Concussions and Brain Injuries Raise Suicide Risk

Over the past decade, awareness of the long-term risks of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been growing among the U.S. public. (A concussion is one of the most common forms of a TBI.)

Recently, though, a study has indicated that experiencing a concussion or other TBI may raise the risk of a person’s attempting suicide. Not only is the risk heightened, but it climbs twofold compared to the suicide risk of a person who has not had a TBI —  a highly significant difference.

TBI and suicide risk

The study was published in a leading medical journal, JAMA Neurology, in mid-November.

Concussions were clear risk factors for attempting suicide, with a higher risk than other forms of TBI in the study. Although a specific concussion cannot be traced to suicidal ideation, the overall risk is clear. Multiple concussions may make the risk climb even further, although researchers are not clear on any specific extent.

The recent finding is very similar to that of a Denmark study published during the summer. It also found that patients with head injuries had a 100% increase in suicide risk.

Protect against Concussions and TBIs

The study sounds an alarm for concerned parents and individuals. Anything that would cause a concussion, such as high impact sports or reckless driving, must be eliminated as much as possible. Not only can concussions and TBIs cause physical injury, ranging from neck sprains to paralysis, but it is increasingly clear that they carry a certain degree of psychological risk.

People who have experienced TBIs in the past should be encouraged to seek counseling for any suicidal thoughts they may have. One crucial element in fighting suicide is to talk to people about suicidal ideation and to relieve stressors leading to that ideation as much as possible.

NYC traumatic brain injury lawyers

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are skilled traumatic brain injury lawyers in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties who have practiced for over five decades. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI and believe you may have a claim for damages, we encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation. Call 1-800-469-7429 to explore your options for legal recourse.

Additional Resources:

  1. Fralick, Michael. “Association of Concussion With the Risk of Suicide: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” JAMA Neurol. November 12, 2018.
  2. Taylor, Christopher A., et al. “Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013.” MMWR – Surveillance Summaries, March 17, 2017 / 66(9);1–16.