The Shocking Link Between Suicide and Head Injury
Thanks to recent awareness campaigns and medical advancements, most people are now aware that there is a connection between head injuries and mental health issues. However, most people are unaware of how serious these mental health issues can become. Of all the mental health issues you might experience after a head injury, suicidal ideation is perhaps the most serious. Many people lose their lives from head injuries despite surviving the initial impact. For these survivors, the mental health issues caused by their head injuries are simply too much of a burden. They feel as though they have no choice but to end their lives. We have to ask ourselves whether these deaths are any different compared to someone who dies instantly in a car crash after a traumatic, penetrating skull fracture. Both types of head injuries ultimately end in death. The only difference is that one takes a little longer to claim a victim’s life.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts after a head injury, you should immediately get help from a mental health professional. Speak with family members and friends and avoid keeping these thoughts to yourself. There is no shame in expressing your feelings, and it may help you move forward with greater confidence. In addition, mental health professionals can treat you with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. You are not alone.
But what if you have already lost a loved one due to suicide caused by a head injury? How do you pursue a sense of closure and justice? What if the initial head injury was caused by someone else’s negligence? Can you really sue a negligent party for causing someone to commit suicide in this slightly indirect manner?
What is the Link Between Suicide and Head Injury?
In February of 2023, CNN reported that two young female athletes had recently committed suicide. At first glance, these cases seemed relatively unrelated. But when journalists took a closer look, they realized that these women had one thing in common: Head injuries. One athlete was a cyclist, while the other was a snowboarder. The cyclist crashed and fell to the road while practicing in 2019. Undeterred, she got right back on her bike and continued training. But she had suffered a head injury that would change – and end – her life. Not long after, she attended a World Cup event in Berlin and experienced a headache so severe that she had to drop out of the race.
A trip to Stanford’s Health Center confirmed that she had suffered a major concussion during practice. Unfortunately, the proper protocol was not followed – and she continued training as normal. Eventually, her headaches became so severe that her athletic career was in danger. It was at this point that she attempted to take her own life. After being locked in the psychiatric ward in Stanford, she somehow made a second, successful attempt at suicide.
The snowboarder began suffering serious concussions almost immediately after beginning her career at age 12. Over the next five years, she suffered a total of seven major concussions. During this period, she was seen by several doctors who assured her parents that she was young enough to “bounce back.” But her seventh and final concussion was extremely severe. She suffered personality and memory changes to the point where she did not recognize her own father and had no idea why she was in the hospital. Despite this, she was selected to compete in the Junior Snowboard World Championships in 2018. She committed suicide before the competition began.
These are just two examples of head injury victims who have taken their own lives. There are many other athletes who have taken similar actions. Outside of the athletic world, there are many other stories that go untold. It is only because of the high-profile nature of athletics that we find out about these deaths. For the average California resident who falls off their bike and suffers a head injury, their suicide often falls under the radar.
The data shows us that the risk for suicide increases by more than three times during the first six months after a traumatic brain injury. Even after this initial recovery period, the risk of suicide remains much higher for the rest of a victim’s life. But why exactly do people commit suicide after suffering brain injuries?
First of all, it is important to understand that more severe TBIs are associated with higher suicide risk compared to less severe TBIs. Secondly, the connection may have something to do with personality, concentration, and memory changes in TBI victims. Often, individuals feel like their head injuries have irrevocably changed them in some way. There’s no going back after suffering this type of injury.
A head injury cannot heal in the same way as a wound or a broken bone. Often, victims must come to terms with the fact that their personalities may be different. They may also need to alter their lifestyles to account for difficulties in concentration and memory. The changes in a victim’s personality can be incredibly severe – sometimes altering their sexual preferences or their inhibitions. It can be difficult for them to understand what is happening to their identities – their very souls.
Where Can I Find a Brain Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced brain injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous brain injury victims pursue justice. We understand that these injuries may result in both psychological and physical issues. Non-economic damages are perfectly legitimate, and you deserve compensation for these emotional losses. This is especially true if your brain injury is causing you to develop suicidal ideations.
Remember, you should always contact a mental health professional if you are thinking about ending your life. Once you get the treatment you need, reach out and book a consultation with us. We can help you recover compensation for this life-changing injury, and this money can help with the cost of your mental health treatment. In addition, it may provide you with a sense of justice and closure that allows you to carry on as best you can. Finally, we can also help family members pursue compensation if they have lost loved ones to suicide caused by head injuries. Reach out today and book your consultation to get started.