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07-05 Concussions have less impact on teenagers’ mental health, say researchers

Concussions have less impact on teenagers’ mental health, say researchers

It is common for teenagers to suffer injuries while playing or indulging in any adventurous or physical activity. At times, adolescents suffer mild brain injuries or concussions, which can create problems later. However, parents tend to ignore such marks of lacerations believing that there is no actual damage to the brain.

Now, a group of researchers has tried to look into possible psychological disorders that may evolve, after some time, in high school athletes afflicted with brain injuries. For this purpose, the researchers carried out two studies. In the first study involving over 260 high school athletes afflicted with a concussion, the researchers suggested that the risk of manifesting symptoms of depression in them, within a span of two years post injury, was the same as in those who had not been injured while participating in sports.

A total of 79 girls and 182 boys had reported of one concussion prior to the survey. No major variations in either physical or psychosocial functioning were noted between students with or without any history of concussions. The researchers found no distinctions in overall quality of their lives. In addition, no difference in risk of depression was observed among students regardless of their experiences with concussions.

In the second study involving more than 1,200 high school athletes, the researchers found no variations in self-reported quality of such students’ lives after following them for over two years, irrespective of whether the participants had been affected because of concussions or not. The respondents of the study included 448 female and 786 male high school athletes who had replied to survey questions prepared in a bid to evaluate health-related aspects of their lives. The students were asked questions to assess both the physical and “psychosocial” aspects of their lives. The history of concussion of each student was also taken into account.

Elucidating the observations, Jerod Keene from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said, “It is interesting that high school athletes with previous concussion history do not report a decrease in quality of life. When you consider that, overall, high school athletes have been shown to score higher on tquality of life than their non-athlete counterparts, the risk of not playing sports could lead to lower quality of life than playing sports and sustaining concussion.” Keene is one of the co-authors of the study.

Though the results spell good news for athletes and sportspersons, the researchers also found the necessity to examine prolonged effects of suffering from concussions. The findings of both the studies were presented at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) in Houston on June 29, 2017.

Timely diagnosis helps treat mental illnesses

The observations that concussions are harmless do not imply that athletes should be unmindful of possible risks to their mental health. People tend to be cognizant of their physical injuries while being mostly disinterested of the changes in their mental health condition. Being aware of the kinds of psychiatric disorders that may affect humans in addition to their impact is imperative to sound mental health.

Health care providers are constantly stressing on heightened awareness and understanding of how distorted mental health conditions may affect overall health. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego provides treatments for mental illnesses to adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years. Our residential mental health facilities for teenagers are equipped with state-of-the-art treatment methods, customized to meet each adolescent’s needs. For more information about teenage mental health facilities in your vicinity, contact our 24/7 helpline or chat online.

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