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Post Concussion Syndrome
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Post Concussion Syndrome

I have sufferred from 3 concussions.  My first one happened Aug 09 while playing softball.  I didnt get knocked out, but when I got up from getting hit by the catcher i was in a daze, groggy, dizzy, etc.  Everthing seemed surreal.  I continued to play 3 more softball games that day.  When I went home the next day I tried running the treadmill but had a sensation in my head which felt as if my brain was fragile and moving (sounds weird but its the only way I can describe it).  It took about a week and a half to go away, then I felt normal once again.  My second one happened in early Dec 09 when I wacked my head agasint my car while getting in.  It was very mild but i had a headache for a week straight.  Then one day it just went away and I was back to nromal once again.  My third one happened on Jan 17, 2010 when I was playing basketball with my friends.  I got elbowed in the mouth and had an immediate headache in the back of my head just above my neck.  I continued to play bball.  I was a college softball player at the time and that following week i continued to work out, lift weights, run, and hit.  I was doing all this through that same sensation of my brain moving that I had from my first concussion.  One night after about a week of doing all this exercise and activity i was sitting down at home and got a headache, dizzy, groggy and nauseus.  I finally told my coach i was out.  After sitting out for a week with all those symptoms I went to a neurologist who told me i never had a concussion and that i was making it all up in my head...anxiety.  So since i wanted to play i let him talk me into the fact that i was making my self crazy and i decided to play again.  I had one practice where I hit the ball and i got a killer headache and my ear began to ring.  Ever since that I have been unable to do any physical activity.  A few weeks after that incident I got a second opinion who told me i have post concussion syndrome and i was out for good.  My symptoms have mostly subsided except i have this pressure feeling in my head.  Its more frontal, but literally in the middle of my head, almost between the temples.  It has been the only symptom that has yet to ever go away.  If i exercise or do any exertional activit above my threshold i get groggy and dizzy.  Once a couple days of rest go by those symptoms go away and my pressure remains. I have had an MRI but it showed nothing significant.  I was sent in for another one but they wanted to give me contrast and I got nervous about that and didnt end u pgetting the MRI.  Does anyone else have this pressure feeling? or has anyone experienced any of this?  I am getting nervous bcs It has been about 4 and a half months total with PCS.  I feel that I will never be the same, or atleast never beable to exert myself or partake in any activities.  Can someone please help me.
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1093617_tn?1279305602
Hi, Thank you for your question. Usually, such headaches and dizziness may result due to post-concussion syndrome and may last for weeks or months after the injury that caused from the injury of a fall, vehicle accident, or sports injury. In addition, patient may experience either migraine type or tension type headache. For treatment approach, first it is essential to get (MRI) done to detect the brain abnormalities after that injury. Treatment commonly may be suggested for headaches such as pain killers, some antidepressants, physical therapy and regular exercises. If you suffer continuous headache, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away who will evaluate the possibilities here and can provide you an appropriate treatment. Further referral to a psychologist may be also helpful in order to treat usual anxiety or depression after such injuries (sometimes one may have) that may be one of the aggravating factors for persistent headache. Hope this information proves helpful to you. Take Care & Regards!!!



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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I am struggling with PCS for the last 1 year.  I have all the symptoms you have and plus a lot more.  Been to many Neurologists/ENT specialists, tried meds/therapies even a psychiatrist.  I have the pressure feeling not a headache and all doctors gave me was anti-depressants which made condition worse.  No help so far from anything.  That doesn't mean it won't work for you since each individual and head injury is so different.

Compared to what I have yours is not that bad and just take enough rest.  If you get dizzy bcus of exercise then dont do it a for few more weeks and try gradually.   So many other therapies you can try Neurofeedback, Acupuncture, Vitamins and you may have success in it.  If you are an athlete try the Concussion Clinic in University of Buffalo.  Athletes seems to have good success with their treatment.Probably MRI is not going to show much if the first one didn't show anything significant.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, SamPCS your experience sounds exactly like mine.  I went to neuros and ENT, therapy, etc.  They tried to prescribe me antidepressants but I refused.  Thank you so much for your response.  I wish you the best and for the both of us we just gotta keep faith and have hope that one day we will be back to normal.  
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Avatar_f_tn
      My husband fell and banged his head on Sept 25th. He has no memoery of that day or the trip to the er. He was diagnosed with a concussion. He continued to have bad headaches, dizzy spells and balance problems all through the winter. About 2 mths ago he lost his balance and fell and banged his head again. It wasn't a bad bang so we didn't worry about it.
       Then the headaches got a lot worse. He started talking about suicide or leaving me and the kids. He came very depressed and anxious. He could not stand to be touched. He is like a different person.
       We live in Pittsburgh. After some phone calls, I was able to get an appt with a dr at Mercy hospital. I started with calling sports medicine offices till someone directed me to this dr. She said all of his symptoms are from the post concussion syndrome. She said 1st thing is rest. My huband has sleep apnea so he must use the breathing machine every time he sleeps. If you are snoring you need to get a sleep study. We found out my husband was waking up 200 times a night. He was not getting true rest until he got the machine in March.
      2nd, she gave him this med: AMANTADINE aka SYMMETREL. She said it works by improving brain function. That allows him to cope a little better with everything. She said your brain is trying to deal with everything coming at it and this helps. He's only been on it for 5 days, but it seems to be helping.
     She told us he will get better but we have to be patient. It has been incredibly hard. Hard for him feeling so horrible. Hard for me not having my husband to rely on. We are all just trying the best we can.
     Good luck to everyone!
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Avatar_m_tn
I can completely relate how you husband feels since that is the way I feel these days.  I have been resting for almost 1 year and trying all the therapies out there.  This morning I consulted vision therapies and start some of it which is kinda expensive and not really covered by Insurance.

