Experiencing a traumatic brain injury like a concussion could increase the risk of suicide, according to a new study.The University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston (UTHealth) researchers high school students who have had a history with concussions due to sports are especially at risk. The study's findings were originally published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
"It's important to remember that when it comes to concussions, there's no visual test to confirm them. Unfortunately, you can't take your child to have a lab test done to diagnose one," study author Dale Mantey, a doctoral student at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin.
Here are some of the symptoms of a concussion you need to be aware of:
* Mood change
For the study, the team investigated the link between self-reported history of concussion and suicide risk factors. Teenagers who revealed they had aconcussion in the past year were at risk of depression, suicidal ideations, and may have attempted suicide.
Data from the study revealed the following about those who had a history of concussions:
* 36 per cent revealed they felt hopeless
* 21 perc cent revealed they had thoughts of suicide
"Concussions are a traumatic brain injury and they are even worse for young people with developing brains," Steven H. Kelder, PhD, MPH, senior author and Beth Toby Grossman Distinguished Professor in Spirituality and Healing at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin, told a news portal. Adding, "These injuries can have long-term effects such as memory issues and sleep disturbances."
Here are some of the warning signs of suicide you need to be aware of:
* Talking about feeling hopeless
* Social isolation
* Mood swings
* Reckless behaviour
* Feeling anxious
"Everyone needs to be aware of the warning signs and the risks that come with concussions - parents, teachers, coaches, but also the students themselves," Mantey told a news portal. Adding, "If there is any concern that a child may have suffered a concussion, it is critical to seek medical attention. If a child is diagnosed with a concussion, everyone in their support network should look for changes in mood or behaviour that may be warning signs of reduced mental well-being."
A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found insomnia could perpetuate suicidal ideation. "While the results do not argue for the routine prescription of hypnotics for mitigating suicidal ideation in all depressed outpatients with insomnia, they suggest that co-prescription of a hypnotic during initiation of an antidepressant may be beneficial in suicidal outpatients, especially in patients with severe insomnia," authors of the study stated.
Researchers say tackling the sleep disorder may help to reduce the risk of suicide."If your patient says their sleep problem is really bad and they have had thoughts of killing themselves, maybe they should have a targeted treatment for their insomnia," corresponding author, Dr Vaughn McCall, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, told a news portal.
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