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Slapped the side of my head

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Old 09-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #1
Ady_P
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Default Slapped the side of my head!

I feel a bit silly explaining how I managed to hit myself in the side of the head, but I had bought some expensive headphones that start rattling and in annoyance, I gave the right side of the headphones a short, sharp rap with an open hand while they where still on my head!

I immediately thought "I've just hit myself in the head" and felt a huge wave of dread and fear that I may have re-triggered PCS. Over the next few hours, I was aware of a slight headache (which have been pure tension headache from stress/anxiety over the event) and took me a long time to fall asleep that night, I felt wired in the same way I did with my original head trauma.

I have a fear that even this short, open-handed rap might have caused a sudden vibration and jolted my brain sideways off the inside of my skull.

I have been re-experiencing a few 'old' (2015) concussion symptoms over the last few days, 2 instance of dizziness, poor sleep, feeling a bit detached, irritable and very anxious -especially on waking. Cognitively I feel fine, but definitely an increase in missed keystrokes when typing, which was an issue during my original concussion.

However, I don't believe I hit myself hard enough for my head to noticeably move (I definitely would have known about it). It seems illogical/low probability that my brain is now that fragile and susceptible to sudden, low magnitude impacts that I would have never noticed 5-10 years ago.

I've also been trying to hold onto the fact that the first thing I experienced was a wave of anxiety, which may well be the driver of all these somatic symptoms that I am interpreting as evidence of 'damage'.

It doesn't help that I was taking low-dose Mirtazapine for anxiety, which I reduced last week due to side effects - Mirtazapine's withdrawal symptoms are often described by many as very unpleasant/horrific. I'm not sure what has caused what. I just know I feel worse after Saturday.

Either i/I hit myself a lot harder than I remember, ii/my brain is very susceptible to smaller magnitude impacts nowadays, or it's all being generated by fear, stress and anxiety.

Last edited by Ady_P; 09-18-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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It appears your anxiety caused you to start LOOKING for symptoms. Strange how the brain will always present what you are looking for during a time of anxiety.

The silly part is not tapping the head phone. The silly part is looking for symptoms after such a meaningless event.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:48 PM   #3
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I've managed to make my anxiety worse by recently bumping my head on a towel rail in an unfamiliar hotel, it wasn't hard enough to cause any pain or swelling, but it made me go into panic/dissociation, then I noticed a sharp drop in mood later on - like an instant descent into depression came over me. I've felt dizzy and foggy-minded since and the head-injury doubts have crept in again.

It seems my nervous system is very sensitive to any perceived impact scenarios.

If this had happened 5 years ago, I would never have noticed, so part of me can see that logic, while the fear is telling me "yes, but your brain is much more sensitive now to any knocks"
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:31 PM   #4
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Check this thread -
Multiple Concussion / anxiety / treatment info links
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:56 PM   #5
Mark in Idaho
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You need to stop telling yourself that your brain is much more sensitive now to any knocks. Your psychological self is more sensitive but your physiological brain is not. It might be a "slight" bit more sensitive, especially during the short time after your concussion.

Your concussion required a force of 60 to 80 Gs. A sensitive brain might be sensitive to 40 to 60 Gs. A 3 G bump is not noticed by the brain. It may trigger a startle or other anxiety response that can grow into a full blown anxiety event.

As I have said many times before. Your mind will memorize the symptoms from your concussion and replay them when you let your mind trigger that replay.

They are often called Flashbacks. They are a part of PTSD and other trauma experiences.

We need to recognize these flashbacks and find a way to minimize the way they can self-exagerate. If we let them get out of control, they will take over our lives.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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Thanks, I value your feedback Mark

In terms of PTSD, I've recently had a year of intensive trauma therapy (EMDR) and part of the reason I chose that therapy was because of the impacts of concussion anxiety have on my life.

Either EMDR wasn't the right modality for concussion anxiety, or the therapist had a mental block around my particular issue, I've realised now it probably needs to be something along the lines of CBT with a specific focus on concussion/health anxiety.

Today for example, I was starting to feel okay again, I got caught in the rain and quickly whipped my head around to the side to shake some of the water off, which caused an anxiety spike (then without thinking, I did the same thing a minute later).

Next thing I'm wondering about rotational shearing forces on the brain / diffuse axonal injuries caused by those 2 vigorous movements. I can't believe it's possible to cause a self-concussion like that, it's just that the mechanics / rotational planes mimic something like a boxer getting hooked in the jaw.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:53 PM   #7
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When a boxer gets a hook to the jaw, the rotational speed is many times faster than you can do with muscle action alone.

Just like braking is much less Gs that running into another object.
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