Atleast you have doctor who can understand since not lot of them has much knowledge about Post Concussion Syndrome.  Interesting too to know about the AMANTADINE which none of the doctors I went even mentioned.  They all lean heavily on antidepressants.

Of course there is no specific treatment for PCS.  It is the most toughest thing I ever faced in my life.  I wish I lost a leg or hand than going through this hell.

Good luck and keep posted if you all find anything that helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
      I know exactly what you mean. We have several medical and mental health problems in our family. Any illness involving the brain, including pcs, is worse than physical illness. That's because the very thing you need to cope with and understand your problems is your brain. When that's unavailable to you in some way, it's a real struggle.
      I'm grateful for living in a town with sports teams and therefore a big sports concussion center. The dr we saw said she does nothing but concussions. So I feel like she is more apt to know what she is talking about.
     Hang in there. It helps to know we're not alone.
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Avatar_m_tn
You certainly understand more about this than some of the specialists I have seen.  That is really a great thing for your husband's condition.  In my circle only few people can understand and rest of them give ridiculous ideas some times.
PCS sufferers are depressed and anxious because of their debilitating symptoms of dizziness, headaches, vision issues etc., and not the other way around.
You are lucky to find a concussion specialist.  I hope I can find a concussion specialist in the greater Washington D.C. metro area and  NOT just an anti-depressant specialist.
I sure going to ask about AMANTADINE in my next visit to any doctor.  Most likely they don't like if I suggest but seems to be I have to be assertive.
Thanks for the information.  I wish good luck for all PCS sufferers.
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Avatar_f_tn
I wouldnt be in the position I am in if the doctors didnt rely on antidepressents.  It was even more depressing when noone would believe me when i would tell them what I was feeling.  They all made me out to be crazy which then made me questioning myself.  I should su the first neuro i went to bcs he sent me back to play with an undiagnosed concussion.  If i got hit in the head again I could have died.  Ugh pisses me off so bad.  Very few people understand what us sufferrers r going through.  Teddy1982 - I think its great that you support your husband and what he is going through.  Even my own parents didnt believe me and they still dont believe me that I am still suffering.  They claim they do but just from their actions I can tell they really dont.
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Avatar_m_tn
cmbordo:  Similar situation I was in.  They said I can do any activity and didn't even advise to take it easy.  Seems like rest is very vital after concussion and then gradually increase activities.   So I know exactly what you  are saying.  When I came to know all this it is already too late.
It is nothing in our minds and the symptoms are real because of head injury.  Second Impact Syndrome can be the worst when you have not healed from the first one.  It is frustrating how much misunderstanding by doctors when it comes to head injury.   You have to be lucky to find the right one in the beginning.  
As for as people understanding I gave up and stopped explaining my symptoms since I get tired.  They pretend they understand but in reality they already not listening to you and think we are depressed and making up.
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Avatar_f_tn
      I'm sorry that you re feeling so alone. A problem is bad enough, but having no support is the worst. It's great having the internet. It's what helped me figure out what was wrong with my husband.
     He had been taking 20 mg Celexa (anti-depressant) for a few years for depression and post traumatic stress disorder. After the 2nd bang to his head, he started talking about suicide. I did convince his pcp dr to go up on the Celexa. It did reduce his suicidal thoughts.
     I know many people feel insulted that a dr is suggesting an anti depressant. Not sure if that's how you feel or not. Most drugs used for anti depressants got their start as drugs used for other barin issues such as epilepsy or parkinsons. Sometimes a dr is blowing you off with an anti depressant. Sometimes they are offering you a drug that can have many positive effects on the brain. The dr who perscribed AMANTADINE for my husband said it is usually used for parkinsons. But it has a dual effect of improving brain function.
    Everyone has to do what's right for them. I just hate to see someone turn down a med if it could help.
    Btw, I found some articles online about post concussion syndrome that helped me understand it and explain it to family. If anyone wants me to, I can post the links.
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Avatar_m_tn
You definitely doing a great job on supporting your husband by doing all this research and finding the right thing.
I am certainly not against anti-depressants and as a matter of fact I tried quite a few (Elavil, CYMBALTA, Pamelor etc.,)  Most of them has horrible side effects and Elavil had minimum side effects.  Xanax helped me for my dizziness and head pressure but doctors want me to off of it because you know why.  Besides that I have not seen anything positive.  
My biggest issue is I slept well (without waking up) when I took this meds.  But the next whole day I feel terrible (extreme fatigue, dizziness etc.,) and I don't know why.  When I sleep not too well and dont take these meds then I still feel bad but not terrible.  It has been more than a year I woke up refreshed in the morning.  Doctors don't have a clue and I dont too.
Sorry for the rant and I just mentioned one issue and I have many chronic symptoms like this.
Please send me the links and I can go through it and probably I have seen some of them.  Any help is appreciated.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey I got injured in Sept 2007. I had a 30lb dolly bounce off the top of my head. I have a tbi and bulging disc in my neck and nerve damage. I went thru the same thing you all have. I found a tbi chat room on line that helped me understand some of this and finally found a couple of counselors explain to me that my life will always be different than it was. I also did alot of praying which helped tremendously. It took 3 tries to find an antidepressant that didn't make me crazier than I already felt I was. I am taking zoloft for that. I can relate to the mood swings the tender brain dizziness headaches that completely take you out, suicidal thoughts, all of it. I have to be careful riding in a car because if we hit a bump too hard my brain will bruise all over because it bruises easy now. THe pain I have expeirenced has been extreme. I suggest to find support and people that can relate to you go to tbichat.org  you will find others that has been and going thru what you are. I went 2 and a half yrs without an income because I am disabled now and can't work. Finally got my disability last month. I am going to try to go to college in the fall which is like the biggest challenge of my life because I have short term memory loss due to my tbi. I refuse to give up. The special needs lady there is helping me and will let me take a tape recorder in to record the lessons. I am starting with one class. My point is don't give up there are others out there just like you go to that chat room and pray and Jesus will help you. God Bless you all
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi all,
so recently i found this article called Corey Koskie's Clear Head.  Google it and read.  It is my exact story and it got me thinking that maybe all this time I dont have PCS but rather I have WAD (whiplash associated disorders).  Does this article pertain to anyone else?  
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Avatar_f_tn
Ive had pcs since ive been 19 and now im 22 and my life has been hell ever since.  I dont know why it wont go away. Ive gotten 4 really bad ones where i couldnt walk the next few weeks. I just wanna know if it can stay with me forever because my dr just says it will go away in time. Its been a year since my last concussion and still feel like throwing up everymorning and have to talk ambian and xanax just to go to sleep. Can pcs last forever? I really need help im going crazy
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Bro. I feel you I am going through similar stuff and taking the same medication. I would go see a neurologist asap! I live out in Colorado i see a psychologist who is very knowledgeable about head injury's I can give you his number if you would like to consult. Hang in!
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Avatar_m_tn
Cmbordo: was wanting to check with you on your status regarding the PCS? I am going through exactly what you were in 2010. I hope yours has passed...do not want to be dealing  with this years to come. Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
How did your symptoms get worse on anti depressants?

