Previously, head injuries weren’t considered to be a big deal in most cases. But Michigan doctors are finding out that even minor concussions can have devastating consequences. Head injuries are common in domestic abuse situations. Impacts on any area of the head – including the face or side – can cause a long-term traumatic brain injury (TBI).
What is TBI, and what are the symptoms?
Traumatic brain injury is the medical term for any impact to the head that causes damage to the brain. Tripping, falling or other hard impacts to the head can all cause traumatic brain injuries.
It’s common for traumatic brain injuries to go untreated as many of the symptoms align with other injuries or illnesses. Common symptoms are:
• Mood swings
All of these symptoms can appear with varying degrees of severity. For example, a particularly hard impact might cause a migraine rather than a headache.
Serious cases of TBI will cause even more forgetfulness and confusion, sometimes to the point of amnesia. There might be other signs of cognitive dysfunction, such as impaired speech or trouble moving.
Treating TBI from domestic violence
A 2002 survey reported that 92% of women experiencing domestic violence have been hit on the head by their partners. Because the symptoms of traumatic brain injury can overlap with post-traumatic stress disorder – such as disorientation, confusion, or mood swings – it can be hard to recognize.
It’s important to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries as soon as the patient has an impact to their head. A medical team can help ensure no severe damage was done to the brain and can help with rehabilitation.
Untreated TBI can have a devastating and life-changing impact, sometimes resulting in death. This is why it’s important to consider the role of TBI in domestic abuse situations.