Photo: PTSD and Brain Injury

PTSD and Brain Injury

Women survivors of IPV commonly experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brain injury can not only increase the risk of PTSD symptoms,16 but also overlap with them.8-11 This is significant not only because of the potentially devastating additive effects of PTSD and brain injury, but also because symptom overlap can make identification of brain injury in women survivors more difficult, with symptoms of brain injury possibly misattributed to PTSD.16 Though there are effective treatments for PTSD, adjustments are often needed to accommodate for the potential difficulties with emotion regulation, impulse control, pain, and cognitive limitations that can accompany a brain injury.10

Learn more about overlapping PTSD and brain injury in survivors of IPV here


1. Ilie G, Adlaf EM, Mann RE, et al. Associations between a History of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Current Cigarette Smoking, Substance Use, and Elevated Psychological Distress in a Population Sample of Canadian Adults. 2015;32(14):1130-4. doi: 10.1089/neu.2014.3619 [published Online First: 2014/12/17]

2. Ilie G, Mann RE, Hamilton H, et al. Substance Use and Related Harms Among Adolescents With and Without Traumatic Brain Injury. 2015;30(5):293-301. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000101 [published Online First: 2014/11/27]

3. Chan V, Sutton M, Mollayeva T, et al. Data Mining to Understand How Health Status Preceding Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Functional Outcome: A Population-Based Sex-Stratified Study. 2020;101(9):1523-31. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.05.017 [published Online First: 2020/06/17]

4. Stein MB, Jain S, Giacino JT, et al. Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression in Civilian Patients After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A TRACK-TBI Study. 2019;76(3):249-58. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4288

5. Waltzman D, Daugherty J, Sarmiento K, et al. Lifetime History of Traumatic Brain Injury With Loss of Consciousness and the Likelihood for Lifetime Depression and Risk Behaviors: 2017 BRFSS North Carolina. 2020;Publish Ahead of Print

6. McHugo GJ, Krassenbaum S, Donley S, et al. The Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury Among People With Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. 2017;32(3):E65-E74. doi: [published Online First: 2016/07/28]

7. Scholten AC, Haagsma JA, Cnossen MC, et al. Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review. 2016;33(22):1969-94. doi:

8. Schwarzbold M, Diaz A, Martins ET, et al. Psychiatric disorders and traumatic brain injury. 2008;4(4):797-816. doi: 10.2147/ndt.s2653 [published Online First: 2008/12/02]

9. Kwako LE, Glass N, Campbell J, et al. Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence: A Critical Review of Outcomes and Mechanisms. Trauma Violence Abuse 2011;12(3):115-26. doi: 10.1177/1524838011404251

10. Rosen V, Ayers G. An Update on the Complexity and Importance of Accurately Diagnosing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Comorbid Traumatic Brain Injury. 2020;15:2633105520907895. doi: 10.1177/2633105520907895

11. Davis A. Violence-related mild traumatic brain injury in women: identifying a triad of postinjury disorders. 2014;21(6):300-8. doi:

12. Colantonio A, Harris JE, Ratcliff G, et al. Gender differences in self reported long term outcomes following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. 2010;10(1):102. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-102

13. Oyesanya TO, Ward EC. Mental Health in Women With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review on Depression and Hope. 2016;37(1):45-74. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2015.1005307 [published Online First: 2015/01/31]

14. Osborn AJ, Mathias JL, Fairweather-Schmidt AK, et al. Anxiety and comorbid depression following traumatic brain injury in a community-based sample of young, middle-aged and older adults. 2017;213:214-21. doi:

15. Kumar RG, Gao S, Juengst SB, et al. The effects of post-traumatic depression on cognition, pain, fatigue, and headache after moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury: a thematic review. Brain Inj 2018;32(4):383-94. doi: 10.1080/02699052.2018.1427888 [published Online First: 2018/01/23]

16. Iverson KM, Dardis CM, Pogoda TK. Traumatic brain injury and PTSD symptoms as a consequence of intimate partner violence. 2017;74:80-87. doi: