Tag Archives: mentalhealth

Blog Post 1: How serious are concussions?

A question that went in one ear and went out the other a few years ago. Concussions (Post-Concussion Syndrome) are developed from a traumatic head injury that affects the brain function. This mental health problem differentiates from person to person which also depends on the severity of the impact on the brain. About half of people who have a concussion go throughout their lives undiagnosed by a professional. 

DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS:

PCS have the potential to ruin your life. In the beginning of 2019, I was involved in a 4 car collision which resulted me in being the last one hit. Regardless of my head not being ricocheted by anything in the car, the whiplash I received gave me a concussion during the impact.

Before the motor vehicle accident my life was very organized. I had a set schedule for work, school, gym, and enough time for my social life on the weekends. I was at the peak of my health. I was upbeat, patient, on the go kind of person, with a very positive and enthusiastic personality. Everything was perfect and life was going according to plan. 

When the MVA (motor vehicle accident) happened, the first physical symptoms that were present were neck pains, back pains, chest pains, and headaches. After seeing the doctors about my physical pains, they advised me to monitor my behavior as it might change. As the weeks went by, I slowly became more and more tired while my body needed energy to recover from my internal head injury and the bodily injuries. Along with the physical injuries came the mental health problems associated with the injuries. The behavioral changes that associated with my concussion as time went on were:

  1. Lack of Focus
  2. Inability to focus on multiple tasks at once.
  3. Irritation 
  4. Pessimism
  5. Emotional Sensitivity (Ranging from shedding tears to impulsive anger issues.)
  6. Forgetfulness of tasks such as eating, remembering lists, schedules, etc.
  7. Vision Impairment
  8. Difficulty in finding words that are usually easy for the average person to say.
  9. Impatience
  10. Light Sensitivity (In my case, life long) 
  11. Lingering thoughts/disability to unlock from a subject for longer than desired.

The effects of PCS damages the brain’s ability to process information. Some people affected by this mental health problem find it difficult to return back to their normal state before the concussion as their emotions and impulsive disorder becomes an instant habit and overpowers their ethical judgement. All patients ask doctors for the time duration for a concussion, yet the advice is that concussions take time. The timeline of a concussion can range from a few weeks to a few years to recover and in rare cases, a concussion will carry on an entire lifetime.

Due to PCS and within the last year, my life has changed dramatically as I was not patient enough to be cooperative at work and quit due to conflict of interests resulting in being jobless as I normally would not do. I also skipped one semester of classes due to being unable to focus, being forgetful, and became constantly irritated upon myself as I would forget daily tasks that needed to be done. I am still currently recovering and trying to adapt with life after a year and a half of being diagnosed with a concussion. With the list above, I have recovered by 75% through occupational therapy, physical therapy, and time. Light sensitivity however has gotten the best of me and is now life long. I have been prescribed special sunglasses to avoid the lights hitting my eyes and in turn giving me a headache/migraine. Being aware of my mental state and comparing it to how I used to be helps with my recovery. I hope no one ever has to go through a concussion as it is a life changing mental health problem. Feel free to visit the site below to find out more about post concussion syndrome and how you or someone you know can cope with a concussion.

https://concussionfoundation.org/PCS-resources/coping-with-PCS

Is there really such a thing as “Seasonal Depression”?

Y-E-S, YES! 

It is real, and it is true. 

But what is it? 

Mayo describes seasonal depression to be a type of depression that’s related to the changes of the season. Seasonal depression is also known as “seasonal affection disorder” (SAD). (What an abbreviation, right?) 

SAD symptoms comes either during late fall/early winter through to late spring/early summer (winter depression); or late spring/early summer through late fall/early winter (summer depression). The most common symptoms are: feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty; having frequent thoughts of death or suicide; feel sluggish and agitated; problems with adequate sleeping; losing interests in activities you once enjoyed. 

According to Mayo, specific symptoms are as followed, and they are quite usual during those depression seasons: 

Winter DepressionSummer Depression
– Oversleeping
– Weight gain
-Tiredness/low energy
– Changes in appetite; especially
craving for foods high in carbohydrates 
– Trouble sleeping
– Poor appetite
– Weight loss
– Agitation or anxiety 

Depression in general is never easy to handle. The way people deal with it may be different—healthy and unhealthy hobbies are generally used to release the levels of depression. Sometimes, it can become deadly. 

Help is there for people that needs it. The first step to getting help is acknowledging what you are feeling. It is so important to understand why you are feeling the way you are! Life is full of ups and downs, but if we realize that we have been feeling down way more than we normally do, maybe it is time to get professional help.

There is this lamp that is supposed to help elevate your mood and improve concentration for when you are feeling SAD. In the reviews, this lamp has shown to help a customer “cope with the winter blues at home” (Maggie, 2019). The light coming from the lamp help releases the depression weight. This lamp is portable and easy to use. The person can carry it with them and use it when SAD suddenly crawls up on them.

I personally didn’t know about seasonal depression until I realized my own patterns during the winter months. It comes and go in the spring. And living in Minnesota where it’s snowy, cold, and it gets dark sooner because of setting the clocks back, it just seems to make it worse. I just ordered this lamp and is very excited to use it!

-KCY, 2