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How to know if you're suffering from post-brain injury depression

We've heard a lot about the effects of traumatic brain injury in the media in recent years. In addition to the physical symptoms, such as ringing in the ears and headaches, people who suffer a TBI can experience a range of emotional and behavioral symptoms that can occur long after they thought they'd recovered. These can include memory loss, anxiety, problems concentrating and depression.

Depression can be difficult to recognize. Sometimes people don't even realize that they're suffering from it, even if those around are noticing unsettling changes in their behavior or moods. Therefore, it's important to listen if they tell you that they're seeing these changes.

It's only reasonable to have feelings of sadness following a TBI. You may be in pain, unable to work and not be as mentally alert as you were previously. That doesn't necessarily mean that you're suffering from depression. However, if you're feeling sad most of the time, having feelings of hopelessness or despair or find yourself thinking about suicide, it's time to get help.

Depression is three times more common in people who have suffered a brain injury than in those who haven't. The worse the brain injury is, the more likely it is that you'll suffer from depression as a result.

If you believe that you or a loved one are suffering from depression following a brain injury, it's essential to get it diagnosed and treated. The signs may not occur right away. They may surface even years after the injury.

There are many signs of depression, and each person is unique in the symptoms they exhibit. Some may not be as obvious as the ones noted above. Following are some less obvious signs that are important to watch for in yourself or others who have suffered a brain injury:

-- Changes in sleeping habits (whether sleeping more or having difficulty sleeping)-- Changes in eating habits

-- Increased use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco

-- Loss of interest in favorite activities or in family and friends

The good news is that depression can be successfully treated. However, it takes the help of an experienced medical professional. That's why it's necessary to factor in possible mental health treatment to any settlement you seek against a person or entity who may be responsible for your injury. Your Colorado personal injury can help you work to seek the compensation to get the treatment you need.

Source: Brainline.org, "Depression After Brain Injury," accessed April 29, 2016

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