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Report: Traumatic brain injuries increase risk of PTSD

Suffering from a mental illness can be devastating. In many cases, people are not born with these conditions, so their entire world can be turned upside down when they are diagnosed. You may have lived on your own for years, working at a steady job and taking care of yourself before a traumatic event or injury triggers a mental response. 

According to research, post-traumatic stress disorder may be one of these conditions that people can develop after a specific event or injury. People who suffer from PTSD can experience debilitating symptoms such as anxiety, inability to concentrate, difficulty sleeping and erratic or uncontrollable emotions. But while doctors may understand what PTSD is, they may not know why some people experience it and others do not. However, a recent study suggests that the risk of PTSD may increase after a person suffers a traumatic brain injury.

The research was conducted to better understand why soldiers in particular were developing PTSD. It has long been known that members of the military experience PTSD, but it is not known why some soldiers are more resistant to the disorder. But after a four-year study of 1,648 Marines, researchers believe they may have identified traumatic brain injury as a key contributing fact in PTSD.

According to reports, researchers found that Marines who experienced a moderate or severe TBI were about 71 percent more likely to also experience PTSD. The study also found that people with a brain injury are less capable of controlling acute pain. Those with TBI reportedly experienced more pain and were less capable of managing that pain, which led researchers to assume that that is why people with TBI develop chronic pain conditions as well.

The results of the research are certainly interesting and could be very helpful in treating people with TBI or PTSD. As it is, people with these conditions can be so severely physically or mentally disabled that they are no longer able to work and earn a living. This realization may only complicate matters and create more stress in an already-difficult situation. However, people in Wisconsin who suffer from conditions like PTSD may want to speak with an attorney to determine if they are eligible to receive financial support through Social Security disability benefits. These benefits are available to people who are unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities.

Source: The Daily Caller, "What causes PTSD? Researchers come closer to finding out," Katie Callahan, Feb. 6, 2014

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