Is There a Correlation Between Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD?

When the brain is shaken inside of the skull, it can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This commonly occurs when someone experiences a sudden movement or jolt to the head due to an acute trauma like an accident or a fall. A person doesn’t need to be hit by an object to experience a TBI; it doesn’t even have to involve contact to the head by another object. For example, a concussion can be the result of a rear-end collision that causes whiplash. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

TBIs are a neurologic condition. TBIs can range from very mild to severe or even life-threatening. Mild TBIs are often referred to as “concussions.” About 80% of all TBIs are mild and will generally heal by themselves, similar to how a bruise heals on your body. This is because a bruise can actually form in the location where you hit your head (where the brain hits the skull). But while these physical injuries usually get better with a little time, there are other mental injuries or conditions that can show up a little bit later. One such condition is post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD.

What can be confusing about PTSD as a result of TBI is that many of the symptoms of both conditions are the same. Therefore it’s difficult to tell if someone is experiencing both conditions or just one. These shared symptoms include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with concentration
  • Ongoing headaches
  • Out-of-character mood swings
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

But while these conditions can be related, sometimes they can be cause and effect. In other words, sometimes PTSD can be the result of a TBI rather than a co-occurrence.  

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD was once thought of as being a mental condition that commonly occurs after someone suffers from an intense trauma. However, the prevailing understanding these days is that PTSD is more than this. PTSD is now being understood as damage to certain brain organs and systems as a result of a flooding of neurochemicals to those brain organ/systems resulting from emotional and/or physical trauma. While soldiers who have experienced combat are known to be prone to PTSD, so too are those who have been victims of a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. 

So what does PTSD really have to do with TBI? According to numerous studies, there is a causal link found between suffering a TBI and developing PTSD. Although they are not the same condition in any which way, they can both result from the same accident or event. But where one begins and the other ends can prove difficult to decipher. For this reason it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A knowledgeable and experienced physician can help you to care for your TBI and/or PTSD.  Don’t delay in seeking treatment, as both of these conditions can become more serious when not treated. 

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or PTSD after a motor vehicle accident, it can have a widespread impact on your daily life. When these conditions have occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay the price. 

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!