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Concussions are currently a hot topic in the media and within the sports medicine world. It is important to know about the dangers, signs and symptoms of concussions as well as what measures can be taken to prevent or minimize concussion risk. Athletes must closely follow the recommendations of doctors and trainers before returning to play, school, or regular activities after a concussion.
What is less emphasized in concussion and/or other head injury discussions are the emotional and psychological experiences that athletes experience during or after a concussion. As with many sports injuries, concussions can place an athlete at an increased risk for depression, irritability, and isolation. The common psychological symptoms associated with injuries in general (i.e. knee injury) are often magnified when dealing with a concussion because of the sensitive nature of the brain.
An athlete that has suffered from a concussion may demonstrate dramatic or subtle changes in mood and behavior, which should be carefully monitored and attended to during and after recovery. Like many injuries, concussions can result in a number of emotional experiences.
Written by: Kendra Dunn, Psy. D., Certified Sport Psychologist Consultant. Some information in this article has been adapted from the Etiology of the post-concussion syndrome: Physiogenesis and psychogenesis revisited article.