What factors contribute to persisting concussion symptoms weeks or months after the injury?
Sometimes individuals with pre-existing conditions such as migraines, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and depression or anxiety can take longer to recover. Symptoms within weeks of having a concussion can mimic attention deficit or depression. Other pre-existing conditions that contribute to prolonged recovery include drug or alcohol abuse, poor diet and perhaps certain genetic mutations.
Sometimes people in our lives contribute to ongoing discomfort; they might do too much for you or not enough in your time of need. Sometimes regular life stressors such as moving, losing a job or a relationship around the time of an injury can increase recovery time. Additionally, sometimes people can behave in such a way that maintains disability such as completely avoiding activities they used to do; even as symptoms may start to improve. Avoiding all activity for prolonged amounts of time is viewed as maintaining a “sick role”. We call this a biopsychosocial phenomena meaning that biological processes interact with psychological and social functioning.