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Old 12-22-2016, 09:14 PM #1
willowtree8 willowtree8 is offline
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Confused HELP: Suicidal Thoughts After Struck By Car?

Hello! I am new to this site. A little over a month ago, I was struck by a pickup truck while walking on a crosswalk. I was knocked unconscious but woke up relatively quickly, just in time to be loaded in onto the ambulance. I went 50 feet and hit my head on the concrete. In the end, I broke my elbow and got a few minor skin abrasions, (some pretty wicked looking scars, too ) and I was unable to walk due to road rash on my feet for a few days, but there was no significant internal injury. I have since returned to school and walking and my average everyday routine.

So one of the first things the doctors did at the hospital was run tests on my brain for a concussion. They determined I had only a mild concussion. I was thinking straight and talking just fine. I felt okay, in terms of my mind. But in the following weeks after my accident, I have felt myself slip into an unexpected depression. I've been on depression medications for years and they've been working fine prior to this accident. Suddenly, I am having suicidal thoughts and my mind is just acting in ways it never has before. I can't talk to my friends, (even though they've done nothing but support me throughout my healing journey), and I've been having intense anxiety. I randomly cry for little to no reason. It's nothing like I've ever experienced before, honestly. I have never felt so worthless and so willing to end my own life.

I told my father about these feelings and asked him whether or not he thinks it could be related to my concussion, even though it was defined as minor. He suicidal thoughts really only happen to football players who have sustained a great number of blows to their heads over years and years. Only one concussion cannot have had such a great effect, he said. But I just can't see any other explanation for what is happening with my brain.

Could these suicidal thoughts and general depression be possibly linked to a brain injury?
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:03 AM #2
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Hi willowtree8

Welcome to NeuroTalk .

I have never had concussion but have had suicidal thoughts (none recently and no attempts).

It might help if you saw a mental health professional who knows about the nexus between concussion and depression/suicidal thoughts (I know that this is not a common combination).

S/he might be able to help.

All the best.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:41 AM #3
winic1 winic1 is offline
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Of course it could! Many brain injuries do not show up on tests (there will be no big black spot on the mri pointing to "here"), and many may not become obvious until later on. And, you were in a major traumatic event, even if your injuries seemed "minor" and your recovery went well. Bruises and bones heal, but the worst injuries are not ones seen on the surface, and they need treating and time to heal as well.

You need to see appropriate mental health professionals as soon as you can. The impact to your head may have altered your physiology enough that you need an adjustment or change of your meds. And you need a professional to talk to about the trauma you went through.

Seven years ago last week, my husband was driving me and our 7 year old daughter home from her dance rehearsal, when an oncoming driver lost control of his van and cut straight across in front of us, probably 10 feet in front of our car. We t-boned into him, spun 360 together, slammed the guardrail sideways, then he continued spinning, slammed our car again 1/2" behind my daughter's door, and spun 30-40 feet off down the road.

My husband was out for several minutes, still doesn't remember over an hour after the accident, and, despite not showing any damage in the ct scans or mri's, has permanent damage that makes him exhausted 24/7. He can sleep 18 hours straight, and still wakes up exhausted. Has had testing, has had sleep studies, no reason obvious other than his brain was bashed around in the accident. He has pills that keep him alert and functioning during his work day, but by the time he comes home, they've done what they can for the day, and I get this guy who is so tired it's like he's a college kid who pulled several all-nighters in a row. I have to keep an eye on him because he will do stuff that doesn't make sense, and he doesn't realize he's so tired he's not thinking anymore. His first neurologist from the accident told him that after 3 months from the tbi, there were no concussion effects left, it couldn't be that, so just get over it. Found a new one who specializes in traumatic brain injuries, as in keeps up with the latest research and understanding and treatments (which have been changing dramatically in the last years) who figured out what was going on and how to treat it so he could keep his job. You need a new doctor, who is up to date with brain injury knowledge.

I broke many bones in my body, seems the seatbelt got me before the airbag did. I never lost consciousness, never showed any signs of any brain injury, by action or testing, they were never worried about that with me, not in the ambulance, ER, or afterwards.

