Mental Illness and Brain Injury Are Not a Dual Diagnosis

One of the most common misconceptions about mental illness and traumatic brain injury is that it's a dual diagnosis, that it's something separate from the traumatic brain injury rather than the mental illness actually stemming from the actual injury to the brain. When we talk about problems after brain injury, some things seem to be intuitive. So for example, if a patient has cognitive difficulties after a brain injury, everyone knows that's from the brain injury. If somebody has problems with their sensory system or their motor system, everybody knows that's from the brain injury. But people don't appreciate that if you have an injury to the brain it will actually produce problems in your behavior and problems in your emotions, such as being irritable, being depressed, being anxious, as a result of the actual injury to the brain.

Often, behavioral and emotional symptoms are a result of a TBI and should be treated as such.

Posted on BrainLine June 9, 2011

Produced by Vicky Youcha and Ashley Gilleland, BrainLine.

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