In the US, as in much of the world, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a common cause of death and disability. So, what are TBIs? Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are physical injuries to brain tissue that can cause temporary or permanent impairment to brain function. Causes of TBI include, but are not limited to, falls (especially in older adults and young children), motor vehicle crashes and other transportation-related causes (eg, bicycle crashes, collisions with pedestrians), assaults, and sports activities (eg, sports-related concussions).
I wanted to share about this topic specifically because, as a psychiatry resident, I treat or get asked to help other services with managing some of the psychiatric symptoms—particularly with agitation and aggression in patients who have suffered from TBIs. Many times, these patients can be very aggressive and may be at risk to harm themselves or others. That’s where I come in; oftentimes, I may be able to help with as-needed medications in the hospital setting to help alleviate some of that agitation and aggression.
Brain injuries are so difficult on both the patient and their families. It is new territory. Many times, they feel as if their life has completely turned upside down. Quite frankly, I don’t blame them. I’ve seen major personality changes in some patients. It’s an interesting topic that I feel doesn’t get enough buzz, so, if you’re ever curious, take a read. Merck Manuals has some amazing resources explaining what TBIs are—all the way from pathology to prognosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Prior to this article, did you know very much about TBIs?
Thoughts from a psychiatry resident physician,