The brain is an incredibly complex organ. And injuries to the brain can produce a wide variety of symptoms — many of which neurologists are just beginning to understand.
For example, an increasingly clear link between traumatic brain injuries (like concussions) and suicide is emerging. Below, we’ll discuss this alarming link and what you can do if someone you love has been affected by a brain injury.
Research Shows Increased Suicide Risk Is Real for TBI Victims
For many years, doctors suspected a connection between brain injuries and suicide based on cases involving athletes and military veterans who had suffered head trauma. In early 2016, those suspicions turned into evidence when a team of Canadian brain injury researchers published a study on the topic in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
After studying the medical information of 235,000 patients in Ontario, Canada, who had suffered concussions over the previous 20 years, they found that these brain injury victims had rates of suicide between three and four times higher than the general population. (A concussion is also known as a mild traumatic brain injury.)
The researchers also noted that this increased suicide risk transcended demographic characteristics like age and sex and didn’t correlate with past mental health conditions.
What Can You Do for a Loved One Who’s at Risk for Suicide?
For those who understand brain injuries, it’s not hard to see why people who live with them are at risk for suicide. A brain injury can produce many life-altering and debilitating symptoms and can even lead to cognitive changes that alter a person’s behaviors and personality. And some brain injury symptoms, like depression and anxiety, are associated with suicide in and of themselves.
If someone you love has suffered a brain injury or concussion, it’s important to know the warning signs for suicide:
- Talking about suicide or about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to commit suicide or researching information about ways to commit suicide
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
- Worrying excessively about being a burden to others
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
If you know or believe that someone you love is considering suicide, it’s important to act right away — their life may depend on it. To get help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-8255 or text SIGNS to 741741 for anonymous, free, 24/7 crisis counseling. You can also visit the NSPL’s website and chat with a trained suicide prevention counselor at http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. And if you have reason to believe that someone you love is attempting or is about to attempt suicide, call 9-1-1 right away.
Finally, if your loved one suffered a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, remember that an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to protect their rights and help them get justice and compensation for the pain and losses they’ve suffered.
Contact Atkins & Markoff if Someone You Love Has Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in Oklahoma
A traumatic brain injury often leaves victims and their families looking for answers and facing incredible costs. If you’re struggling with this situation, the dedicated team of injury lawyers at Atkins & Markoff is here to help.
Our attorneys at Atkins & Markoff have the experience and resources needed to handle complex brain injury cases, and we’re ready to fight aggressively for justice and compensation on your behalf if we can take your case. We handle all personal injury claims on a “no recovery, no fee” basis, which means you won’t pay attorney’s fees unless we get you a settlement or win your case in court.
If your family member or loved one has been seriously injured or even killed because of someone else’s negligence, call us at (405) 607-8757 or fill out our quick and easy online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced attorney from the Atkins & Markoff team today.
Fralick, M., Thiruchelvam, D., Tien, H.C., & Redelmeier, D.A. (2016, February 8). Risk of suicide after a concussion [abstract]. CMAJ, DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.150790. Retrieved from http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2016/02/08/cmaj.150790
Warning signs of suicide. (n.d.). SAVE. Retrieved from https://save.org/about-suicide/warning-signs-risk-factors-protective-factors/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.