Brain injuries linked with increased risk of anxiety and depression

Individuals who experience brain injuries as children are more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression, a study has revealed.

The Monash University School of Psychological Sciences in Melbourne, Australia, which published the report, said the study shows that brain injuries can be connected to long-term psychological symptoms.

“The study suggests that brain injury is in some way related to longer-term anxiety symptoms, while previously it was thought that brain injury only leads to short-term effects,” said lead author Michelle Albicini.

She said symptoms may develop as a result of the injury itself, or as a result of living around nervous family members following the accident.

The study found that children with moderately severe brain injuries and females in general were at the greatest risk of long-term psychological effects.

It looked at a group of participants, some having suffered mild injuries involving loss of consciousness for less than 20 minutes, while others having suffered moderate to severe brain injuries involving hospital stays of more than 48 hours.

Each met with a psychologist to conduct interviews for psychological disorders including generalised anxiety disorder, panic attacks, phobias and depression.

It revealed that those with past brain injuries as children were about four times more likely to suffer from panic attacks, specific phobias, and depression.

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