Why Is Depression Common After Brain Injury?

Dr. Nathan Zasler, an internationally respected physician specialist in brain injury care and rehabilitation, talks about what caregivers should know if their loved one with TBI develops depression.

This is an excerpt from BrainLine's webcast Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know. See full webcast here.

How do you counsel families on dealing with depression? Well, as you said, I think it is a common phenomena. There are different types of depression. Certainly in response to seeing a loved one injured catastrophically, reactive depression in caretakers is common. And it can be more acute, or it could be longer term. After they realize that someone is not improving the way they thought they would, the message--sort of--hits home, as has been mentioned earlier. Then you may see that even several years after the injury in a caretaker. Within the population of patients who get brain injured, depression is probably most common in the first year to two, post-injury on an organic or brain injury-basis, and ultimately, it needs to be recognized by the people taking care of that patient and addressed through not just medications, but also non-medication intervention, such as psychotherapy, which has been shown to also be effective, even in people with brain injury.
Posted on BrainLine May 27, 2011.