According to a recent study, concussions might lead to an increased number of suicides.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMAJ) released a new research that proves concussion are linked to suicide attempts. It appears that suicide risk is higher in people who suffered head trauma even if years passed since the injury.
A team of scientists from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada, conducted a study on concussions‘ effect on human brain. The results showed that brain injuries may affect people’s mental health on long term.
For the research experts analyzed the suicide risk after head trauma in a particular community. Their focus was on adults who were diagnosed with such head injury in Ontario. The study lasted from April 1st, 1992 to March 31st, 2012.
The number of participants who suffered a concussion was 235, 110 and 667 of them committed suicide during the follow-up of 9 years. Scientists said:
“the increased risk applied regardless of patients’ demographic characteristics, was independent of past psychiatric conditions, became accentuated with time and exceeded the risk among military personnel.”
It appears head trauma is likely to increase the risk of suicide among people in the years after the injury by three times. Moreover, experts declared suicide rate was even higher in patients who were diagnosed with multiple concussions.
Also, it seems that suicide risk existed whether the patient had a medical history or not. What’s more, victims who suffered a head injury on weekends were more likely to commit suicide than other patients. According to researchers this happens because weekend concussions were reported to have happened during recreational activities rather than at the workplace.
They added that weekday concussions are more likely to be treated because they occur in places with first-aid kits compared to weekend concussions which can be easily ignored. Head injuries have serious effects on human brain, causing irreversible changes.
It seems such trauma may alter an individual’s personality, making them more impulsive, anxious and even psychotic. The average age of patients with diagnosed concussions was 41. Most of them were male citizens without any past incidents of suicide attempt or mental disorder. It was estimated the time gap between the head injury and committing suicide was approximately six years.
Doctors recommend patients with head injuries to be extra careful and to consult an expert on a daily basis, especially if they are not feeling like themselves.
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