The link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and depression has been in the news for a while, but famed NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s recent suicide added even more urgency to the issue. Experts suspect that a career of repeated hits to the head caused head trauma and subsequent symptoms of depression. The depression might have caused Seau to take his own life.
Doctors already know that TBI leads to many defects in thinking, language and emotions. A TBI victim can experience depression, anxiety, aggression, acting out and feeling of social awkwardness. Experts think that if doctors establish a definite link between Seau’s head trauma and his suicide, then the NFL will face numerous lawsuits from former players.
Last year, another former NFL player Chicago Bears safety, Dave Duerson, committed suicide. Doctors examined his brain and found that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is severe head trauma. Reportedly, twenty more former NFL players also suffer from the same condition. Doctors do not know at this point if Seau suffered from the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
His parents are reconsidering an earlier decision to donate Seau’s brain to science to let it be examined for signs of traumatic injury. The family had stated they hoped the brain donation would help others “down the road.”
If you know someone who suffers from TBI, you know that it is an emotional strain on them and their loved ones. Making matters worse can be the expenses of treatment and rehabilitation.
Do you have a loved one who suffers from TBI?