Watch for These Unusual Concussion Symptoms

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By: Bill Henry
PublishedMar 27, 2020
2 minute read

People who suffer a concussion from a car crash tend to suffer from headaches and sensitivity to light, for example. There are other symptoms, more unusual ones, that can result from sustaining a concussion.


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When most people think of a concussion, they think of headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness. Those are probably some of the main symptoms that come to mind. But I want you to also know that there are many other symptoms that might not be so common.

Emotional Dysregulation

One of the main things that my clients experience is emotional dysregulation. Whether that’s angry outbursts, unusual sadness, or heightened anxiety, those are symptoms that are very troublesome and very disruptive to their family and work relationships. But I want you to know that it is just a symptom of a concussion, and it can be treated and hopefully, you will recover and it will go away.

Changes in Sleep

A few other unusual symptoms that you might not be aware of are changes in sleep. These are also very common symptoms that people don’t usually associate with a concussion. They tell me, “Two, three months after the car crash, I just can’t sleep that well anymore.”

People usually associate lack of sleep with a neck or back injury that caused them discomfort, but having a concussion can actually dysregulate your sleep cycles. So, the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night could also be a symptom of a concussion that your treating provider needs to be aware of. Or if you haven’t seen a treating provider, this is something that you should go talk to your doctor about.

Changes in Speech

Other symptoms that might happen are changes in speech. So that could be slurred speech, of course, but it can also be word finding. You know, if the word is on the tip of your tongue, right? Or you could actually be using the wrong word.

For example, I have a client who said to his wife, “Pass me the stapler.” And she asked, “Stapler?” He said, “Yeah. Pass me the stapler.” And she asked, “What are you talking about? Your phone?” And he said, “Yeah, pass me that.”

And he didn’t realize that he had misused the word “stapler” for what he thought he was saying was the word “phone.” Those are very unusual and almost scary things to happen, but they’re still, again, symptoms of a concussion that with the correct treatment and recovery time, should go away.

What You Should Do

So, again, all of these symptoms that we’ve talked about in this video and in prior videos, are signs that you might have a concussion. I cannot diagnose this. You cannot diagnose this. Your spouse cannot diagnose this. You must go to a doctor, get it diagnosed, and find the right treatment for you and your symptoms to give you the best chance of full recovery.

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