Do You Know These 10 Signs of Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Every year, over 2 million new head injuries are diagnosed in the U.S., and millions more go undetected. The number of concussions is on the rise. From 2010 to 2015, concussion diagnoses jumped 43% among the general population. Research shows that among people ages 10 to 19 years of age, concussion diagnoses skyrocketed 71%. Many people who sustain a head injury recover from their symptoms, but an alarming number of them may develop mental health issues that ruin their lives and steal their happiness.

Among Amen Clinics patients, 40% have suffered a significant brain injury. After analyzing over 200,000 brain scans in the Amen Clinics database, it is clear that mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a major cause of psychiatric problems, but very few people know it. Sadly, millions of people suffer from post-concussion syndrome, which includes a wide range of cognitive and psychological issues. But most of them don’t realize that their mental health issues may be related to a mild head injury they suffered weeks, months, or even years earlier.

Millions of people suffer from post-concussion syndrome, which includes a wide range of cognitive and psychological issues. But most of them don’t realize that their mental health issues may be related to a mild head injury. Click To Tweet

Are you one of them? How can you know if you have post-concussion syndrome? Look for these 10 common symptoms of the condition.


1. Brain fog

Following a head injury, you may feel confused or mentally fuzzy. Difficulties with problem-solving and reasoning are common complaints with brain fog. Some people experience a feeling that everything is “slowed down.” It may take you longer to read an article or book or to understand the content. You may find it hard to follow conversations, television shows, or directions.

2. Memory problems

A number of memory problems can arise after suffering a head injury. For example, you may have difficulty remembering new information. It is also quite common to have trouble recalling the time period prior to the concussion. Some people experience memory lapses, forgetting parts of conversations or events.

3. Fatigue

Being chronically tired and having a lack of energy are frequent complaints heard from people who have experienced concussions. Many people assume their fatigue is related to stress, age, or other issues, so they don’t make the connection to a past brain injury.

4. Insomnia

Having trouble sleeping—difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep—is one of the symptoms often seen post-concussion. Poor quality sleep is often tied to the fatigue people experience.

5. Low motivation

Along with a lack of energy, people who have suffered a TBI often notice a decline in motivation. Even if they had previously been a go-getter, they no longer have the get-up-and-go to actively pursue their goals at work or in life. Patients at Amen Clinics whose brain scans show damage from head trauma often say they have been labeled as “lazy.”

6. Feeling depressed

Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders associated with head injuries, affecting about 33%-42% of people within the first year of experiencing a TBI. The number of people developing major depressive disorder jumps to 61% within the first 7 years after a TBI, according to research in the Journal of Neurotrauma. If you are experiencing depressive symptoms that don’t respond to traditional treatment, investigate if an underlying concussion or TBI may be contributing to these feelings.

7. Anxiety

Research shows that following a concussion, some people develop anxiety issues, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), specific phobia, and social anxiety disorder. Any anxiousness, nervousness, panic, obsessions, or compulsions that arise post-concussion deserve attention.

8. Focus and attention problems

If you have suffered a TBI—even if you don’t remember hitting your head—you may have difficulty paying attention, concentrating, or staying focused. Completing projects, multitasking, and engaging in long conversations may be challenging. You may find yourself feeling restless or being easily distracted. Research shows there is an increased likelihood of developing ADHD after a TBI.

9. Substance abuse

Findings in the Journal of Neurotrauma show that TBI can increase the use of alcohol or drugs in people who had no previous substance abuse. Drug or alcohol addictions also impede the recovery process after a head injury.

10. Aggression

One of the most common personality changes following a TBI is an increase in aggression. According to a study in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, nearly 30% of people with a first-time TBI experienced post-concussion aggression. Any increases in irritability, anger or aggressive behavior could be a lingering symptom related to prior head trauma.

If you have some of these symptoms, and especially if they aren’t responding to standard treatment, it’s critical to dig deeper to find the root cause. Brain SPECT imaging can reveal areas that have been damaged due to head injuries, so you can have a clearer picture of the health of your brain and the path to healing from post-concussion syndrome.

