Is There a Connection Between Concussion & Anxiety?

Concussions can cause confusion, sleep disturbances, and difficulties with memory, coordination, balance, and speech. Research also suggests that concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can lead to anxiety disorders.

The emotional fallout from a TBI is often as serious as any physical or memory impairment. Fortunately, Florida law allows victims to receive compensation for any mental distress caused by their injury. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers for more information.

What Anxiety Feels Like

Anxiety symptoms are hard to ignore. When someone is suffering from anxiety, they often experience one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Racing thoughts
  • An unsettled feeling that doesn’t go away
  • Excessive worry
  • Headaches
  • Constantly thinking about “what if” scenarios

Anxiety should not be confused with depression, which many brain injury victims also experience. Further, most people report feeling anxious at some point in their lives, especially when confronting disasters. But an anxiety disorder results in chronic anxiety, not a passing feeling of fear. If your anxiety does not improve, speak to your doctor.

The Connection Between Anxiety & Brain Injuries

Research has found that parts of the brain are implicated in feelings of anxiety. These parts of the brain are also injured in many concussions and TBIs. For example, researchers used an MRI to look at areas of the brain following injury, and then compared the brains of those who reported anxiety to those who did not.

What researchers found was that a part of the brain called the vermis was impaired in those who were experiencing anxiety. Damage to the brain can make someone’s pre-existing anxiety worse or cause them to feel pronounced anxiety for the first time.

Treating Anxiety

Anxiety can be disabling, especially when it prevents a person from leaving the home, sleeping normally, or maintaining social relations. Fortunately, doctors can treat anxiety with medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, called SSRIs. Some of the more common SSRIs include Celexa, Luvox, and Zoloft. Other patients respond to selective serotonin & norepinephrine inhibitors such as Cymbalta or other medications.

Your doctor can also recommend lifestyle changes to reduce stress. This can be difficult, however, especially if your concussion is keeping you out of work and harming you financially.

Contact our Miami Brain Injury Attorneys

Few people are prepared to handle all of the complications that stem from brain injuries. For help bringing a claim for compensation, speak with Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP today by calling 305-371-2692.