, depression is one common side effect that many people suffering from brain injuries experience.

What is depression?

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states that depression is more than just brief periods of sadness. Instead, the effects of this mental illness can include lack of energy, fatigue and disinterest in previously enjoyed activities. Some people dealing with depression may also experience trouble sleeping, feelings of worthlessness, a poor attention span and loss of appetite.

How quickly do TBI victims become depressed?

Researchers are still unsure of when it is most likely for TBI victims to start experiencing the signs and symptoms of depression after the initial trauma, states the DHHS. Additionally, researchers are unable to determine if factors like gender, age or the area where the brain was injured makes depression more likely. While some people may start to experience the symptoms of this mental illness soon after the incurrence of head trauma, others may not start to notice its effects until a year or more after the injury initially occurred.

What are the signs of depression?

There are many ways that brain injury victims can tell if they are depressed and they include some of the following:

  • Victims may find that they eat less or more than they did before the injury, even if they are not hungry.
  • Those suffering from a TBI may experience feelings of hopelessness, sadness and despair on a regular basis.
  • TBI victims may start to rely heavily on alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Those dealing with the effects of a brain injury may contemplate committing suicide.

However, those suffering from the effects of depression after a brain injury may not be able to easily identify these symptoms. Due to this, TBI victims should consider asking their close friends or family members if they have noticed any changes in their behavior.

How is this illness treated?

According to the DHHS, depression is usually treated with medications or with psychotherapy. However, in some situations, those living with the effects of depression after a brain injury may benefit from taking medications and receiving psychotherapy treatment.

In addition to depression, TBI victims may also experience consequences that limit their ability to live a normal daily life. If you incurred a brain injury due to the negligence of another person, consult with an attorney to find out if compensation for pain and suffering and medical care may be available to you.