- SELF STUDY MODULES
- 1. Intro to TBI
- 2. Communication
- 3. Skills for independence
- 4. Cognitive changes
- 5. Behaviour changes
- 6. Sexuality
- 7. Case management
- 8. Supervising staff
- 9. Mobility & motor control
- 10. Mental health & TBI:
- 11. Mental health problems
and TBI: diagnosis
- 12. Working with Families
after Traumatic Injury:
- 10.0 Aims
- 10.0A Take the PRE-Test
- 10.1 Mental health & mental illness
- 10.2 Why identify mental health problems after TBI
- 10.3 Why a person might get a mental health problem
- 10.4 The brain and mental health problems
- 10.5 Types of mental health problems after a TBI
- a) Depression
- b) Psychosis
- c) Anxiety
- d) Personality change
- 10.6 Fatigue and problems initiating activities
- 10.7 Issues in using:
- a) Drugs & alcohol
- b) Pain killers
- c) Natural therapies
- 10.8 Treatment challenges
- 10.9 Who to see - services available
- 10.10 Take home messages
- 10.11 Resource
- 10.12 Take the POST-test
10.2 Why identify mental health problems after a TBI? Q
Why worry about mental health problems after traumatic brain injury?
One might say: The person has enough to deal with by having had a brain injury, so let's not pay attention to the mental health problems. This is unhelpful.
There are some very important reasons why we do have to worry about mental health problems after a brain injury.
a) Ability to recover
If you develop a mental health problem after a brain injury then your ability to recover from your brain injury is adversely affected as the mental health problems affect your ability to participate in rehabilitation. You may not get as well as you possibly could. Because everyone wants to get as well as they can after a brain injury it is important that we not only recognise, but treat the problems.
b) Health risk
If you get a mental health problem you have a much bigger risk of having physical problems, for example:
- heart disease
- mentally ill patients tend not to exercise or take good car of themselves and so risk becoming sick from other problems.
People with mental health problems die earlier and have a higher chance of fatality than the generally community (not just from suicide). Therefore it is important to identify the problem quickly and make sure they have access to treatment.
If you have a family member with a brain injury you have stress already, you do not want to make it worse with the mental health problem. So we need to identify and treat the mental health problems early.
d) Legal risks
As a mental health problem can lead to behaviours that attract police attention, it is important to identify the mental health problem before they get in trouble with the police.
Some of the mental health problems people have after a brain injury mean they have contact with the police, go to court, and can sometimes go to jail.
In countries like America where there is not a very good legal system for people who do not have good incomes, many people with brain injury are in jail . In Australia that is not as much of a problem, but it is a significant problem. This is something we would like to avoid through addressing the mental health problems.
What are important reasons for identifying a mental health problem after a traumatic brain injury?