I don't know who else to turn to. I'm to ashamed to talk to my family about this or anyone else.
I recently had a concussion and had to go to the hospital. Everything was progressing just fine until another box hit me in the head. Not as hard but it hit me. I didn't notice anything different until much more recently.
I've started having panic attacks which I've never had before. Never ever.
Today even while I'm writing this letter. I am at a family gathering and we were going to go tubing, well I get down there and... I don't want to do it anymore. I run upstairs and I locked myself in the bathroom. I started crying and hyperventilating. I'm physically fine. But I don't know why I ran or came to the bathroom. I don't know who else to ask or how to search up what's wrong with me. I know this may be asking to much. But if there's anything you can do or say? Please please tell me.
Anonymous (age 21)
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When you went to the hospital, what was the diagnosis? Were you treated for a concussion?
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Yes. I was treated for the concussion. It was a small pinpoint bleed in my brain. The doctor said there was nothing seriously wrong and said it would be best to just take it easy and take acetaminophin and I did. But now I've started having panic attacks whenever I'm in uncomfortable situations so now. I don't know what's going on. I don't know if it's because of the concussion or because of my new promotion or both.
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Okay, a "pinpoint bleed in my brain" is key here. It would be very important to know where, exactly, the brain injury occurred. Depending on what part of the brain was injured, different symptoms can arise. If you suffered injury to the amygdala, for example, that could definitely lead to panic attacks. The amygdala controls the body's limbic system, which controls many of the functions associated with symptoms of panic.
The brain is a very complicated organ, and damage elsewhere in or on the brain could also cause behavioral changes. Brain trauma is also often associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, PTSD is diagnosed when the following are true: "First, one must have been exposed to or witness an event that is threatening to safety, and one must respond to this event with fear, horror, or helplessness. Second, one must report a re-experiencing symptom, which may include intrusive memories, nightmares, a sense of reliving the trauma, or psychological or physiological distress when reminded of the trauma. Third, there need to be at least three avoidance symptoms, which can include active avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or reminders of the trauma, inability to recall some aspect of the trauma, withdrawal from others, or emotional numbing. Fourth, one must suffer marked arousal, which can include insomnia, irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilence, or heightened startle response. These symptoms must cause marked impairment to one's functioning, and can only be diagnosed when they are present at least 1 month after the trauma."
I would consult with a doctor and tell them everything you are experiencing since your head injury. You don't have to go to the same doctor who originally treated you. In fact, I wouldn't because a second opinion very much seems in order here.
Please see a doctor, and good luck!
4/16/2017 11:10:25 am
I wonder if their doctor could refer them to a neuropsychologist, and if their insurance would pay for it? This may be outside of a general physician's depth, and may require additional medical tests and/or neurocognitive assessments that only a neurologist or a neuropsychologist (and those are two different things, note) could perform.
4/17/2017 06:48:54 am
Yes, actually, I should have said psychiatrist, not doctor. Thanks.
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