Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries May Lead To PTSD and Depression, According To A New Study

Two months ago, you were pumping gas when your stomach started to rumble. You decided to run into the convenience store for a convenient meal. You were craving sushi and there was a tuna roll that looked good. Chopsticks in hand, you dove right in. But after eating only a few pieces, you instantly experienced the worst stomach ache imaginable and ran straight for the bathroom.

Brain Injury

That food poisoning incident now lives inside your head and even the sight of sushi kind makes you want to vomit! Sure, never eating sushi again for the rest of your life might seem like a tragedy but imagine if this horrible experience that scarred you for life was a bad car crash instead. Let’s say you were driving down Woodward when suddenly, you got t-boned by another car and found yourself waking up in a hospital room surrounded by nurses and doctors examining your broken leg, herniated discs, and a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). You were disoriented and didn’t know where you were, and the pain from the injuries and the pain from remembering what happened hit you all at once. The ER did what they could to patch you up and discharged you with a long list of doctors to follow up with. Now you’re getting wheeled out to wait for the car to pull around to take you home when anxiety hits you. You’re about to get into a car after being injured in a car accident. You panic! What if it happens again?! You suck it up and get in, but the accident replays in your head the entire way home.

Then a few weeks pass. You’re on the road to physical recovery, but you’re frustrated. You couldn’t remember the capital of Canada on Jeopardy even though you took a trip to Toronto last year, you keep forgetting to take your medication and skipped a dose of a painkiller which then caused you agony for a few hours, and you’re cranky from the loss of sleep because you’re replaying the car accident in your dreams every night and jerking awake when the car t-bones you. On top of all that, your social life is suffering because you can’t build up the courage to leave the house and get into a car to meet your friends, not that you feel up to hanging out or that you can drive with a broken leg anyway. So, you are tired, in constant, severe pain, frustrated at your memory loss, and lonely.

What you’re experiencing here may be PTSD and depression possibly caused by a traumatic brain injury.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as, “an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident or natural disaster.” An example of such a traumatic event can also be a car accident. Also, according to the APA, “people with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.”

Detroit Car Crash TBI Lawyer

A new study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that, “among hospital patients, 21.2% of those with mild traumatic brain injuries experienced PTSD or depression up to six months after injury, compared with 12.1% of those with non-head injuries.” According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury is, “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The JAMA study, which was published January 30, 2019, measured 1,155 patients with mild traumatic brain injuries and 230 with non-head injuries from 11 hospitals with trauma centers across the United States, between 2014 and 2016. CNN analyzed the JAMA study and reported that, “researchers found that patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were more likely to report PTSD or major depressive symptoms at three and six months after injury. At three months. The researchers also found that having a mental health problem before a traumatic brain injury was "an exceptionally strong risk factor" for having PTSD or major depressive disorder afterward.” The study also discovered that, “61.8% of the mild traumatic brain injuries were caused by motor vehicle collision!” “29.2% were the result of a fall or other unintentional injury, 6.1% were caused by violence or assault, and 3% were from an unspecified cause.”

Broken bones can heal but the brain may never recover from a traumatic injury. According to The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), recovering from a TBI varies for different people and, “improvements slow down substantially after two years but may still occur many years after injury.” Therefore, it’s important to take precautions and try to avoid head injuries. Since the JAMA Psychiatry study found that 61.8% of the mTBI’s in their study were caused by motor vehicle accidents, it’s been proven that car accidents are one of the most common ways to incur a head injury.

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not manifest right away. Therefore, it’s important to understand TBIs and to know to seek treatment right away if a head injury occurs. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and The Michigan Law Firm, PC, as a member of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, encourages readers to join the #ChangeYourMind campaign to spread awareness on brain injuries.


Gross, gas station sushi can cause psychological trauma, but a car crash may lead to a traumatic brain injury which may then cause depression and PTSD. The Michigan Law Firm, PC handles the legal obstacles that arise out of car accident cases for TBI victims so that they can focus on the difficult journey to recovery. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

#ChangeYourMind This March

March is brain injury awareness month! It’s time to #ChangeYourMind and spread awareness on brain injuries!

