For those who have suffered a brain injury – say, in a construction accident – the wound really just starts on the surface. Even after physical healing, the mental scars can drag on an individual’s ability to get back to normal. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who have suffered a brain injury are eight times as likely to become depressed in the year following the accident.
More than half, 53 percent, of brain injury victims will become depressed, while only 45 percent of those affected will receive adequate medical attention.
Symptoms can last for a long time and include:
Things like workers’ compensation and personal injury settlements often focus on the physical losses – surgery and rehabilitation bills, time off work, etc. Few settlements take into account problems with depression following an accident.
Still, according to doctors, it is something that should always be on the table for those who have suffered a brain injury.
According to Dr. Ricardo Jorge, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa, even starting an individual on a low dosage of anti-depressants in the year following a brain injury can assist in preventing serious depression later on.
And it is not just important to get some treatment – it is essential that brain injury victims receive full treatment. If a family member or loved one has recently suffered a traumatic brain injury, even if he or she has just been diagnosed with a mild one, make sure that you have them evaluated.
Like brain injuries, depression is treatable – but only if you take the steps necessary to have it diagnosed.