Behavioral Health Consequences post Brain Injury

Brain Injury and Mental Health can be classified as the same diagnosis, and while it’s true that there can be many overlapping layers, health care providers and caregivers should recognize that there are distinct differences. Brain injury can lead to or exacerbate pre-exisiting mental health issues and both can exist independent of the other. Both occur due to a dysfunction in the brain, that controls cognition, emotional responses and behavioral skills.

Brain Injury

  • Common to have issues regulating behavior
  • More likely than general population to develop schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression
  • May be more prone to addictive behaviors due to suppression of dopamine and/or chronic neuro-inflammatory cycles
  • Studies show that brain injury survivors are 2.5 times more likely to die of suicide than those without brain injury
  • Diagnosed by Physician or Neurologist and may be based on clinical presentation and/or review of CT scans/MRI

Mental Health

  • Broad term, used to describe a wide variety of psychological conditions
  • Each condition can have emotional and behavioral effects that can impact daily function
  • Studies show that at least 50% of people diagnosed with mental health disorder have a history of traumatic brain injury
  • Diagnosis is by Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist or Psychiatrist
  • Person must exhibit specific traits that are defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5)