There could be any number of causes for feeling angry and depressed. However, if you have recently sustained a traumatic brain injury, the cause may be quite clear. Brain trauma can often lead to severe mood swings and a lack of control over one’s emotions.
A traumatic brain injury is commonly referred to as a concussion. While not all blows to the head result in a concussion, many, especially severe ones, do. Any strong impact to the head can cause traumatic brain injury, but the symptoms and severity vary from person to person and from incident to incident. The immediate symptoms include loss of consciousness, post-traumatic amnesia, and disorientation. These symptoms will fade in all but the most severe of cases, but the damage sustained by the brain can also lead to lasting psychological effects, including outbursts of anger and depression.
Many patients who have undergone a traumatic brain injury will experience episodes of anger and depression as a part of the normal recovery process. This occurs because the area of the brain that regulates emotions will often undergo trauma during a head injury that does not allow it to function properly. Luckily, this is usually not a sign of permanent brain damage and the severe mood swings will fade as this part of the brain heals. Up to 66% of recovering concussion patients report increased irritability, with 63% reporting feelings of depression. These outbursts will sometimes not surface until several weeks after the initial trauma, despite being a direct result of injury to the brain.
Generally, mood swings and negative emotions resulting from a brain trauma will fade naturally within three to six months. Your doctor will probably monitor you during this period to insure your recovery is going well, but additional treatment is not usually required to alleviate these psychological symptoms. However, the anger and depression caused by a concussion can be quite severe and may serious affect your life. Many patients feel like they have completely lost control of their emotions after experiencing a concussion. If this is the case, there are treatment options available to help calm these psychological issues while your brain recovers. It’s important to remember that this is a normal part of your recovery and allow yourself time to slowly reintegrate yourself back in to your normal routine.
However, if you are experiencing long lasting emotional issues that began after receiving a traumatic brain injury, consult with a physician or psychiatrist. Unfortunately, anger and depression resulting from a concussion often goes undiagnosed as the cause is unable to be determined, but there are specific features of the nature of this anger that can help you pinpoint the cause. The rage that results from brain trauma differs from normal anger in that the rages are often without cause irrational, and cannot be tempered by reason. If you experience severe negative emotions after the traditional recovery period has expired, your doctor will likely prescribe medication that will alleviate your symptoms and allow you to resume your normal life.