Following a catastrophic injury, like a traumatic brain injury, it is normal to feel unsure about your future. The accident can leave you with psychological trauma, and the TBI can change how you think, feel and express your emotions.
Traumatic brain injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities and life-changing consequences; it is typical for patients to struggle with their mental health or to feel overwhelmed by all of the changes.
Depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions following a traumatic brain injury. Sometimes depression occurs because of the changes you have to make to your life post-injury. You may find that you avoid socializing, have a decrease in productivity and often feel hopeless and unmotivated. Sometimes, anxiety may be separate or you can have both conditions. Anxiety does not always present directly following the injury but may manifest after months. Anxiety symptoms include increased breathing rate, rapid heart rate, extreme feelings of worry and fear and trouble concentrating.
Inability to regulate emotion
Head injuries can damage the areas of the brain responsible for regulating your emotions. You may find it difficult to control your behavior or how you feel. For example, you may laugh or cry suddenly, as if out of nowhere. You may experience mood swings, where you switch from one extreme emotion to the other.
Following a catastrophic injury, mental health care becomes imperative. Mental health help can teach you how to control your emotions and how to cope with life after the injury.