We often hear of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) discussed as separate health issues. Though these two are indeed separate conditions, they often coincide and can cause a perfect storm for a patient. So if you or a loved one has had an injury to the head, you need to be aware of how TBI and PTSD can be interrelated.
Traumatic Brain Injury Vs. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Let’s first look at a brief definition of these conditions to see how they are distinct from each other. TBI is a neurological injury caused by a physical blow or jolt to the head, while PTSD is a mental disorder that can develop after a shocking, scary, or dangerous experience.
People with TBI do not necessarily end up developing PTSD. In fact, many cases of TBI are mild and can quickly heal by themselves or with simple treatments like ice packs. A small, temporary concussion is an example of mild TBI.
Likewise, PTSD is not necessarily caused by a physical trauma to the brain. A person may develop this disorder even without getting hit in the head, just as long as the experience is distressing enough to affect his or her mental health.
How TBI And PTSD Are Connected
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder often overlap. Most common of these overlapping symptoms are:
- Difficulty in cognitive functions (thinking, memory, mental focus)
These two conditions may also share the same cause – that is, a single event may result in both physical and mental trauma to a person. Car accidents, assaults, and shootings are some examples of such events. A study among returning military veterans showed that those with mild TBI were 44 percent more at-risk for PTSD.
What This Means For Accident Victims
After an accident, it is normal to feel dazed or bewildered. But if your head was struck or violently rocked back and forth during the incident, and if there are lingering symptoms of head injury afterwards, it is crucial to consult a doctor. You may have a traumatic brain injury, and your experience may have left you vulnerable to PTSD.
If the accident was a result of someone else’s actions, you may also be entitled to compensation. Let the lawyers at The Brod Law Firm help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Your consultation with us is free, so if you have any questions at all about your injury, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Use our online contact form or call our law office at 1-888-HELPWIN (888-435-7946).