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Link from encephalitis, car accident/being unconscious to depression?

Posted by @lookingforanswers1957, Tue, Feb 6 11:20am

Hello every one. I am new here and hoping to find some information. I have suffered from depression and ocd for it seems like for ever I really didn’t realize until recently that I think I have suffered from it since I was a teen now 60. My depression has caused me to do things I didn’t want to do and has caused me to lose my marriage and have financial difficulty. So this is what I am trying to find out. As a child I had a bad experience with Encephalitis, causing hospitalization, my fever was very high and lasted for several days before the Doctor got it under control, later on when I was 18 I had a car accident which I was ejected from the vehicle and knocked unconscious for about 45 minutes, very dazed and had no idea where I was for sometime even only being a 1/2 mile from home. I have often wondered if those 2 incidents could have caused brain damage hence being a big part of why I developed depression. I am wondering if I should have a brain scan to find out, and if I did and there is some damage if anything could be done.
Thank you for any advice in advance.I hope this rambling makes sense

REPLY

Hello @lookingforanswers1957 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I am glad that you posted this question.

While I’m not a medical professional I would offer a few thoughts: Have you been examined by a neurologist for possible closed-head injuries related to the car accident or for possible brain damage related to the encephalitis? I would think that getting a referral to a good neurologist would be a good first step. They could run various tests to check out any brain issues that might be there.

At Mayo Connect, we encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about health problems. So I have provided you with some links to help you further your understanding about these issues.

Here is a link from Mayo Clinic regarding symptoms of brain injury. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557. Here is another link related to encephalitis https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/encephalitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20356136. I encourage you to read and keep learning!

Have you had any other problems that might relate to brain damage such as addictions to alcohol, drugs, etc.? Also, is there a family history of depression?

I look forward to hearing from you again and once again – welcome to Connect!

Teresa

Teresa,
Thank you for the reply and the links. I have looked at those before but thank you for sharing anyway. I am sure that some would consider me to have an alcohol problem. I am sure my Father suffered from depression but I think it was because of other health problems he had.
I am going to talk to my Doctor and get his opinion as well. The cost bothers me as I am a self pay patient.

@lookingforanswers1957

Teresa,
Thank you for the reply and the links. I have looked at those before but thank you for sharing anyway. I am sure that some would consider me to have an alcohol problem. I am sure my Father suffered from depression but I think it was because of other health problems he had.
I am going to talk to my Doctor and get his opinion as well. The cost bothers me as I am a self pay patient.

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@lookingforanswers1957

I’m glad to hear that you will be seeing a doctor. That will be the best way to find the cause of your problems. Will the doctor be your primary care doctor or a neurologist?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

Hi, @lookingforanswers1957 — I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

Since you are looking at whether there might be a connection between some previous brain injury/being knocked unconscious in a car accident, your childhood encephalitis and your depression, a few Connect members come to mind who may have some thoughts for you: @techi, @oldkarl, @johnbishop, @tparks6, @dawnpereda, @dazza333 and @llwortman.

What has your doctor said about possible connections with these previous neurologic incidents and the depression you experience now?

Hello @lookingforanswers1957, there’s every chance that you could have suffered a brain injury resulting from the KO you received in car accident, the brain and brain based glands are very delicate. In my case a closed head injury, and only minor really, stripped the anterior portion of my pituitary gland clean off its stem leaving me quite debilitated; depression, memory loss, fatigue, impotence, mood swings etc, it was only picked up after a blood test then MRI months after the injury. In your case 45 minute KO there’s every chance that you’ve received a brain injury. I’m now under the care of a brilliant UK organisation known as HEADWAY, have a look at their website, it will give you loads of information and advice on brain injuries and symptoms etc whichever country you’re in it will still be relevant. I now have hormone replacement therapy which certainly helps. Good luck

Hello @dazza333 and welcome to Mayo Connect!

I appreciate your sharing your experience with @lookingforanswers1957, you have offered some great information and suggestions.

I’m so pleased to hear that you have been helped by HEADWAY, I checked out their website, https://www.headway.org.uk/about-brain-injury/individuals/information-library/, and see that they offer a lot of information about brain injuries. I believe that another Member from the UK mentioned this organization as well. I appreciate the reminder!