TBI Crash Crash Lawyer
Detroit Brain Injury Lawyer

#ChangeYourMind is a public awareness campaign presented by The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), an organization which, “provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.”

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) defines a brain injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as, “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, rotational force, sudden acceleration and deceleration, shock from an explosive blast, or a penetrating head injury.”

A traumatic brain injury is a very serious injury that affects many people. The human brain is the most complex and remarkable organ in the human body and is responsible for all of an individual's actions and drives their senses. A brain injury can affect who an individual is, the way they think, act, and feel. In Michigan alone, 58,500 people will sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, according to BIAMI. In the United States, 153 people die from injuries that include an injury to the brain every day, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Brain injuries can be very mild and even go undiagnosed, which can lead to permanent damage or possibly even death.

Most people aren’t aware of brain injuries and their common causes. BIAMI mentions that some of the most common causes of TBIs are:

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Falls

  • Athletic and recreational activity

  • Assaults, including domestic abuse and shaken baby syndrome

  • Motor vehicle and bicycle accidents

  • Military blast injuries

It’s very well known that car accidents may lead to TBIs, but most people don’t consider bicycle accident TBIs. Bicycle accidents are very common and just as life-threatening as motor vehicle accidents. According to CDC, “in 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care.” 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries resulted in TBIs. The CDC urges bicyclists that practicing helmet safety can play a major role in preventing bicycle related injuries, saying, “any bicyclist who does not wear a bicycle helmet is at increased risk of head injury...a bike helmet can help protect your child or teen from a serious brain or head injury.”

While our hearts can be replaced, there is no such thing as a brain transplant, yet. Coping with and trying to heal from a traumatic brain injury can be one of the most grueling challenges an individual can go through. Since March is brain injury awareness month, people should discuss the seriousness of brain injuries so that everyone can be educated on TBIs and how to prevent them and treat them.


Brain injuries are very common and can be caused in many ways including motor vehicle accidents, falls, and even bicycle accidents. As BIAMI members, the attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC are armed with up-to-date traumatic brain injury knowledge so they can better help car accident TBI victims. If you or someone you know has suffered a TBI due to a car accident, call 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Life With A TBI

Brain injury Awareness Month is recognized every March by The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) to raise awareness for brain injuries, the severity of brain injuries, and also the toll brain injuries take on the entire family of a person with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The BIAA leads the country in spreading awareness on how TBIs affect a person's life and how completing even the smallest tasks can be a struggle. The BIAA’s mission is very important, since according to their research, every 9 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. Thanks to the efforts of organizations like the BIAA, in part with TBIs becoming part of everyday conversation due to press like the NFL head injury scandal, knowledge on TBIs is increasing and TBIs are being discussed more often. One example of TBIs gaining national attention is their use as plot points in TV shows.

Source:  Giphy , ABC's  The Fosters

Source: Giphy, ABC's The Fosters

One show that is incorporating TBIs is The Fosters, a popular show that airs on FreeForm. During the show's latest season, one of the characters, 16-year-old Jesus, was involved in an accident and was knocked unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital and ended up in a medically induced coma. It was later revealed that he suffered from a (TBI). The show documented Jesus’ fight with his TBI through multiple rehab centers and through the transition of returning home. The Fosters gives a perfect example of the struggles someone who has sustained a TBI faces. This depiction, though fictional, is in line with the same awareness that the BIAA is trying to raise on the difficulties of TBIs. Giving a character a TBI on the show was not only a major plot twist, but it also educated the show’s demographic of people aged 12-34, who might not have previously known what traumatic brain injuries are.

