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Post-Injury Distress Following a TBI

by | Aug 25, 2020 | Traumatic Brain Injuries

A serious accident could render a person disabled and living with medical conditions for the rest of his or her life. While no one expects to leave from an accident unscathed, they are likely not expecting to suffer a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury. Such an injury could completely alter an accident victim’s life, resulting in them facing challenges they never expected to.

Common experiences of a TBI victim

With TBIs listed as the leading cause of death and disability, it comes as no surprise that accident victims suffering from a brain injury experience post-injury distress. Those with a TBI frequently experience both chronic pain and chronic anxiety and depressive symptoms. Researchers have focused on this connection, shedding light on the relationship between stress and pain following a TBI in order to develop better treatments and rehabilitation for this injury.

Each year, roughly 50 million people suffer a head trauma across the globe. In most cases, the TBI will significantly impact the victim’s social, cognitive, emotional and behavior functions. This can make it difficult or nearly impossible for them to return to the life the led prior to the injury.

Cause for pain and stress overload after a TBI

When the body is experiences stress, the brain responds to it, helping to reduce uncertainty and ensure existence. This is an adaptive response to stress, and it is referred to allostasis. A brain injury could cause a chronic allostatic overload, which means they are more prone to a variety of stress-related physical ailments. This can include chronic pain at PTSD. Researchers have found the presence of significant distress among those that suffered a TBI and the role of coping with the injury plays on their mood and overall anxiety.

A study indicated that those patients that avoided the process of coping with their injury experienced increased anxiety, a more depressed mood and a reduced quality of life. In contrast, those with more effective coping strategies in place were able to better manage their stress, had less difficulty with mental distress and depression and had a better quality of life. This study has shown that treatment for a TBI is not just about the persisting symptoms but also coping with the injury itself.

Suffering a TBI in an accident can be an overwhelming experience, especially if another party is to blame for the accident and resulting injury and damages. Thus, it is important for victims to consider their legal options, such as filing a personal injury action. This could help a victim not only place liability on that party but also assist with the recovery of compensation to address the losses suffered.