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A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that often leaves its victims feeling disoriented, confused, fatigued, and nauseous. There are even some personality changes that can occur as a result of the brain injury. While most concussions are classified as mild (mTBI), others can be more severe, having lasting side effects that are significantly more noticeable than others. Even long after the brain has healed, personality changes can still be prevalent, leading many to assume they just have to live within their “new normal.”
However, nothing is normal about these changes, and it can really impact a person’s life. The level of concussion mitigation treatment from Brain Forest Centers depends primarily on the level of the mTBI. Still, we highly recommend our neurofeedback training for anyone who’s suffered a concussion. Here we’ve laid out everything you need to know about the psychological effects of a concussion.
What Kind of Changes Can Occur?
A concussion is not just physically traumatic; it’s also emotionally traumatic. Many of the mood, personality, and behavioral changes you start to notice about yourself can leave you mourning your previous self. You may also try to find ways to cope with the ongoing physical symptoms such as migraines, depression, and anxiety. In some severe cases, people experience concussion-related PTSD.
Some other common psychological effects of a concussion also include anger and irritability. This can appear as impatience or irritation with everyday activities such as fixing things around the house, minor disagreements with partners, and helping kids with their homework. Because the brain is now working overtime to compensate for the injury, people often find that they feel more overwhelmed and are quick to get angry over things that normally would not have upset them. This is a significant indicator that the psychological effects of the concussion are impactful.
While some experience anger, others experience impulsive behaviors that are not within character. Because concussions cause memory loss, difficulties with focus and conversation, brain fog, and more, it’s not uncommon for some people to suddenly find they are no longer in control of their emotions or behaviors. In fact, it can be common for us to see symptoms of concussions and ADD together. However, these impulses could also be explained by the changes in sleeping habits common with an mTBI.
Why Do You Experience Psychological Changes?
When a brain injury occurs, there is a disruption between neurons and the brain’s blood vessels. While most connections heal and re-establish themselves, others do not. This can lead to the psychological effects of a concussion that people experience. In fact, nearly 30% of concussion patients report altered behavior, emotions, and brain processing capabilities.
The location of the mTBI also contributes to these changes. For example, some injuries can damage the connections between the cerebral cortex and the limbic system. These brain parts are responsible for memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, emotions, motivation, and behavior. Unfortunately, not all of the damage heals properly, altering the brain’s structure and a person’s personality.
Get Treatment for Your Concussion
If you’ve had a concussion, it’s important to monitor both your physical and psychological health. While not all concussions affect each person the same, the damage can be lasting and impact how you feel and process emotions and information. This is an indication that it’s time to treat your concussion with neurofeedback training.
At Brain Forest Centers, we measure brain function with a qEEG brain map to see the areas of the brain that the injury has negatively impacted. Our brain assessment and Brain Map will help identify why you or your child may be experiencing specific psychological symptoms related to the traumatic brain injury or concussion. We then create a personalized plan, using natural learning abilities, to unleash the power of the brain and get it back to its functional best. To get started with a free consultation, contact us today at (317) 288-9828.