Of the injury related deaths and disabilities in Canada, the top two causes are slip and fall injuries and motor vehicle accidents. They account for 55 percent of reported cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI). A common symptom of TBI is fatigue. Statistics show that approximately 70 percent of people who experience a TBI also have some sort of assorted fatigue.
Brain injury caused fatigue can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can result in the person having no energy for their family or friends, work, sports and hobbies, or any activity of daily life. The fatigue is life draining making it difficult to concentrate on the simplest tasks. That is why you need to call on a personal injury lawyer in Waterloo.
Proving Traumatic Brain Injury Fatigue
When the brain gets damaged during an accident, the organ’s neural connections can’t get messages to the rest of the body. It’s like they short circuit which has numerous consequences as it impacts mental, physical and psychological functions. When proving brain injury fatigue related problems, certain procedures need to be followed in order to determine the ability of these functions.
Proving that a brain injury caused fatigue can be a challenge. Chronic fatigue can be the result of other causes such as medication, a sedentary lifestyle, breathing problems, stress, anemia or depression. It’s possible to take certain testing to rule out these causes of fatigue. However, there are no definitive testing methods that can prove specifically that the extreme fatigue a person is experiencing has been caused by a brain injury.
Fatigue can be categorized into two groups: primary and secondary. Testing determines which type of fatigue a person experiences. Primary fatigue is the type that is caused by a loss of function caused by a brain injury. Loss of function occurs in specific areas of the brain. When fatigue is not directly due to the brain injury, it is called secondary fatigue. Secondary fatigue includes stress-related fatigue and discomfort- related fatigue as a result of the accident. In these cases, the result of the injury a person has experienced is causing the fatigue instead of directly the brain injury itself.Primary or secondary fatigue can affect a person psychologically, mentally or physically.
Physical fatigue is the most easily understood type of fatigue. It means that the body is too exhausted to do many of the things the person was able to do before the injury. With a traumatic brain injury, the connections between the brain and what gives the person physical energy to do daily tasks have been damaged. Even the smallest tasks become a challenge and the person’s life is significantly impacted.
A cycle emerges. When a person doesn’t have physical energy, they no longer cook. This means that their nutrition suffers in favor of convenience foods that don’t offer them the nutrients their bodies need to function. Poor food quality leads to even lower levels of physical energy.
When the brain is damaged, it takes more effort to think. This means anything that requires some mental energy can cause significant levels of fatigue. Traumatic brain injury victims tend to only be able to focus for short periods of time, experience light or sound sensitivity and headaches. After something mentally strenuous, these victims require time to rest the brain.
Any person who had a job that relied on cognitive abilities before the injury may have to reduce their work hours or may no longer be able to work.
The impact of continued mental and physical fatigue and the negative impact it has on a person’s life can lead to psychological or emotional fatigue. This type of stress is self-sustaining with characterizations such as guilt, poor self-esteem, frustration, anxiety, anger and a feeling of loss of purpose. These characterizations can lead to depression, an inability to relax, increased headaches and sleeplessness.