Although The Fosters is a fictional show, accidents like Jesus’ happen all the time in real life. One real life person living with a TBI is 13-year-old Paul. BrainLine, a national multimedia project that offers information and resources to help people prevent, treat, and live with a TBI, discuss Paul’s story on their blog. Paul was once just like any other kid his age who enjoyed spending time with his family and playing sports outside with his friends. Paul’s whole world was turned upside down after an afternoon of bike riding turned into a car accident. Paul was immediately taken to the hospital following the car crash but was left with life changing injuries. While his TBI wasn’t diagnosed at the ER, TBI symptoms manifested while he was still admitted to the hospital due to car accident injuries. Paul was soon diagnosed with a TBI that left him immobile and in a vegetative state. His recovery was very slow and he fought hard to accomplish things that most people do without even realizing it, like lifting his eyelids, moving a finger, or saying a word. After spending many months in the ICU, Paul was transferred into a TBI rehabilitation hospital. While in the rehabilitation hospital, Paul had to learn how to walk, talk, and do simple everyday tasks all over again.

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After a long journey in the rehabilitation hospital, Paul was finally able to return home with his family. However, the problems stemming from the car crash TBI weren’t over yet, and Paul’s journey was nowhere near finished. Even after leaving the rehabilitation hospital Paul was still dependent on a wheelchair and walker. His parents still had to assist him with everyday tasks including self care, such as dressing and bathing. The stress level in the house was extremely high, according to Paul’s mom. Paul’s siblings struggled to get used to what they referred to as their “new” brother. Other than the stress of dealing with the TBI itself, Paul’s parents felt very guilty that all of their time was put toward taking care of Paul, and felt like they were neglecting their other children. Eventually, Paul’s parents knew they needed help balancing everyday life and taking care of Paul, so they asked for help whenever they needed it. Paul’s mom said regarding taking care of Paul and his TBI,

“The care giving was both never ending and exhausting. We had to recognize our own limitations, shed any guilt, and ask for help from our community, friends, and family.”

As years passed Paul continued to improve and was eventually able to return to school, but couldn’t do it on his own. BrainLine says that according to his parents, “Paul needed an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) geared toward his specific needs. He underwent a neurophysiology examination, which is concerned with the relationships between brain function and behavior and considers how injury may affect learning, communication, planning, organization, and relationships with others.” A personal aid was offered to Paul by his school to help him keep up with all the other students. He was also given a personal laptop to do assignments on. Graduating high school was a huge accomplishment for Paul, but was only the beginning to many other hard challenges.

Brain Injury Lawyer

Getting a job and figuring out what he wanted to do after high school was another difficult decision Paul and his parents had to make. Even though Paul had made tremendous improvements, he was still not the same person he was before the car crash. He walks off-balance, his voice is slow and monotone, and he is slightly slower to process information, to form a thought, or to respond to a question. Paul eventually got a job after high school and worked at a local retail store where he started as a greeter, moved up to sales clerk, and then cashier. Ten years after his accident, at the age of 23, Paul is now attending Lesley University where he is studying the Threshold Program in Boston and is living independently. He also volunteers at the hospital that took care of him and speaks about TBIs and the importance of bike and car safety.

Stories like Paul's show that traumatic brain injuries don’t just affect the live of the person suffering from brain trauma, but that a TBI leaves everyone in the family changed for the rest of their lives as well. Paul’s mom shared,

“Despite all the miraculous gains my son has made over the years, my heart often remains heavy. When I look into my husband’s or my children’s eyes, I can still see the lingering fear, the permanent scars.”

Hospitals and the sounds of ambulances have permanently scarred Paul’s parents and siblings. Paul’s mother continued,

“the sound of an ambulance or the sight of a hospital can evoke tears as we relive and experience flashbacks to that unthinkable day of the accident.”
b1572bb_speaker16.jpg

To help people cope with the ways TBIs can disrupt a family’s life, the BIAA offers webinars that people can watch online to educate themselves on all topics related to traumatic brain injuries. Some such topics include up-to-date TBI research, possible TBI treatment options, TBI rehabilitation, and how families can learn to manage living with someone has a TBI.


Whether you are riding a bike or driving a car, you may be at risk of sustaining a TBI. Being knowledgeable about what traumatic brain injuries are and how they affect individuals and families may result in people taking more caution while engaging in physical activities or even driving, in order to prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring. Traumatic brain injuries like many other car accident injuries not only harm the victim’s health but oftentimes bring up legal burdens for the injured person and their family as well. Our lawyers are experienced in helping families who are struggling with brain trauma handle their legal problems while they focus on their recovery. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM to meet with a car accident TBI attorney for a free consultation.

