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Texas Personal Injury News

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Study Suggests Traumatic Injuries Are Linked to Mental Health Issues

Why might major injuries lead to mental health problems?

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) suggest an alarming and perhaps underexplored link between major traumatic injuries, like car crashes and falls, and mental health diagnoses.  With over three million people injured in car accidents annually and millions of others harmed in falls and other accidents, research into the long term effects of such injuries is of critical importance. Our Houston, Texas personal injury lawyers discuss the findings in the CMAJ and what they could mean for accident victims.

Trauma Increases Hospital Admissions for Mental Health diagnoses

Researchers examined the accident and mental health history of 19,000 patients in Ontario.  The majority of those patients who had suffered major trauma were men who lived in urban areas and suffered an accidental injury.  Researchers found that major trauma was linked to a 40 percent increase in the rate of hospital admissions for one or more mental health diagnoses.  

Children and teens had the largest increase in mental health hospitalizations after suffering trauma.  Suicide was also found in increased rates among those who experienced a major physical injury, raising from 11.5 suicides per 100,000 in the general population to an astonishing 70 suicides per 100,000 among injured patients.  

Reasons for the suspected rise in mental health issues and suicides after major trauma are likely complex and not yet fully understood.  Major injuries can have an impact on a patient both physically and mentally. Patients may experience depression as a result of losing mobility or being forced to take time off of work and other activities.  Anxiety could stem from the trauma of the incident, with many car accident victims experiencing ongoing stress when traveling or engaging in other triggering activities.

In addition to the emotional consequences stemming from the accident, major trauma often involves head injuries.  Brain injuries are linked to mental health issues, likely as a result of long lasting damage to the brain itself. The brain is a complex organ and scientists are just now starting to fully understand how injuries to the brain may have greater consequences than we previously thought.  As we uncover the link between major injuries and mental health issues, it becomes all the more important to ensure accident victims are given counseling and closely monitored in the years following the accident.

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