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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Can a Brain Injury Cause PTSD?


Neuroscience, or the science of understanding how our brains function and react to different stimuli, is still in a very young stage. Breakthroughs are made regularly, expanding our comprehension of this all-important organ and how it shapes who we are. But for everything we know about our brains and minds, there must be a million more things we do not know for certain, including how it reacts to injuries and traumatic experiences. In particular, scientists and doctors have recently begun to ask, “Can a brain injury be the cause of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?”

PTSD is regarded as a mental illness that manifests through triggers. While most triggers are related to a particularly violent or harrowing event, some can be seemingly random or loosely connected. For example, someone who was in a devastating car accident can be triggered by seeing the same make and model car that hit them approaching, or simply seeing someone wearing the shirt they had on during the accident could lead to a PTSD spell. Many symptoms of PTSD are the same as symptoms of brain injuries, leading researchers to believe that they may be directly related.

People who suffer from PTSD often experience:

  • Nightmares, night terrors, and insomnia
  • Vivid flashbacks
  • Anxiety, nervousness, and agitation
  • Emotional numbness
  • Persistent fear and developing trust issues
  • Self-destructive behavior and intentional isolation

The evidence that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes PTSD is certainly there but it is not yet confirmed. It would seem that, with a cursory review, that TBIs can manifest PTSD-like symptoms but not necessarily create true PTSD triggers. However, if someone already suffers from PTSD due to a disturbing event, suffering a TBI afterwards will worsen the symptoms, creating stronger flashbacks and more frequent triggers.

If you have suffered a head injury and now experience PTSD, the two experiences could be related. More importantly, there may be treatment options available. In order to help you pay for treatments, you may need to bring a lawsuit or injury claim against the party responsible for your brain injury. Contact Albuquerque Brain Injury Attorney Michael J. Doyle today and ask for a free initial consultation. With our firm’s legal assistance, you may be on the road to recuperation in no time.