Fatigue is one of the most common and persistent symptoms related to TBI. Fatigue interferes with rehabilitation efforts, daily functioning, and quality of life—and yet it is difficult to treat fatigue after TBI because there may be multiple reasons for its occurrence.
A recent study found that one strong cause of fatigue after TBI is chronic daily stress. Pain and cognitive impairment are examples of factors that can lead to a day filled with stressors that negatively impact overall quality of life. This chronic, situational stress has been found to be strongly associated with persistent fatigue. However, the study found that chronic event-related stress—otherwise known as post-traumatic stress disorder—is not related to persistent fatigue.
Bay E, & de-Leon MB. Chronic stress and fatigue-related quality of life after mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (January 2011).