Other Can a concussion make PTSD symptoms worse/more intense?

reallydown

MyPTSD Pro
Hi. My apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere. I have recently suffered a concussion so my attention is a bit off, and I can't stare at the screen for too long.

My question is if anyone has had this happen (not PTSD as a result of TBI but someone getting TBI after already having PTSD)? If so, has your head injury/concussion made your flashbacks or intrusive memories more intense?

I would be grateful for any and all insights into this. Thanks in advance.
 

Friday

Moderator
Anything that affects the brain can make pre-existing neurological symptoms worse... or better, or wacky... whether that’s a concussion, TBI, fever, infection, malnutrition/low blood sugar, drugs/alcohol, sleep dep, seizures, electric shock, hypoxia, etc.

Concussions tend to be very short lived (unless you’re talking about multiple concussions, especially if still having symptoms from earlier concussion) , but PTSD is also a disorder that’s highly reactive to stress, so what caused the concussion & the fallout are ALSO likely to uptick symptoms. Not always, sometimes people bang their head in otherwise non-traumatic fashion, and the next few days whilst they take care of themselves are a shining example of stress management. But it’s far more common to get a concussion from an MVA, or fall, or other “hilarity did not ensue” types of events... and then to spend the next week exhausted, off work, going to multiple appointments, fighting with insurance, and, and, and, and....cut off from their normal routines & coping mechanisms, with stress levels up to their eyeballs.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Yep.....I used an app after my last concussion....called Elevate.....which was great for memory, language skills, reading, listening, math, as well as vocabulary. It required focusing....some areas I did better than others. I have also had multiple head injuries and some neurological problems....and my TBI doc said that the damage is cumulative, but he's known many people with multiple concussions...that come back to where they were, but one key was to use your brain to support or gain back old learning, and make new neural pathways with new learning (learning to do different things you haven't tried before).....but...the short answer to your question is yes.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Yep.....I used an app after my last concussion....called Elevate.....which was great for memory, language skills, reading, listening, math, as well as vocabulary. It required focusing....some areas I did better than others. I have also had multiple head injuries and some neurological problems....and my TBI doc said that the damage is cumulative, but he's known many people with multiple concussions...that come back to where they were, but one key was to use your brain to support or gain back old learning, and make new neural pathways with new learning (learning to do different things you haven't tried before).....but...the short answer to your question is yes.
Stress and not "doing physical exercise" after a head injury will further confound your speech center because when you add stress, hormones create problems in the area, and further frustrate the hell out of you. To combat stress.....get regular aerobic exercise for an hr. a day and I bet you'll notice after a few weeks, your speech improve.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Yes. I was told that I had symptoms of ptsd decades ago, but managed will. I had several concussions over my lifetime. The last one 15 years ago affected my emotions and in turn, changed the course of the choices I made. The choices created more chaos, and even additional trauma on occasions. As others said, right after the head injury I did not have a support system to allow me to take time to recover. The attempt to continue on course was a big mistake for me. It is so important for someone with a concussion to have some time off and strong support. If we died tomorrow, we would easily be replaced. Yet we often won't take the time off when we need it.
 
T

Tickity-boo

I can't answer this quite as you have asked for, as my suspected TBIs happened while the abuse was happening, during the years I was being abused, and also before later 'stuff' happened. I've been curious myself if I even had a TBI during the events I remember - falling hard enough on my head that I could barely hear, couldn't understand what was being said when I could make out words, couldn't stand, dizzy, tunnel vision - and then being beaten with a metal rod a minute later - one blow hard enough to fracture a rib, and then a similar strength blow to my head that made me lose consciousness, I just remember waking up with my head in a puddle of vomit. I never had any medical treatment or diagnosis at the time so I don't know if I had a TBI and I don't know if some of the symptoms I have now are related to that, but intuitively I feel they are. I feel it's harder to stop looping thoughts when my head feels the same kind of fuzzy I remember feeling after my head injury. I tend to be more likely to get emotional flashbacks when I'm feeling this way, too. Those are the main two things for me. What brings on the fuzziness is usually a lot of changing scenery, especially driving through dappled sunlight, generally moving through intense environments like a concert with flashing lights and loud music (being still and facing one direction in the same environment is not nearly as triggering of the fuzziness) and also having to maneuver through crowds of people (being still and watching crowds is fine). These head injuries were when I was around 5 I think, and I'm in my 40s now so I don't think they will get better, unfortunately. I hope, since the original post was a year ago, that you're feeling better now!
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
My head injury changed so much about me.
1. I had difficulty retrieving the right word I was looking for in a conversation or writing a report.
2. Having always been direct and concise, particularly in answering a question, I had difficulty answering or reporting in chronological order.
3. I forgot how to do simple things that I had done all my life, I would pause, as what the next step was.
4. I had trouble waking up even with a blaring alarm, and difficulty falling asleep as well.
5. I had more pain.
6. I second guessed myself a lot.

The above, and more, led to depression and anxiety. I found myself frustrated and at times a shorter temper. Unfortunately, others found me frustrating as well. I sensed their frustration too. This all becomes so intertwined. Now I understand very well how I let my emotions make decisions at times, and those decisions led to abuse that re-created ptsd which I was already prone to. Hope this makes some sense
 
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