The Leading Factors For Brain Injuries In Children And Teens

Source:  Flickr

Source: Flickr

With the weather getting warmer, children will be spending more time outside, enjoying some of their favorite sports like football, soccer, and basketball. Kids love sports! It teaches them teamwork and planning strategies, and helps build friendships. And as much as kids like sports, teenagers love learning to drive and aim to receive independence from their parents via a driver’s license. This summer teens will be putting their pedals to the metal and test driving their new skills. So, since the spring and summer are so much fun for children of all ages, everyone should also be wary of the dangers that blows to the head in tackle sports and car crashes can have on children. Children from the ages of 0 to 19 have a greater risk for brain injuries than any other age, according to The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).

According to Forbes, “[Of the}More than 55,000 teenage drivers and their passengers who were seriously injured in auto accidents during 2009 and 2010, 30 percent suffered acute head injuries, including concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries.”

Since playing sports and getting into car accidents are leading factors for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children, parents should keep an eye on their children's behavior in case of head injury. The BIAA gives the following brain injury symptoms that parents should look out for that could impair a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional being.

Symptoms of Child Brain Injuries

PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENTS EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS
speech short term memory deficits mood swings
vision impaired concentration denial
hearing slowness of thinking self-centeredness
headaches limited attention span anxiety
motor coordination impairments of perception depression
spasticity of muscles communication skills lowered self-esteem
paresis or paralysis planning sexual dysfunction
seizure disorders writing restlessness
balance reading lack of motivation
fatigue judgment difficulty controlling emotions

Brain injuries can affect a child in multiple ways, as shown in the above brain injury symptoms chart. Collectively, these TBI symptoms can affect a child’s school work, social life, and general way of life. And since the recent news about the NFL concussion scandals, TBIs have become household dinner table talk. All of the negative TBI press has caused parents to become more involved in their children’s physical activities and become reluctant to let their children play sports or learn how to drive. While it’s disheartening to kids to have their parents deny their enrollment in football camp, these parents may be making the right choice. After all, “Each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes. A staggering 564,000 children are seen in hospital emergency departments for brain injury and released,” the BIAA reports. And according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), “Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents.”

Brain Injury Accident Lawyer

Brain injuries happen, and they are an injury that nobody expects could happen to them. But for children with brain injuries, it’s even worse. The BIAA reports that, “The brain of a child is continuing to develop. The assumption used to be a child with a brain injury would recover better than an adult because there was more “plasticity” in a younger brain, but recent research has shown that this is not the case. A brain injury actually has a more devastating impact on a child than an injury of the same severity on a mature adult.”  This is why brain trauma is a topic that needs to be discussed more often and more openly by the public. The BIAA leads the charge in continuing the conversation on brain trauma during the month of March, which is Brain Injury Awareness month. While brain injury experts are studying how to heal traumatic brain injuries, it may be a while until a surefire treatment is created. Until then, since we can't bubble wrap children and forbid them to leave the house, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  provides the following tips to help prevent brain injury accidents from occurring. 

How to Prevent Brain Injuries In Children

1. Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age).

2. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

3. Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:

Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer
  • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle;

  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;

  • Using in-line skates or riding a skateboard;

  • Batting and running bases in baseball or softball;

  • Riding a horse; or

  • Skiing or snowboarding.

5. Making living areas safer for seniors, by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;

  • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;

  • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;

  • Improving lighting throughout the home; and

  • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.

6. Making living areas safer for children, by:

  • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and

  • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

  • Making sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

While the CDC's 5th tip may be for senior citizens, some of this advice may also be applicable to children. Plenty of children have fallen while running up and down the stairs without using handrails and many have tripped over a rug and hit their head. Vigorous play with toys used to entice children to take baths have also led to slip and fall accidents in the bath tub. 

The fact of the matter is that children always face the risk of traumatic brain injuries because most children are physically active. By monitoring a child or teenager's physical, cognitive, and emotional behaviors following a head injury, parents can help their children immediately receive any medical attention they may need.


