Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome For traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome (PCS).


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Old 11-19-2017, 11:28 PM #1
red90 red90 is offline
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Default Advice on Concussion-related anxiety?

Hi everyone,

I've had PCS for over three years now, and while I'm improved a lot, one of the hardest aspects has been dealing with concussion-related anxiety and obsessions. Often when I sustain some kind of minor impact or shaking to the head, like a hug or sitting down too fast, I'll get exaggerated symptoms which will last for several days. And during these experiences, even though I know that I couldn't have damaged myself with a small level of impact, for some reason I really struggle with being able to "reset" myself and relax the stress hormones that are giving me symptoms.

Many posts here over the years have talked about similar experiences, and I'm wondering if anyone has advice on dealing with concussion anxiety? I currently do two things to try to deal with it, but neither of them are completely effective. Sometimes I will try to distract myself by watching a movie or TV, which is nice in the moment, and I don't have symptoms while watching, but when I turn it off and get on with whatever else I'm doing the symptoms return just the same.

Thanks so much for reading!!
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Old 11-20-2017, 01:42 AM #2
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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Is this the only issue you have anxiety about? For many, it is just the worst.

What have you done beside the distractions?

Have you tried any cognitive behavioral therapy based thoughts, such as when you have the sensation the movement was a trigger? Do you try to redirect that thought to "That was nothing" or some other rational thought?

If you respond to the trigger with an obsessive thought then try to use distraction to get free of the obsessive thought, you have likely lost the battle. It is important to stop the thought.

Have you tried plopping down in a chair on purpose or hugging firmly while thinking, 'This is not an impact' ? This is called conditioning or exposure therapy.

Are you taking any meds?

Are you taking any supplements?
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"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:50 AM #3
RidingRollerCoaster RidingRollerCoaster is offline
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Red
Mindfulness meditation concepts have helped me a lot with anxiety / an overactive flight or fight response. There are a ton of guided meditations online and apps that can help you learn. An app. I like is the Insight Timer. John Kabat Zinn also has good publications. Before my injury, I was not the type to be in to meditation, but after giving it 20 min. a day for a few months, now I really believe in it.

The STOP concept is one I use when I recognize my brain going off into OCD/anxiety world. It's an acronym for: Stop what you are doing/thinking, Take a deep breath (or three), Observe what's going on with yourself, Proceed...
It's just a quick way to help calm your brain down in an intense moment.

There are also a lot of deep breathing exercises that can help. Like 4 seconds of deep breath in, 1 second hold, 4 seconds of breath out, 1 second hold, repeat...

See also my post about TRE (Trauma Release Exercise) that has been very helpful. Your nervous system probably has a lot of built up trauma that could be released. If you are having PTSD-like symptoms, EMDR therapy really helped me with that.

But there is a lot you can do yourself at home without therapy. Mindfulness, deep breathing, walks, stretching, etc...
Hope that helps.
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Injury: March 2014. Hit hard on top of head by heavy metal farm tool. LOC. MRIs and Cat Scans clear. PCS ever since. 33 year old female. Trying to stay positive!

Persisting Problems:
fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, vestibular balance and vision problems, vision static, tinnitus, hearing loss, slight sensitivity to noise, sometimes the insomnia comes back, sensitivity to stress, exercise intolerance, emotional problems - But I still have much to be thankful for.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:07 PM #4
Anja 70 Anja 70 is offline
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Red90
I am the same way. I am obsessed about hurting my head. My anxiety does through the roof sometimes. I have not found a way to get out of this yet.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:30 PM #5
Patriotic American Patriotic American is offline
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Two years of post-concussion syndrome resulted in anxiety that I often can't turn off, even with calming techniques. It is "turned-on" in stressful situations (although I may not feel stressed, the situations occur when my brain feels as though it is being asked to do more than necessary), and it will sometimes stay with me for a few days before it goes away. I have to be free of the amount of taxing situations to let it subside.

People do not understand. They want you to take anti-anxiety medication, not realizing that over-medicating someone with a brain injury often produces more symptoms in other areas and decreases quality of life.

My wife does not understand, nor does she want me to explain my situation. She gets anxious about me discussing it and gets angry with me seeking acceptance than and understanding.
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