Brain Injury Victims Category
Post concussion syndrome (PCS) is a combination of disorders which can occur after injury to the brain. A severe brain injury is not necessary to cause PCS, even a mild trauma to the brain can cause the symptoms to appear. PCS causes problems such as mood disorders and unexplained anger, but is rarely treated.
Although PCS has been known to the medical community since the 1800’s, it remains a controversial subject because the symptoms can be inconsistent, elusive, and are often mistaken for other psychological conditions such as ADHD.
There is no direct correlation between the severity of a brain injury and the severity of PCS. The long term effects of a brain injury are determined by the area of the brain affected, not the initial severity of the injury. Some patients experience a brain injury which is so mild that they do not even know they have a brain injury. This is particularly common when no visible head injury is involved, such as in brain injuries caused by whiplash during a car accident.
Children may develop symptoms of PCS after being shaken as infants. Because parents may not be aware of the initial injury, and the symptoms of PCS mimic those of other psychological problems often discovered during childhood, many children are misdiagnosed and treated for conditions which they do not have, and never receive the treatment they truly need.
Because the medical community is skeptical of PCS, many patients cannot get the treatment or the therapy which would be most helpful to them. Without a diagnosis from a doctor, insurance companies will not pay for treatment. More frustrating and discouraging for PCS victims, skepticism can spill over to friends and family meaning even less support.
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Symptoms of PCS include:
· Neck pain
· Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
· Sensitivity to noise
· Sensitivity to light
· Vision problems
· Sleep disorders
· Personality changes
· Difficulty concentrating
· Impaired attention
· Memory problems
· Slowed mental processing
· Difficulty with abstract thinking
Brain injury victims need the understanding and support of loved ones. The personality changes and cognitive difficulties caused by brain injuries can be frightening and even dangerous. Symptoms can take months or years to surface. Family members and friends who are confused and frightened by these changes often alienate the person with the brain injury, making recovery even more difficult, and causing more anger and depression. Recognizing the signs of PCS can mean getting the right treatment and a speedier recovery.