Summer fun like playing sports or taking road trips may lead to brain injury accidents. After all, sports and motor vehicle accidents are some of the leading factors for brain injuries in children and teens. If you or anyone you is suffering from a traumatic brain injury or any car accident injury, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM today. Our brain injury lawyers are available for a free legal consultation. 

March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month

FACT - At least 5.3 million Americans live with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related disability.

FACT - Everyday, about 137 people die in the U.S. from a TBI-related injury.

FACT - In Michigan, 58,500 will sustain a TBI every year.

These numbers are staggering. And yet, much of the public is undereducated on the topic of brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Well, those who want to learn more about brain injuries are in luck since March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), which is an organization created specifically to speak about and spread awareness of brain injuries, annually leads the nation in commemorating Brain Injury Awareness Month by creating brain injury awareness campaigns. Thethe theme for 2018 - 2020 is "Change Your Mind."

#ChangeYourMind informs the public about what brain injuries are, the prevalence of brain injuries, and of the needs of people with brain injuries as well as their families’ needs. The BIAA also works with the brain injury community to “de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.” The BIAA’s campaign and general brain injury advocacy are necessary to the advancement of science and the human understanding of the most mysterious organ, the brain. The more awareness there is around a subject, the more the public’s thirst for knowledge increases, and subsequently more research is performed to find answers and solutions to the problem millions are facing.

Source: BIAA

Source: BIAA

In the past, the lack of general knowledge on the seriousness of brain injuries and brain injury treatments caused confusion to those who suffered from TBIs. Brain injuries affect day to day living, various social interactions, and short term and long term health. One man who was involved in a head-on car collision shared his TBI story on the BIAA’s website. He suffered a Diffuse Axonal TBI from his car accident and was in a 32 day coma. A Diffuse Axonal TBI occurs when the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers tear when the brain rotates inside the skull. In his own words, “This all took place at a time when very few would survive something like this. Of the 3 people involved, I am the only one who survived. I feel that I was spared for a reason at a time when computers were just a great fantasy, and I was expected to go on in life as if nothing was wrong. By about the 4th termination from employment I began to realize that I wasn’t as ‘fine’ as I was told, BUT, I signed off on the claim in the judge’s chambers in 1977 so there was no way to prove anything until 35 years later I showed a job history which reads like a phone book.”

While not everyone is affected by brain injuries, anyone is susceptible to enduring one, since humans are a very active bunch. From taking a blow to the head in football, to slipping and knocking the noggin on an icy sidewalk, to loss of blood flow to the brain following a brain hemorrhage, there are many ways to fall prey to TBIs. And roughly 14.3% of TBIs are actually sustained in motor vehicle accidents. The Michigan Law Firm, PC helps victims of motor vehicle accidents who have suffered from a TBI. This is why our TBI lawyers are always studying up on the latest brain injury recovery breakthroughs and are keeping informed on the topic of neurocognitive deficits. Our law firm seeks to stay as knowledgeable on brain trauma as possible, so we can better advocate for our car accident clients, which is why we are proud members of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI), a BIAA affiliate.

Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer

As active members of BIAMI, The Michigan Law Firm, PC, regularly takes part in BIAMI events. Most notably, we attended the 2017 BIAMI Legal Conference in order to keep updated on and participate in discussions on the legal implications of brain injuries and other closed head injuries as a result of a car crash. In an effort to better support those who have sustained brain injuries, support the research into brain injury therapies, and to learn about new brain injury therapy protocols and diagnostic tests for TBI patients, the firm continues to be an active member of BIAMI. Our brain injury accident attorneys want to be involved in the conversation regarding the rights of treating providers including, but not limited to, neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, therapists, and other brain injury rehabilitation professionals. Most importantly, The Michigan Law Firm, PC wants to help BIAMI and BIAA increase awareness of brain injuries and help advance the world’s understanding of and immediate treatment of brain injuries.

Too keep up-to-date with Change Your Mind, follow #ChangeYourMind on Twitter, or visit the BIAA or BIAMI websites.


 If you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury or other serious injury as a result of an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.