Traumatic Brain Injuries and Addiction        

How do Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) impact brain function?

A TBI can impact one’s cognitive abilities ranging from:Brain Image

  • Future-oriented plan formulation
  • Judgment making abilities
  • Reasoning
  • Concentration
  • Information processing speed
  • Speech and language expression
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Exhaustion

As a result these cognitive challenges can then impact a person’s functioning in various areas of their life:

  • Social – relationships become stressed due to a person’s challenges with speech, exhaustion, or mood fluctuations
  • Work – work productivity can crash because of concentration issues or mood swings can lead to job loss
  • Leisure – constant exhaustion inhibits one’s ability to engage in activities
  • Personal – family and intimate relationships become strained as who someone was before the TBI does not appear to be the same person after

What is addiction? 

Addiction can take place in many forms and last for various periods of time. Addiction cause challenges in a person’s life because they:

  • Pull you away from responsibilities/duties
  • Can negatively influence spending habits
  • Cause friction in relationships
  • Lead to job stress or job loss
  • Change a person’s daily habits
  • Financial chaos

Below are common forms of addiction in our society:

  • Sex
  • Social media
  • Video games
  • Substance use to include alcohol
  • Work
  • Pornography

What is the link between TBI and addiction?

TBIs can create havoc in one’s life which may lead to emotional pain. Challenges in various domains of life can decrease self-esteem and self-worth. This internal pain can lead to finding forms of avoidance and escape which directly relates to addiction.

Addiction is/are short-term solutions that can help numb emotional pain. But it comes at a cost. Long-term it can create problems of its own. Sometimes these challenges are financial, legal, relationships, or a combination of all the above.

Altogether, TBIs and addiction challenges can go hand-in-hand. TBIs are complex medical issues that, depending on how they were sustained, can be interrelated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Addictions can complicate TBI deficits and cause challenges of their own. Addictions can act to numb TBI’s fallout. There is hope. Don’t give up.

What to do next?

Our local therapists at Revitalize Mental Health PLLC are trained to work with PTSD and have extensive experience working with TBIs and addiction. See how psychotherapy can support you or someone you know in their recovery process. Call now or submit a form here for a free 20-minute consultation to ensure we are the right fit.

Location Map: 6000 East Evans Avenue Denver, CO 80222

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