The effect on mental and physical health to adolescents with a self-reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) shows significant differences according to results of a recently published Canadian study.
Among the teens self-reporting at least one TBI during their life that left them unconscious for at least five minutes or resulted in an overnight hospitalization, researchers found greater odds of at-risk and high-risk behaviors. Those reporting TBI were found to be twice as likely to report mental health problems that included attempted suicide and higher usage of medication for anxiety or depression. Many reported that they had sought counseling through phone- and web-based crisis help lines.
Researchers urge primary care physicians to screen adolescents with TBI for potential signs of risk, suggesting that early intervention “may reduce injuries and co-morbid problems in this age group.”