The manifestation of anxiety disorders after traumatic brain injury: a review

J Neurotrauma. 2015 Apr 1;32(7):411-21. doi: 10.1089/neu.2014.3504. Epub 2015 Jan 23.


The development of anxiety disorders after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a strong predictor of social, personal, and work dysfunction; nevertheless, the emergence of anxiety has been largely unexplored and poorly understood in the context of TBI. This article provides an overview of the limited published research to date on anxiety disorders that are known to develop after TBI, including post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, specific phobia, and social anxiety disorder. This review also examines diagnostic criteria, the epidemiology of each disorder, and the factors that influence the expression of these conditions, including injury-related and psychosocial variables. Putative neural correlates will be reviewed where known. A discussion of current treatment options and avenues for further research are explored.

Keywords: anxiety disorders; head injury, review; traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Humans