Concussions Increase Chances of Teen Depression

Adolescents who have had concussions are more susceptible to be affected by teen depression than young ones who have never had any such problems. A new study conducted recently has proved this. According to this study, those teens who have had concussions should necessarily be screened by experts to check if they have the problem of depression. 

Differences Between Adults And Teens

Concussion is a brain injury though it may be mildly traumatic. Despite being mild, such brain injuries may seriously affect people psychologically. Almost all the previously conducted researches have mainly been focusing on injuries sustained by adults and the depression that has been caused due to these injuries. But, teens are more prone to experience concussions because of sports injuries, accidents, etc. The long-term complications that may affect these young people due to these concussions have not been studied till recently.

What Does The New Study Reveal?

In the new study that has been conducted, data pertaining to a 2007-2008 national survey and the health details of more than 36,000 adolescents have been used. 2.7 percent of the young people studied had had concussions. 3.4 percent of them have been currently diagnosed of teen depression.

The study also reveals that those teens who had been living in poverty or teens whose one or both the parents had problems with their mental health are likely to be affected by depression compared to other normal teens. But, the fact that concussions and teen depression are very much related to each other is an indisputable finding of this study.

Reasons Not Very Clear

But, at the same time, researchers are still not certain about why teens who have had concussions are more prone to be affected by depression. The reasons may perhaps be the brain injury, the diagnostic bias they are subjected due to frequent and repeated visits to the doctor for treating concussions or the mistakes of the doctors in misinterpreting the symptoms of concussions as those of depression, etc. Another reason may be the social isolation these teens may be experiencing during the time of recovery.

Findings Of Other Researchers

Even experienced psychiatrists who have conducted separate studies agree that one in ten children are likely to be affected by complete depressive disorders or sub-clinical depressive disorders after about 6 months after they have sustained injuries due to concussions. These children may also be affected by attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD and so, they are more likely to be unable to control their moods that may include emotions like anger also than being affected by depression. 

According to these psychiatrists, the brain injury sustained by these children due to their concussions is the major factor that triggers teen depression and this may happen within a few months after they sustain the injury. In another study they have conducted, it has been found that the brain images of children who have sustained brain injury or depression are very much similar to the images of adults who have been affected by depression due to a brain injury.

To summarize, these studies have categorically concluded that concussions increase chances of teen depression.

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