10.8 Treatment challenges

There are some challenges to treatment of mental health problems after a brain injury.

The person with the traumatic brain injury

There are some challenges that happen because of the characteristics of the person with the traumatic brain injury.

For example a person may not have awareness and insight into their situation.

If a person does not recognise that they have the problem it can be very hard to get them to have the treatment or for the person to comply with the treatment. Usually the therapist will be aware of the problems with regards to awareness and they will want to do some special therapy to try to increase the person's awareness about their problems.


Another challenge is that there are not a lot of experts and in some regions no experts that can help you to make the diagnosis and to manage the problem.

There is a number of sources of information and typically your local brain injury service will know of someone who has an interest in brain injury and mental health problems and be able to lead you in the right direction for getting help.

While it can be really hard to talk to people about mental health problems and sometimes you might meet people less enlightened or very negative about it - persist and I am sure you will find someone who will be able to help you.


Finally, carers who take care of people with brain injury can get their own mental health problems and that can make it much harder for the carer to care.

The risk of mental health problems in carers is really high and so if you are a carer and you can identify with some of the symptoms of the mental health problems, particularly depression which can be a huge problem for carers, it is important to go and talk to someone about it and be aware that you can get help.

Mental health services may not recognise the mental health problem

Mental health services may not be your first port of call and they might be resistant to treating a mental health problem from a brain injury because they are going to say - "Oh no that's a brain injury problem and not a mental health problem". When you confront this situation go back to your brain injury team and get the brain injury specialist to talk to the mental health specialist and often those barriers of communication can be overcome.