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Is There a Link Between PTSD and TBI?

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by Romanucci & Blandin

Since the start of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars in 2003, the suicide rate among military veterans has risen dramatically. The U.S. Army recorded 115 soldier suicides in 2007 alone. In recent years, the U.S. military, led by now retired four-star Army General Peter Chiarelli, has made efforts to seek the cause of the high suicide rate, and they’ve found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be linked to this disturbing trend.

PTSD is characterized as “the anxiety, anger, and disorientation people can experience after exposure to physical harm or the threat of it.” TBI occurs when a soldier suffers a concussion from the blast of a bomb.

With at least 36 percent of U.S. veterans and soldiers in 2008 having been labeled as seriously injured due to PTSD and/or TBI, mental health is a dire issue for the military. While studies show that not “every soldier with a concussion was going to experience post-traumatic stress” and that many “stressed-out soldiers had not been subjected to explosions,” thereby ruling out the direct cause of PTSD due to TBI, both of these types of injuries impaired mental health.

The good news is that the treatment currently being used to aid veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI—especially those at suicide risk—is also applicable to regular civilians who also suffer the same mental health issues. Romanucci & Blandin attorneys, Antonio Romanucci and Angela Kurtz, co-authored an article in 2014 asserting that civilians such as emergency responders (e.g., police officers, firefighters, and disaster workers) can develop PTSD from experiences s on the job—just like war veterans. Regardless of who suffers from this debilitating injury, agencies like the federal government, but also healthcare providers and personal injury attorneys, are now understanding the importance in finding treatment and advocating for those directly suffering from this mental health crisis.

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