The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to serious repercussions. The severity of injury can range from mild to severe. Most TBIs are mild and commonly referred to as concussions. However, moderate or severe TBIs can lead to permanent brain damage, disabilities, and behavioral changes.
A traumatic brain injury is a type of damage to the brain. It occurs when external damage, such as blunt force trauma, occurs to the head. TBIs are most likely to occur when something violently comes into contact with the head or an object penetrates the brain tissue itself. Anyone who experiences a head injury should seek medical attention immediately.
Immediately after a mild TBI, a person can experience:
Other symptoms may develop hours or days after the injury, which include:
Most people will recover from the symptoms of a concussion after a few weeks. However, one in five people will develop post-concussion syndrome, in which symptoms persist after six weeks. The more concussions a person suffers, the more likely they are to experience long-term symptoms.
A person with a moderate to severe TBI will typically experience some symptoms of a mild brain injury. They can also experience the following symptoms:
These symptoms may develop any time after the injury. The prognosis of a TBI depends on several factors, including age, overall health, and the location of the injury.
It is common for someone with a TBI to develop mental health issues that can’t be blamed on a preexisting condition. Depression is the most common diagnosis in people with a TBI; in fact, studies show that over half of those with a severe TBI will develop depression within a year.
Other common mental health issues in those with TBIs include:
Cognitive impairment is also common. While it is not always possible to reverse brain damage, the right therapy can help an individual improve their quality of life.