The main differences between post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury symptoms involve how emotional issues are expressed. Someone who suffered a TBI may have unexpected outbursts that aren’t appropriate to the situation for instance, while PTSD symptoms frequently go the other direction and lead to shutting down emotionally. 

Memory is another way in which the two issues diverge. Traumatic brain injury victims may suffer temporary or long-term amnesia surrounding the incident, making it difficult to recall the specifics of the injury itself. On the other side, PTSD typically involves constant memories and thoughts about the accident that won’t go away.

PTSD can also interact dangerously with symptoms of the TBI.  A victim may experience communication difficulties after suffering a brain injury, such as problems remembering specific words or concepts. That can exacerbate PTSD symptoms like irritability and depression. 

Treatments for PTSD Following a Traumatic Brain Injury

Surgeries, therapy, and medication can alleviate the severity of brain injury symptoms or help prevent them from worsening, but it’s important to note that pharmacological treatments may not always be viable for treating PTSD. Depending on the type and severity of your TBI, some medications may interact negatively and make symptoms from the brain injury worse. That’s why it is important to see a doctor as quickly as possible. 

Consulting with a physician immediately after your accident doesn’t just establish a paper trail on the extent of your injuries, but also helps determine if prescription drug options are appropriate for your situation. You may also need to receive referrals to other healthcare professionals who can provide the means to deal with symptoms during your daily routine. PTSD treatment after a TBI may involve:

  • Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Neuropsychologist visits
  • Coping mechanisms like meditation and other stress-reducers

The good news is that you aren’t alone. Support groups for individuals suffering from PTSD and severe TBI symptoms are available, and you can retain a lawyer to assist in the monetary side of your recovery. A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in brain injury cases can help ensure your PTSD is taken into account when recovering damages. 

Kevin W. Mottley
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Richmond, VA trial lawyer dedicated to handling brain injuries, car accidents and other serious injury claims