Concussions, TBIs, and the mental health issues associated with them can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer a comprehensive Concussion Rescue treatment program, in-clinic brain scanning, and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. Had a serious concussion 3-24-2021,I have all these symptoms except aggression. Which i believe comes from husband’s abandoning me after 47yrs of marriage and devotion. Living a double life with another woman. Stroed out 8-17-2021,2 concussions total. Eye’s aren’t ok.Seeing blurry. Can you help me with this??

    Comment by Kathleen — March 11, 2022 @ 3:17 AM

  2. I have had many head injuries in the past. From violence and accidents. A small bleed at the back of the brain. All dating in past years. I often feel that I have brain fog, sometimes it takes me a little longer to think or answer. Can this be from past injuries?

    Comment by Alison — March 11, 2022 @ 3:20 AM

  3. I know the symptoms from my sister’s head injury. Yes, she has them all. Myself, I’ve hit my head and had to have stitches. I feel I have had a mild head injury so many times I’ve hit my head or raise up under a cabinet door, those incidents that may have killed an actor lately.

    Comment by Johnie B. Matthews — March 11, 2022 @ 3:26 AM

  4. What about lack of senses of smells and tastes?? These are still long term issues??

    Comment by Kathleen — March 11, 2022 @ 3:28 AM

  5. i have recently remembered that i had a tbi when i was 2 coming on 3 – twisted my pituitary so i never became fully feminised – have a flat profile from little craniofacial extension – dental work brought back the memory! am 72 now and had ovarian cancer at 47 after a lifetime of unbelievable painful periods
    have had problems all my life physically, emotionally and psychologically – but it is difficult because no-one believes me apart from the dentist – my 2 very beautiful sisters do not believe me but then they are very good looking which makes for lack of empathy – also it was one of my sisters who caused it
    am amazed that all our memories are still in me – still who needs sisters if they are so insensitive

    Comment by penny waters — March 11, 2022 @ 3:29 AM

  6. Very informative explanation of symptoms after head injury especially ability to process knowledge, speed of reading and potential aggression. I have not realized it can affect so much. Wonder what happens to an adult’s brain if that injury was 50 years earlier in their life? Is it still “ fixable “?

    Comment by Renia — March 11, 2022 @ 3:29 AM

  7. Fell down stairs in October 2021 and had Covid 2021. Experiencing all sumptoms

    Comment by Claire — March 11, 2022 @ 4:13 AM

  8. In 1990, I was hit in the head by a large metal fixture . I have had these symptoms all along and didn’t associate the symptoms with the accident. I still suffer from them all these years later. Is it coincidence

    Comment by Patricia Feuerstein — March 11, 2022 @ 4:39 AM

  9. After a major accident which left me with 38 stitches in my head; I started gaining one pound a week. I never went back into he 100’s ever after. Depression?

    Comment by Moire Lynch — March 11, 2022 @ 5:21 AM

  10. Thank you for this article. I had a bicycle accident in the late 1970s, where I flew over the handlebars, hit the back of my head hard on the cement sidewalk. At the time, the doctor diagnosed over the phone “likely a concussion, nothing can be done, just rest for a few days and move slowly”. I rested for a few days, doing very little, then gradually (over a week or two) went back to work as a daycare worker, though I felt wonky for a couple of years. Eventually, I forgot about it and lived with my “new normal” though I was unaware that there might be any lingering effects. Now, at age 69 I’m wondering whether my vision challenges (no glasses are right!), poor balance issues, and being diagnosed with ADHD 6 or 7 years ago might be a result of that long-ago concussion. I was intrigued by the comment in the article point #8: “Research shows there is an increased likelihood of developing ADHD after a TBI”. I am interested in any more information regarding the connection. I am in Ontario Canada, so Amen Clinics are out of reach but we can get SPECT scans when necessary, and covered by our public health care.
    Thank you for any feedback.

    Comment by Emily Nighswander — March 11, 2022 @ 8:24 AM

  11. Hi I had a minor head injury which caused a small bleed . Had all of the above symptoms, found a very good book on brain injury . It outlines a treatment withOmega3 fish oil I followed the protocol and all my symptoms were resolved within 4 weeks. Is Dr. Amen familiar with this ?

    Comment by Jerry — March 11, 2022 @ 9:12 AM

  12. Are you located only in Meridian? I’m going to head injury from forty years ago, some of these problems?

    Comment by Dianna Knadel — March 11, 2022 @ 9:50 AM

  13. I’ve also seen suicidal ideation post head injury without previous history of depression in my practice with teenagers. Specifically soccer players.

