Can a TBI cause psychosis?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a wide range of poor effects. Along with physical issues, some people also experience post-TBI psychosis, which causes similar effects as schizophrenia.

While this side effect is rare, it can have a significant impact on the lives of the people who experience it. Here are a few facts to keep in mind if you or a loved one has experienced a TBI.

Types of post-TBI psychosis

There are two types of psychosis that can occur after TBI. The first is the delusional type, which entails delusions of a paranoid nature. For example, a person might believe that others in their life are out to get them or want to persecute them in some way. Some people also express beliefs that other people are “imposters” assuming the form of friends and family.

There is also schizophrenia-like psychosis following TBI. In this instance, the person may experience vivid visual and auditory hallucinations that look and feel real to the individual. However, these people also experience paranoid delusions that occur within the delusional type of the disorder.

Risk factors

Certain factors seem to increase the risk that a person will develop one of the above effects after a head injury. The condition occurs more often in people with a previous family history of psychosis, as well as people who already experience the effects of a psychotic disorder.

Keep in mind that even a minor instance of TBI can cause the above effects. This highlights the importance of getting immediate medical treatment for injuries, as well as following up with specialists as needed during your recovery.

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