man holding head in pain

Over the past few years, we’ve heard many news stories about sports-related concussions and injuries. Unfortunately, football and soccer are the two sports with the highest reports of concussions for teens and adults. While Grey Matters of Carmel can treat the concussion symptoms after the fact, parents, coaches, and even school systems have a greater responsibility to keep athletes safe and know how to identify the signs of a concussion during a game and practice. But is this enough to prevent repeat injuries?

Repetitive concussions can lead to CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that can’t be detected while the individual is alive. Unfortunately, this disease has shown to be the root cause of many mental health issues, especially in professional athletes. But not everyone who gets a concussion will develop CTE. Still, the effects of a concussion can last longer than expected, affecting nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. This fact has led many to wonder if their loved one had a pre-existing mental health condition or if they’re just suffering from post-concussion syndrome.

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome is when the symptoms of a concussion last longer than the expected recovery period. People living with post-concussion syndrome often experience persistent headaches, dizziness, and difficulty with their memory or concentration.

Other symptoms of post-concussion syndrome may include:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Insomnia
  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Frequent migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision

In most cases, concussion symptoms resolve themselves within three months; however, in the case of post-concussion syndrome, these effects can last for more than a year. 

Is There a Link Between Concussions and Mental Illnesses?

To compound the problem, many doctors suggest that post-concussion syndrome lasts longer in women than men and that the reason for their symptoms is because the injury changed the brain’s physical structure. Yet, other doctors feel that post-concussion syndrome is related to physiological factors. These factors are often found in people who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

While medical professionals continue to argue about the link between concussions and mental health, there’s no arguing that physical damage and emotional trauma play a role in developing symptoms. We also can’t ignore that some research shows certain mental illness factors are closely associated and found more commonly in people with persistent post-concussion syndrome.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

When treating a concussion or a mental illness, proper management is the most important thing to remember. Often, concussions go undiagnosed because the individual didn’t lose consciousness. People assume that the only way to be concussed is to get “knocked out.” However, we’re finding out more and more that this notion is incorrect.

Another notion that is no longer correct for treating concussions is to rest in a dark room. While this may have been the approach just a few years ago, our understanding of concussions and how to treat them is evolving rapidly. In addition to neurofeedback training, doctors will likely suggest light physical exercise, neck therapy, and even nutritional or dietary changes.

Treating a mental illness is similar. Many studies have shown that physical exercise and diet play a role in treating depression and anxiety. Because both concussions and mental illnesses involve the brain, it shouldn’t be any surprise that neurofeedback can mitigate both as well.

Want to Add Neurofeedback to Your Treatment?

Grey Matters of Carmel uses neurofeedback training to help people of all ages living with mental health disorders. These include depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, and apraxia. We even treat athletes for concussions at both the amateur and professional levels. So, give us a call today at (317) 215-7208 and set up your initial consultation to learn more about neurofeedback and how it can help you!

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