Mental Health and ABI
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are very common after brain injury, with some studies estimating rates for co-morbid psychiatric disorders in ABI as high as 44% (Hibbard et al., 1998; Scholten et al., 2016). Factors that may adversely influence the mental health of a person with brain injury can be seen at a number of levels:
- Brain injury is often a catastrophic, life-changing event for individuals and their families. Many ABI survivors experience dramatic and permanent changes in work status, role, income, family life, support network, and quality of life. This may predispose them to significant depressive reactions and feelings of social isolation, helplessness and hopelessness.
- Pre-injury social functioning, alcohol use, previous psychiatric problems and family history, all influence mental health.
Mental health disorders in people with ABI can have a detrimental impact on a person's rehabilitation and quality of life (Gould et al., 2011). It is important that these conditions are treated effectively to enhance a persons recovery from ABI and their overall quality of life.
Mental Health and ABI Resources
If you have an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) the following resources may assist you to:
- Increase your understanding of mental health and ABI
- Provide information for your family, friends or services that you are working with
- Give you ideas for where you can go for further information, support or advice
Adjustment, Grief and Loss after Brain Injury (pdf, 289kb)
Anxiety and Brain Injury (pdf, 293kb)
Depression and Brain Injury (pdf, 293kb)
Depression and Suicide after Brain Injury (pdf, 338kb)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (pdf, 227kb)
Psychosis and Brain Injury (pdf, 280kb)
Relaxation after a Brain Injury (pdf, 409kb)
Synapse has a number of fact sheets on Mental Health and ABI.
Beyondblue provides a national focus on depression its impact through the provision of information, resources and support. Their information line is Ph. 1300 22 4636
The WayAhead - Mental Health Association of NSW plays a vital role in the development of Mental Health initiative which increase community awareness and knowledge of Mental Health issues. They have a number of fact sheets and resources that can be downloaded for free and others that may be purchased.
All about Depression is a website that aims to provide accurate, current, and relevant information about clinical depression to the public. They also have a section dedicated to resources on relaxation that provides some online relaxation exercises including audio clips for download.
Community Wellness at MIT Medical also has a website with free downloads to assist people with issues in the areas of poor sleep, stress, relaxation and mindfulness.