Brain injury need not trigger depression

A new study has found that people suffering from acquired brain injuries are able to appreciate life more and build greater internal strength through so-called ‘positive psychology’.

As the study points out, almost 350,000 people are admitted to hospital every year with an acquired brain injury (ABI), and these occur from a range of incidents, including road traffic accidents and strokes.

Often, such occurrences leave the victims with cognitive and communication difficulties, as well as social and emotional problems, including, in many cases, depression.

However, as the study suggests, in some cases, brain injury can actually be a source of positive personal growth, including an improved philosophy of life and enhanced personal satisfaction.

Researchers and psychiatrists have been puzzled as to why some people’s personal strength grows while others fall prey to depression, and this has led to a study of ‘positive emotions’ such as optimism.

In one of the most recent studies, called the Positive PsychoTherapy in Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitations, or PoPsTAR programme, the researchers incorporated therapeutic exercises based on positive psychology methods, such as setting realistic goals and focusing on positive events, into a rehabilitation programme.

Of the five positive psychology methods, one of the most effective is to write down three things that have gone well every day for a week, with a short explanation for it. According to the research, this exercise has been shown to increase happiness and decrease symptoms of depression for up to six months in healthy control participants. It has also proved to be effective in groups of people with ABI.

  • At Almond Care our staff have the specialist training required to support those living with a traumatic brain injury. For further information about our services, please contact us today.