If you are comfortable sharing more, can you relate what symptoms, if any, you still have? Also, what modalities of treatment you have experienced?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

Hello @lookingforanswers1957 – I really like your Connect user name as it rings a bell with me. We should all be looking for answers and learn how to be a good advocate for our own health. I have no medical background or training but do suffer from several autoimmune and aging related health problems. Looking for answers keeps your mind occupied and helps you better communicate with your doctors and other medical professionals to let them know what’s going on with your body.

I do think there is a lot of evidence that points to a relationship between major depression following traumatic brain injury. My favorite tool to find scholarly type articles and information is Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/). I did a search on the phrase “brain injury major depression” and was surprised by the amount of information that was found. Here is the link to the search results:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_sdt=1,24&q=brain+injury+major+depression&hl=en&as_vis=1

I did find an interesting paper from The Journal of the American Medical Association – Major Depression Following Traumatic Brain Injury (Jan 2004):
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/481944

Hope this helps. Please keep looking for answers – there is one out there somewhere.

John

Thank you all so much for your concern and information. It brings tears to my eyes. I have not talked to my Doctor as of yet but I will be starting with my family practice doc and see what he thinks. Where I live and the clinic I go too I am thinking he will probably send me to the Mayo clinic that is kind of their go to place.

Thank you again

@lookingforanswer Hi. With the others, a couple of comments. First, it would not be unusual to have a series of nerve events giving a lot of damage, especially in the follow-through from juvenile encephalopathy. That is one of these things that can lay dormant for decades, or even progress very slowly as your internal protein-producing organs, such as the liver, age. These protein disorders usually start from a single-cell prion, and grow very slowly in a general pattern for the rest of life.Say a single cell doubles ever few hours before it dies and is deposited someplace, like the brain or the cardiac sensory-motor nerve, it still usually takes decades to build up a damaging deposit. And if, along the way, damage gets done by something else, this can only make the situation worse. Yes, go to Mayo, or wherever, and have them do their workup on you.

@oldkarl

@lookingforanswer Hi. With the others, a couple of comments. First, it would not be unusual to have a series of nerve events giving a lot of damage, especially in the follow-through from juvenile encephalopathy. That is one of these things that can lay dormant for decades, or even progress very slowly as your internal protein-producing organs, such as the liver, age. These protein disorders usually start from a single-cell prion, and grow very slowly in a general pattern for the rest of life.Say a single cell doubles ever few hours before it dies and is deposited someplace, like the brain or the cardiac sensory-motor nerve, it still usually takes decades to build up a damaging deposit. And if, along the way, damage gets done by something else, this can only make the situation worse. Yes, go to Mayo, or wherever, and have them do their workup on you.

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@oldkarl, thank you for your insights. You seem to be a very knowledgeable gentleman.

@lookingforanswers1957 HO! Probably more knowledgeable than gentleman!!!

@lookingforanswers1957

Thank you all so much for your concern and information. It brings tears to my eyes. I have not talked to my Doctor as of yet but I will be starting with my family practice doc and see what he thinks. Where I live and the clinic I go too I am thinking he will probably send me to the Mayo clinic that is kind of their go to place.

Thank you again

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@lookingforanswers1957 Hoping the best for you. Depression is not a walk in the park. Finding a cause could be liberating.

I find myself also wondering what to do…Guess when in doubt, do nothing. Pain is horrific today. Hope abandoned. The hurricane of madness blows; Staring wall-eyed into a desolate place. Stranded on a barren, wind-swept plateau where dreams disappear. Depression is ravenous and devours the day; an illness unbridled. Fluttering strands of hope. Pretty ribbons.

@parus

I find myself also wondering what to do…Guess when in doubt, do nothing. Pain is horrific today. Hope abandoned. The hurricane of madness blows; Staring wall-eyed into a desolate place. Stranded on a barren, wind-swept plateau where dreams disappear. Depression is ravenous and devours the day; an illness unbridled. Fluttering strands of hope. Pretty ribbons.

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Very sorry to hear your having such a bad day.

@parus

I find myself also wondering what to do…Guess when in doubt, do nothing. Pain is horrific today. Hope abandoned. The hurricane of madness blows; Staring wall-eyed into a desolate place. Stranded on a barren, wind-swept plateau where dreams disappear. Depression is ravenous and devours the day; an illness unbridled. Fluttering strands of hope. Pretty ribbons.

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Hello @parus

Thank you for sharing with us today. I am sorry that you find yourself in such a painful place. Hang on to those “fluttering strands of hope” they will see you through.

Teresa

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