Head Injury and Suicide

Head Injury and Suicide

A large Danish population study which looked at more than 100,000 hospital admissions for head injury for over a decade and examined the causes of death, found this:

  • You are four times more likely to kill yourself after you’ve suffered bruising or bleeding to the brain.
  • You are three times more likely after concussion.
  • You are 2.7 times more likely after a skull fracture.


Around a third of our Charity’s clients who have hypopituitarism have thought of suicide or made attempts. We are surprised that apparently no research has been done to establish whether pituitary damage is a direct cause of suicide. Yet there are plenty of papers showing that pituitary deficits cause depression. Growth hormone is the first to go after head injury, and there is strong evidence that a lack of it wrecks quality of life. Deficiencies in each of the other pituitary hormones separately have similarly been shown to cause depression. These are compelling physical reasons.

Finally, when you remember that hypopituitarism is a condition that can destroy your career, your relationships, and your chance of having children, it is not a big step to imagine that it can also make you want to destroy your life.

If you feel suicidal . . .

Obviously, getting yourself diagnosed and treated could solve the root problem, but this takes time. Meanwhile, websites such as EPiC HOPE give you good advice on how to ride the crisis. Good luck, and hang on in there!

*Teasdale TW, Engberg AW, Suicide after traumatic brain injury: a population study, J Neurol Neurosurg, Psychiatry 2001) http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/71/4/436.full

** NICE, Human growth hormone (somatropin) in adults with growth hormone deficiency, Technology appraisal guidance TA64   https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta64/chapter/2-Clinical-need-and-practice