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Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


As I said before, the table of contents should give you a good idea of what this book is about. Nevertheless, let's summarize. The book is broken up into five parts.

  • Part 1 is an overview. It explains what a concussion is (e.g. types of concussions, symptoms of concussions), what causes concussions, how to diagnose concussions, and concussion treatments. Stuff in this section is often referred back to in later sections.
  • Part 2 covers the physical aspects of concussions. These include fatigue, headaches, and light sensitivity.
  • Part 3 covers the mental aspects of concussions. These include attention and concentration problems, memory problems, and problems with reasoning, planning, and understanding.
  • Part 4 covers the emotional aspects of concussions. These include substance abuse and mood changes.
  • Part 5 is about recovering from concussions. Tips are given on rehabilitation and financial issues, amongst other things.
  • Part 6 is about future innovations. These include new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat concussions. This section is very short.


Like I said for the migraine book, if you or a person close to you has suffered a concussion, you should definitely read this book.

Having suffered a couple of concussions myself, I found this book to be very helpful. Even after a few years, I still have PCS (or migraines... it's unclear), and reading through this made me feel less alone. The book says that concussions are sometimes called "the Silent Epidemic," and this seems quite fitting. I've only ever talked to one person who had PCS; it's good to know that there are people who have dealt with and recovered from similar injuries. Fittingly, my favorite part of this book are the testimonials. These appear at the beginning of every chapter, and are scattered elsewhere throughout. Many of them are from the author herself.

The main message I got from this book is to actively seek help. There are plenty resources out there. However, it is up to you (or your family) to find them, and to find the ones that are right for you. Note that it might not be enough to find just one resource. This book advocates an integrative approach (specifically, a five-pronged approach: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and energy); it is useful to seek multiple opinions and various treatments. For example, you might want to see a neurologist, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, a psychotherapist, a physiatrist, etc.

This book also nails the emotional aspect of concussions (and of traumatic injuries in general). The author says that such injuries can lead to a loss of self. That is, certain abilities or behaviors might be permanently changed by a concussion. In some cases, this leads to relationship problems, and even divorce (the author got divorced because of her multiple mTBIs). It is common to grieve over this loss. This is healthy, and should ultimately lead to acceptance. I've mostly accepted it, although I'm still striving towards getting back (or nearer) to 100%.

As you read this book, you might start to notice a pattern. The majority of the book covers the various "aspects" (i.e. symptoms) of concussions, categorized as physical, mental, and emotional. Each chapter devoted to a certain aspect follows this form: a general outline; why the problem occurs (e.g. the frontal lobe gets damaged); types of the problem (e.g. tension headache, cluster headache, etc.); diagnosis of the problem; treating the problem; and practical suggestions.

Welp, those are most of my thoughts. Reading this book will definitely make you realize how much concussions suck (I guess if you've been concussed you probably already know this).

Cool Stuff

  • "Because concussion is so often invisible before the age of 16, it is thought that most children suffer at least one concussion that is either never identified or is misdiagnosed" (28).
  • The acronym "TBI" is usually prefaced by a labeling of mild, moderate, or severe. These labels do not refer to the severity of the injury. Rather, they refer to the length of time a person lacks awareness of his or her environment following impact. The time ranges are zero to sixty minutes, one hour to twenty-four hours, and twenty-four hours plus, respectively.
  • Bach Flower Remedies are almost always mentioned in the Alternative Treatments sections. The official website reads: "The energies from different flowers can remove our emotional pains and suffering." Interesting...
  • Another alternative treatment mentioned is Therapeutic Touch. In this treatment, the healer puts their hands on or near the patient and detects and moves the energy field. If this sounds like BS to you, science agrees. But hey, if it works for you, more power to you.
  • There are a lot of other interesting/suspicious/phony alternative treatments mentioned in chapter 6. I'm too lazy to list them all. Read the book.