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Post-Concussion Syndrome: Aftermath of Concussion

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is the troubled aftermath of a concussion that has not resolved in a timely fashion. A concussion is an injury to the brain that can make the brain bleed, or make it swell.

When the injury has been sufficiently violent, the brain will cease to function properly for a time. The most frequent cause of this type of injury to the brain is an accident, taking a fall, or being hurt while playing sports.

At the time of the initial injury to the brain, you may have been knocked unconscious for up to half an hour. After regaining consciousness, you may have found that visually, and mentally, things were not quite right.

You may have been nauseous, or you may have vomited. You may have experienced amnesia, which is quite common after a concussion.

Normally a concussion will resolve itself within a week or so. If this does not happen, you will have entered the realm of post-concussion syndrome.

If over the first few days following your concussion you find that your symptoms are continuing to worsen, it is imperative that you seek out further medical attention.

If you are experiencing post-concussion syndrome, you may have headaches and neck pain. Dizziness and vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, depression and anxiety are all symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.

You may be having trouble with your concentration and you may be frustrated by memory lapses. You may be feeling less intelligent than you did before the injury, and maybe your personality has changed, with mood swings, and great highs and lows.

You may find that movement takes more effort and greater concentration than it did before, and for all that effort, movement just doesn't happen as smoothly as it used to.

And to top all of this off, you are faced with the realization that you have no way of knowing how long life will be this way. You may wonder if it will ever get better. You may fear that things will get worse. And unfortunately only time will tell.

Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome may linger for weeks, for months, or for years. Usually post-concussion syndrome will peak after a month to six weeks.

Add a Comment7 Comments

Jody Smith HERWriter

Anonymous, Piroy, and Buster,

I'm sorry to hear what you are living with. Don't forget who you were.

Don't give up hope.

Jody

September 24, 2011 - 7:47pm
buster22

I have and am going through this, too. I was diagnosed with PCS and PCMS. The vehicle accident was last year and I am still having some symptoms, especially with the headaches. I am in my upper 40"s, and I hate to say this but I think as we get older we do not bounce back as quickly as we did when we were younger and I do not think a lot of doctors take this into consideration.

September 19, 2011 - 8:15pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have officially diagnosed myself with PCS despite the doctors not wanting to do so. It has been a very long 16 months since my car accident. My brain is still not right and I get incredibly emotional when I speak about it. I only get headaches when I become very stressed out which leads to crying, and immediately a headache comes on. It doesn't last long which I am thankful for because the headaches for a month and a half after the car accident was enough for me. I have constant fatigue which people have likened to laziness. I seem to be the only one who remembers what I was like before my accident. I got my day worth of chores done before noon, but now, I need a nap after doing laundry. I am still hopeful that this will all go away and see the occasional glimmer of my old self. Never did I think I would feel like this after my accident.

February 24, 2011 - 8:45am
piroy (reply to Anonymous)

Well, perhaps this is selfish, but misery loves company. I am somehow heartened that someone else is going through the same thing, although your 16 months is much longer than my 5... Please try to be strong, what else can we do? I have my doubts, but I try (not all the time) to think that I will return to who I was. And hope.

March 7, 2011 - 6:04pm
Jody Smith HERWriter

That is rough. You have my sympathy.

I'm not a doctor, I can only share my own experience on this. When experiencing some of the symptoms you describe after I was in an accident, the only relief I found later was through visiting a chiropractor. I had wondered if I would ever get over the pain I was left with after the accident. After seeing a chiropractor a number of times, the pain was gone.

Of course, I can't guarantee that this will always be the case. Each person and their situation is unique. But I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't mention something that made a big difference for me personally.

Good luck with your recovery.

December 14, 2010 - 7:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Thank you for putting to words what I am going through. It has been 4 weeks since my car accident and I'm so frustrated. The constant headache, ringing in my ears, dizziness and partial muscle control impairment on my right side have me feeling like I may never be 'right' again. At 53 years of age, I just don't seem to be bouncing back. Nothing shows up on the scan though so the Doctors just keep shoving drugs at me.
At least putting a name to it and knowing others have been there helps.

December 13, 2010 - 9:16pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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