Ive long discussed the difficulties and complications following a diagnosis of concussion after an auto accident. Minor traumatic brain injuries can occur in many serious car accidents. It is not necessary that you black out following an accident or strike your head with serious force to sustain a concussion. The diagnosis will likely be determined at the emergency room based on either diagnostic testing or a review of the objective and subjective symptoms. Some diagnosed with a concussion may never exhibit symptoms while others will experience intense post-concussion syndrome. Headaches, tiredness, forgetfulness, dizziness, nausea, emotional swings are all just a few of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
While obviously not a doctor myself, I always suggest to my clients who have been diagnosed with a concussion or are exhibiting signs of post-concussion syndrome to follow up with their primary care physician or a neurologist. Too often I feel that diagnoses of concussion are taken too lightly and inadequately investigated. The long term implications are serious. For one, any sufferer of a minor traumatic brain injury is at an increased risk to have another concussion. In other words, the more concussions you have sustained the easier it is to sustain a concussion. Today, I came across an article articulating another long term risk of concussion. The report revealed that while it has been long established that serious head injuries increase the likelihood of suicide and suicidal thoughts, so too may a minor brain injury, or simple concussion, increase the risk of suicide over time.
The test looked at hundreds of thousands of patients who had sustained a concussion in the past twenty years and found that 667 had committed suicide. This number is roughly three times higher than the suicide rate in the general population. Worse, the study also supported that those with multiple concussions had yet an even higher suicide rate. The lead physician of the study stated that mild concussions “although invisible at the time of the incident, could be dangerous later on.”