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Anxiety

Question:

I was in a car accident in 1984. I suffered a TBI that put me in a coma for 11 days. It was mostly frontal lobe damage which I still suffer problems with. I am noticing the symptoms getting worse over the last year or so and now I have begun to shake from the inside out. I told this to a counselor recently and he said it may be anxiety. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety in the past when there were family problems present. I am currently having relationship problems with my girlfriend that is very distressing to me. My question is do you think this could be anxiety coming back on me again?

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Answer:

In my opinion you should not make any assumptions about your present symptoms. Yes, it could be that you are once again experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, you were in a very serious accident years ago and do have traumatic brain injury (TBI). That is the reason I suggest you see your MD first and even a Neurologist just to be on the “safe side” of this.

My guess is that back in the 80’s your accident also caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that is why you have a repeat of symptoms when things get tough in your life. In fact, the combination of the TBI and PTSD could be the basis of your problems with family and relationships.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that it is vital for people to get a full medical check up, particularly when they experience symptoms such as yours. You can and discuss the possibility of PTSD as part of your physical exam.

If it turns out that you remain in good physical health and that the symptoms are unrelated to anything medical it is then time to consider PTSD and its treatment. Treatment could include medication, particularly for depression, and psychotherapy for the trauma. Remember, anxiety and depression go together. 

Best of Luck

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