Only, over time, it came out that I don't quite hear right anymore. No loss of hearing in terms of range or volume, but words don't always go in right, so I miss pieces of what is said to me even tho I hear them. I watch TV with the closed captioning on now, to fill in what I miss. I don't hear things in the right places, the cat knocks something down in the corner of the room behind me to the right, I swear I hear the sound in the corner in front of me to the left (and I used to be amazingly good at telling where sounds came from). My balance never quite came back, it turns out it wasn't the broken bones and using a cane throwing me off. My vision isn't quite right, eyes don't quite always move together when they need to. Sometimes, I don't breathe right--had lots of testing, it's not that I can't, I just don't, lungs work, brain/body forgets to tell them to work right. Lots of little things that clearly all point back to a brain injury, but in a quiet part of my brain, not in the part that keeps you talking and moving and is so easy and obvious to diagnose.

And then, there are the emotional and mental damages. We were driving along, talking, laughing, at safe speed in our own lane, and out of nowhere somebody nearly killed us. No time to react, nothing we could have done, and we nearly died. Lesson? The world is not a safe place, you can't trust even a single second of it. You must always be on guard to protect yourself, never, ever, EVER relax, not one instant. Talk about stress--that will do all kinds of bad things to your mind and body. It will make you depressed, it will deepen depression, it will bring out problems you never knew you had, it will make you wish you could find an escape. It will make little tiny things seem so emotional that you cry at practically nothing. (I know, I'm still there, I was left with physical damage that never ever lets me forget what happened, every time I move, I am reminded.) Even if you don't realize how much you are guarding, how much stress you are carrying, it's probably there. That's why you need to talk to your doctors about this, and if they don't respond, find new ones.

Also, post down below in the Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome section. Lots of people there with experience in this who can talk with you better than I can. You are right that these changes you are dealing with are likely from your accident. It doesn't matter how many times you are hit in the head, it matters HOW it affected your brain. One small hit can sometimes do more than several big ones, depending on which way your brain gets shaken up and damaged. Read and talk to the people in the TBI section below, it will help you understand better.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:05 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowtree8 View Post
Hello! I am new to this site. A little over a month ago, I was struck by a pickup truck while walking on a crosswalk. I was knocked unconscious but woke up relatively quickly, just in time to be loaded in onto the ambulance. I went 50 feet and hit my head on the concrete. In the end, I broke my elbow and got a few minor skin abrasions, (some pretty wicked looking scars, too ) and I was unable to walk due to road rash on my feet for a few days, but there was no significant internal injury. I have since returned to school and walking and my average everyday routine.

So one of the first things the doctors did at the hospital was run tests on my brain for a concussion. They determined I had only a mild concussion. I was thinking straight and talking just fine. I felt okay, in terms of my mind. But in the following weeks after my accident, I have felt myself slip into an unexpected depression. I've been on depression medications for years and they've been working fine prior to this accident. Suddenly, I am having suicidal thoughts and my mind is just acting in ways it never has before. I can't talk to my friends, (even though they've done nothing but support me throughout my healing journey), and I've been having intense anxiety. I randomly cry for little to no reason. It's nothing like I've ever experienced before, honestly. I have never felt so worthless and so willing to end my own life.

I told my father about these feelings and asked him whether or not he thinks it could be related to my concussion, even though it was defined as minor. He suicidal thoughts really only happen to football players who have sustained a great number of blows to their heads over years and years. Only one concussion cannot have had such a great effect, he said. But I just can't see any other explanation for what is happening with my brain.

Could these suicidal thoughts and general depression be possibly linked to a brain injury?
Post Concussion Syndrome has so many symptoms, fear, anxiety, etc... Keep telling yourself everyday that you're getting better and better, stay positive, the the brain is so powerful and complex, while you are healing there's going to be stages that you go through. You'll get better with time. The brain definitely takes its time with healing.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:49 PM #5
Claired Claired is offline
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You will get better! People often experience depression and anxiety after a brain injury. Please take care of yourself, and communicate with those closest to you to let them know what you need. Make sure you get the proper medical care and mental health care you need. Definitely visit the Traumatic Brain Injury Forum, they can be very helpful. Most importantly, seek further checkups from a neurologist and a psychologist - they are very helpful.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:03 PM #6
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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willowtree,

Welcome to NeuroTalk. We have a whole forum dedicated to TBI and Post Concussion Syndrome. Please feel free to join us at http://www.neurotalk.org/forum92/

Any concussion can cause depression and other emotional disturbances. Many of us have experienced them. We can offer support in the TBI/PCS forum.

My best to you.
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