Post Traumatic Amnesia
Post-traumatic amnesia is a common and frequent occurrence that can occur with concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Depending upon the severity of the brain injury, post-traumatic amnesia can last anywhere from a few minutes to weeks, months or longer. Although a variety of factors go into rating the severity of a brain injury, a routinely used indicator is the length of time spent in a post-traumatic amnesia state. It’s important to note that this state can occur with or without a loss of consciousness and often presents after a person wakes from a coma. Post-traumatic amnesia is characterized by a memory loss and state of confusion. Listed below are some common symptoms of post-traumatic amnesia.
Common Post-Traumatic Amnesia Symptoms
- Memory loss
- Distressed behavior
- Uncharacteristic behaviors like violence, aggression
- Disinhibiting behaviors
- Trying to leave hospital or tendency to start wandering
- Doesn’t recognize loved ones, friends or family members
- Yelling or swearing
- Uncharacteristic docility, quietness or friendliness
Depending upon the severity of your loved one’s injury, they can present with a variety of different symptoms of post-traumatic amnesia. One this is for sure, you know your loved one is not okay. Whether he or she recognizes you or not, a loss of memory and uncharacteristic behavior can leave any loved one shaken and concerned. There is still so much research to be done regarding brain injuries, treatment and recovery periods, and no two-brain injuries are exactly the same. The symptoms one patient suffers from can be totally different from the symptoms another patient suffers from. Post-traumatic amnesia, no matter what symptoms are involved, is often very difficult, distressing and in some cases, dangerous to patients as they work to come through the fog of their injured brains and fractured memories.
Caring for a loved one with post-traumatic amnesia can leave you with a mixture of emotions. If your loved one recently awoke from a coma, you might be overjoyed with happiness, only to find your loved one has no idea who you are, has to be strapped to a hospital bed and is screaming and swearing at you and you hardly recognize them at all. This is a scary time, but hopefully, many of the more startling symptoms will begin to subside. Nobody thinks about the emotional toll that caring for a loved one with post-traumatic amnesia takes. Try not to take things personally and take the time you need to refresh yourself between visits. This can be a very difficult time for family members, spouses, children, parents or other loved ones.
Length of Post-Traumatic Amnesia and Injury Severity
Not always, but in most cases, the length of time regarding a state of post-traumatic amnesia is correlated to the severity of the brain injury. If your loved one was only in a post-traumatic amnesia state for about 15-20 minutes, that might be associated with a more mild case of brain injury or concussion. For patients in comas or who have post-traumatic amnesia for days, weeks or months, the severity of the injury was likely much greater. Each case is different, so it’s essential to make sure your loved one has the appropriate supportive and rehabilitative care he or she needs following a traumatic brain injury or any sort of post-traumatic amnesia events.
What About Concussions?
Even seemingly minor concussions need to be taken very seriously. What the medical community once thought were appropriate recovery times have been lengthened as we learn more about how long it actually takes brains to recover from concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. If your child has been injured in a youth sport program or if you have suffered from a head injury in a car accident, you need to get immediate medical attention. A so-called bump on the head can be a long-term injury in terms of emotional, cognitive and psychological recovery time. Getting knocked out is much more serious than once thought. If you or a loved one has in any way experienced a head injury or any length of post-traumatic amnesia at all, you need to get medically evaluated immediately.
Brain injuries leave victims with long-lasting, sometimes permanent, disabilities. So much research is still emerging about post-traumatic amnesia and other symptoms and stages associated with traumatic brain injuries, concussions and chronic repeated head injuries. If you have suffered from a head injury or a loved one is going through post-traumatic amnesia due to the negligence or dangerous behavior of another person in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at(601) 265-7766. for a free case consultation.
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