A New Source Of Symptoms: Concussions Can Lead To PTSD Symptoms

A study from researchers at the Universities Texas, El Paso and Louisiana, Lafayette in the United States has found that athletes who endure concussions inside of their sports or outside of their sports have a chance of experiencing symptoms of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Concussions are a form of physical trauma. Revealing research has made clear that repeated concussions and trauma to the physical brain can result in emotional and psychological trauma as well. However, this new study from the US suggests that just one concussion could lead to symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD following a concussion are most like symptoms of shock. If symptoms of trauma persist past a month’s time, it is important for athletes or non-athletes alike to seek professional treatment and support.

Athletes who had endured a concussion recently were tasked to fill out a questionnaire within thirteen days. The results showed that the athletes’ responses to the event of their concussion closely mirrored many peoples’ responses to traumatic events, fitting, because a concussion is a trauma. For example, thirteen percent of the study sample experienced flashbacks to the moment when the impact occurred which caused their trauma. Flashbacks are a common symptom of PTSD, categorized under intrusive thinking which causes a re-traumatization cycle. Reliving the traumatic moment over and over again creates stress, firing off the fight or flight responses which keeps trauma symptoms alive. Similar to, but different from flashbacks are nightmares, which eight percent of the study’s participants reported experiencing. Twenty-six percent also reported experiencing a loss of sleep.

PTSD can start to feel like an imprisonment when there is no relief from the stress inducing thoughts about the traumatic incident. Whether in waking or in sleep, it seems there is no escaping the haunting reality of a traumatic moment. A larger eighteen percent of study participants agreed that they were “having trouble keeping thoughts of the incident out of [their] head.”  

Constantly reliving a traumatic moment through intrusive thought patterns creates a new element of fear of having to endure the original trauma ever again. Having to cope with the memories and symptoms of trauma is bad enough. To have to endure a whole new traumatic experience is a terrifying possibility. Consequently, nineteen percent of athletes found that they were “avoiding similar situations.” For athletes, that could mean avoiding practice, training, or participating in the sports they love. If they are building a future on their sports career, they could become depressed or anxious for feeling like they can’t perform, don’t want to play, or are jeopardizing their future. Avoidance is a complicated yet common symptom of PTSD which can progress to more areas of life than avoiding similar situations if it goes untreated.  

Trauma is most often the root cause of many emotional, behavioral, and mood disorders. Until you can heal your trauma, you will find great difficulty finding thehealing you need to live a life of recovery, health, and wellness. At Khiron House, we provide effective residential treatment and cutting edge therapies which seek to transform mind, body, and spirit from the effects of trauma. Call us today for information. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours) USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).