Does a Brain injury Cause Depression and Anxiety?
The person who suffers a brain injury realizes that they have something that is physically wrong with them. No one can usually see the scar under the hair, but the patient knows that injury is there. What frustrates this patient is when his primary care physician starts talking about antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and therapy – like he, she has some mental disorder and not a brain injury. The patient feels the doctor misunderstands and doesn’t want to try anything.
A person who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression thinks his problems are all mental. He feels like everybody else thinks he can pull himself together if he would try harder. It is so frustrating to hear his doctor talking about stress-reduction and mindfulness when he can’t even get past the feeling that there has to be something wrong with him physically. He feels like a big failure since he is not getting any better.
Has stigma’s formed an intersection between brain injuries and mental illness?
Has the stigma of mental health and brain injury problems continued because of the difference in the boundaries between the medical specialties? Think about it; the terms “psychological,” “neurological,” and “psychiatric” seem to all live in the same spot of the brain, so why are we putting each person in a different place? Is one patient’s case entirely neurological and the other patient’s case totally psychological?
Chemical changes and physical damage in the brain
The patient that suffers from a traumatic brain injury has suffered that injury from a physical force to their head. His mind has suffered from some horrible chemical changes and some significant physical damage that destroyed and damaged some of the neurons while forcing some of the others to compensate and re-route. The changes in the brain have resulted in anxiety, depression, concentration, sleep problems, memory impairment, and fatigue.
The patient that experienced chronic stress and the traumatic loss also underwent some significant chemical changes in the brain. The chemical modifications will sometimes cause physical damage to the patient’s brain and force some of his neurons to compensate and re-route as well. The changes might be responsible for anxiety, concentration, fatigue, depression, sleep problems, and memory impairment.
Physical damage to your brain due to anxiety and depression
When you focus on it the way we did above, it means that probably there is a biological basis for the patient who is depressed and anxious. Does it suggest that in some cases of anxiety and depression that a type of brain injury has been caused by chronic stress and trauma?
Scientists do not say so for sure, but research supports the idea. Some studies show physical damage in the areas of the brain of patients who are chronically anxious and depressed. Some studies also show that antidepressants can also help generate some new brain cells, promote some of the chemicals needed to reverse brain damage no matter if a person is anxious or depressed.
Are Depression and anxiety, not a mental illness?
What if doctors stopped calling anxiety and depression mental illness, and called them brain disorders instead? So, what if we acknowledged the trauma and stress causes injury to our brain and results in anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and many others.
With this shift in perception, it could equalize the way we look at patients and allow us to explain why they suffer in much the same way. In a way, they are both struggling with a brain injury. They both could very well need to be treated with the symptoms that have resulted.
Should you meet with brain trauma or feel depressed do not wait come to our 24-hour Emergency Medical Care here at Memorial Heights ER where we are open 24/7 Emergency Care. We look forward to seeing you and helping you get on the road to recovery.