Teens and Depression Post-Concussion

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Post-concussion syndrome is sometimes experienced after a concussion is sustained. There is no consensus in the medical community of why some people develop the syndrome and some don't. Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can include memory loss, other cognitive issues, dizziness, and symptoms of depressions such as anxiety, agitation, or fatigue.

There has been extensive research on the psychological effects of concussion on adults, but this new research focusses on children aged 12-17. It appears that teens in particular who have a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression according to the Journal of Adolescent Health. The researchers are not certain whether the symptoms are due to post-concussion syndrome or due to the social isolation during recovery.

According to Dr. Chrisman the association between depression and a history of concussion exists even after adjusting for family history of mental health or socio-economic conditions. Dr. Jeffrey Max noted that about “10 percent of the kids had a full depressive disorder or subclinical depressive disorder 6 months after a concussion” Those kids are more likely to develop ADHD as well.

Anytime your child or a child in your care receives a blow to the head that causes unconsciousness, disorientation or other cognitive issues you should seek medical care immediately.