I have had too many concussions to count. I'm 53 and was finally diagnosed with PCS and TBI one year ago. Before I was diagnosed, my doctor asked me how I was feeling. It was a bad day and I told her I was a little depressed. She immediately pulled out her pad and put me on anti depressants.

Over the course of the next 6 months, my life went further into hell. I had no clue I was getting worse. I lost a dear friend that won't speak to me now because I was so volatile during that time. Once off the ADs, it took a while for me to return to my normal volatile self.

I don't know if you're willing to answer but if you do, I don't know if this site will notify me. If you're willing to respond, please email me.

***@****

Thank you so much and good luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
How did your symptoms get worse on anti depressants?

I have had too many concussions to count. I'm 53 and was finally diagnosed with PCS and TBI one year ago. Before I was diagnosed, my doctor asked me how I was feeling. It was a bad day and I told her I was a little depressed. She immediately pulled out her pad and put me on anti depressants.

Over the course of the next 6 months, my life went further into hell. I had no clue I was getting worse. I lost a dear friend that won't speak to me now because I was so volatile during that time. Once off the ADs, it took a while for me to return to my normal volatile self.

I don't know if you're willing to answer but if you do, I don't know if this site will notify me. If you're willing to respond, please email me.

***@****

Thank you so much and good luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I want to add my 2 cents on anti depressants. If you haven't been clinically diagnosed with depression,  PCS, or TBI but you know something is wrong with your brain, DO NOT LET A DOCTOR PUT YOU ON ADs.

My doctor put me on ADs because I was having a bad day and I told her I was a bit depressed. BOOM! Out came the script pad. Messed me up worse for 6 months. About a month after I stopped taking them, I was finally diagnosed with TBI from multiple concussions.

How can a doctor, who had been seeing me for nearly 3 years, just put me on a medication that alters brain chemicals when all my symptoms were related to my brain? And she's a Internist. Not a Neuro.

Do yourself a favor and get an opinion from a Neurologist before going on an AD meds.
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