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PTSD – Traumatic Brain Injury

December 15, 2020


Many times as physicians, we need to distinguish between symptoms of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. And in fact, oftentimes the two conditions go hand in hand. For instance, if you were in a life threatening situation, you often are in some kind of combat or in a natural disaster where you do indeed have a head injury. And the common symptoms to both of those include a hypervigilance, always being on the lookout for the next thing, trying to use your survival instincts to keep going. Because of that, you tend to have a little bit of a poor concentration, memory loss and avoidance of being outside or around other people. So all of those are pretty common symptoms. What distinguishes a traumatic brain injury is more the headache that goes along with it. And the sensory input such as your vision and your hearing that’s off, versus in PTSD, where you have many more of the intrusive thoughts or flashbacks, as well as the difficulties with nightmares. But the two often go hand in hand and have a lot of similarity.

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