The Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and the Onset of Schizophrenia
Accidents that cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be a trigger for the onset of schizophrenia. The probability is higher in people at genetic risk for this illness who might not have developed it otherwise. A family history of schizophrenia puts a person at greater risk than the norm, but most relatives of a schizophrenic never develop the illness.
Sometimes debilitating symptoms of this psychosis begin for no apparent reason. However, in other cases, occurrences like a serious brain injury appear to be responsible. If the accident was caused by someone else's negligence, the person or the family may want to contact a personal injury lawyer for a complimentary consultation.
Research has found that many individuals who have experienced a TBI develop a psychiatric disorder later. Major depression is common among these survivors. Depending on the study, around 15 to 33 percent of TBI survivors develop this mental health problem. Examples of other mental health issues connected with TBI include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance abuse behavior that had not occurred before.
A review of the relevant research about the association between TBI and schizophrenia was published in 2011. The authors reported a significant connection, particularly among people with a hereditary risk. The injury did not have to be especially severe.
Schizophrenia is categorized into several types. All of these mental illnesses are characterized by seriously disordered thinking. Communication, whether in speaking or in writing, can be nonsensical much of the time. Many schizophrenic patients suffer from auditory hallucinations that seem very real. They may respond to those voices that nobody else can hear. Social skills tend to deteriorate. Some schizophrenics become paranoid and fearful that others are trying to harm them, including family and friends.
Statute of Limitations
One problem regarding pursuing financial compensation is the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The statute varies by state, ranging from one to six years. Unfortunately, signs of serious mental illness may not develop that quickly. In addition, the longer it takes for a person to experience symptoms of schizophrenia, the more difficult it is to prove that the psychosis was caused by the brain injury.
Many men and women with schizophrenia effectively manage their illness with medication. Others need repeated stays in psychiatric facilities or become long-term residents there. This can be extremely difficult for the family, both financially and emotionally. Personal injury lawyers work to gain the financial compensation that the patient and the immediate family deserve.