    Comment by Carolyn Mohler — March 11, 2022 @ 10:00 AM

  14. As a 5 year old, I watched that rock leave my brother’s hand & sail into my forehead. I know- should have ducked. I never knew which of the football head injuries was “serious”. When do you stop counting? After 2 or 3? What were my parents thinking – Dad the alcoholic and Mom the classic codependent. I wish I could blame all my stupid choices on them.
    I’m 67 now and doing ok. Retention is measured in minutes.
    Were my parents more interested in my football scholarship ? Or Dad’s whiskey bottle? I’m not bitter. Just sad.

    Comment by RANDALL J ST AUBYN — March 11, 2022 @ 11:53 AM

  15. I have all but one of them symptom a and it’s been 20 years since my last head injury

    Comment by Shanna davis — March 11, 2022 @ 4:36 PM

  16. As well as easily irritated by sounds sensitivity to light and my eyess don’t see as well I’ve also had depression for a the 20 years

    Comment by Shanna davis — March 11, 2022 @ 4:42 PM

  17. I’ve had 11 concussions from ages 6-21 years of age and not another since then (I’m 52 now). I didn’t realize all these symptoms could be related to past concussions. Maybe I should come in to the clinic to get some advise.

    Comment by Andrea Driver — March 12, 2022 @ 5:29 AM

  18. Can cervical dystonia be caused by whiplash or contussion on head?

    Comment by Barb Trevett — March 12, 2022 @ 8:16 AM

  19. Brain injury (car accident) had a devastating effect on me. Was hit on my right – lost vision to right eye, right ear infection landed me in the ER, 52% hearing loss, whole right side in permanent pain, brain injury, acute inflammation replaced by chronic inflammation, inability to tolerate any carbs as they increase inflammation and pain, inability to sleep unless I take supplements every couple of hours, loss of short term memory, irritability, difficulty managing emotions. lost a lot of weight, feeling that I live in a different body. The spect test demonstrated that my brain has quite a number of “holes”. in the process of getting help here, thanks!

    Comment by Varda Rose — March 12, 2022 @ 12:06 PM

  20. My sister has experienced several falls in which she hit her head on the concrete sidewalk. While she hasn’t shown aggression, she has definitely declined in her mental thinking. Unable to access her regular medication, she has shown radical signs of brain injury i.e. making up family scenarios, forgetting I’ve been divorced for 30 years, etc.

    Comment by MichelJoy DelRe — March 12, 2022 @ 6:10 PM

  21. Do you have Amen clinics in South Africa

    Comment by Hermien Moggee — March 14, 2022 @ 5:03 AM

  22. Hell Hermien, thank you for reaching out. At this time our 10 locations are in the U.S.:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 14, 2022 @ 9:29 AM

  23. Hello Dianna, thank you for reaching out. At this time our 10 locations are in the U.S.:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 14, 2022 @ 1:00 PM

  24. Hello Kathleen, thank you for reaching out. For more information about SPECT scans and our services, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 14, 2022 @ 6:05 PM

  25. I have had many head injuries over the course of my life, starting at age 4 and then almost one every couple of years after that… In hindsight, I now understand the symptoms from these injuries and I now have a first hand experience of a Whiplash injury from a single vehicle mishap that left me with a diagnosis of a Concussion and Whiplash that the symptoms persisted and my Dr. diagnosed Post Concussion Syndrome… I know that the Whiplash component of that injury was significant and the damage to my Upper Cervical Spine contributed greatly to my symptoms… I found relief from the symptoms through many therapeutic actions and strategies, and treatment (adjustment) by an Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractor keeps the symptoms at bay… I believe that many injuries are mis-diagnosed as just a Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury when in fact the injury is rooted in our Upper Cervical Spine… Be well…

    Comment by Glenn D Peterson — March 23, 2022 @ 3:12 AM

  26. I have had problems with my left eye. Dr ordered an MRI of the brain, head, it shows in the left hemisphere of the brain a hematoma 0.7 cm. Often I have head aches left side
    of my head.
    Do you treat people with these issues?
    Thank you, A. B.

    Comment by Aura Bahr — May 6, 2022 @ 10:44 AM

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