Sports-related concussions (SRCs) and mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) are a concern among student athletes, especially those engaged in high impact sports such as football, soccer, and rubgy. These injuries can cause both physical and cognitive symptoms, but they can also result in serious psychological and emotional issues. The focus has long been on physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue, and neurocognitive problems with concentration and memory. However, ignoring the emotional trauma that may follow SRCs and mTBIs can be especially detrimental for student athletes. At such a young age, they may lack the life experience and confidence to speak out about their suffering. Contact a Boston Injury Attorney.
Psychological and emotional symptoms may begin to appear soon after the injury, or they may not surface until during the athlete’s recovery phase. The athlete may experience depression, fatigue, and a strong sense of loss. This may mean a loss of skills or control, or simply the loss of normalcy. He or she may also feel afraid and vulnerable, which can lead to an overwhelming sense of anxiety about what comes next. A young athlete may simply describe these emotions as “not feeling like myself,” and it is common for parents, teachers, and coaches to assume that this is the normal course of events following an injury. In some cases, this may be true. However, it is important to keep an eye on an injured athlete. Close monitoring by doctors, teachers, and parents of both physical and emotional symptoms is essential to a student athlete’s full recovery following a SRC or mTBI.
Non-Physical Symptoms of SRCs and mTBIs
Psychological and emotional symptoms from SRCs and mTBIs can vary widely and may be mild or severe, but some of the most common non-physical symptoms include:
- Sleep problems
- Behavioral problems
- Social problems
- Nocebo effect (adverse effects that result from negative expectations)
SRCs and mTBIs can also exacerbate underlying psychological and emotional issues that existed prior to the injury. It is important to recognize that a multidisciplinary approach including both medical care and therapy is best for managing post-concussion syndrome. Clinically trained sport psychologists can provide support during both injury and recovery. They can also help athletes deal with challenges such as self-esteem, athletic identity and future goals. Physicians are essential to provide the necessary treatment and monitoring of physical and neurological conditions. However, too much focus on the brain injury itself can actually prolong psychological and emotional issues. A sport psychologist can help the athlete emotionally on his or her path to a full recovery.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If your child has suffered sports-related injuries, seek immediate medical attention. Even if the initial symptoms do not appear to be severe, underlying problems can surface over time. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we have nearly 50 years of experience protecting the rights of accident and injury victims in Boston. Our legal team understands that injuries involving a child can be especially difficult. We will be with you every step of the way throughout the entire process. If your child has been injured, we can help you determine what to do next. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.