Oftentimes, the signs and symptoms of concussions and depression overlap. Understanding the symptoms you or a loved one are experiencing can help guide your treatment.

Learn more about how concussions and depression are linked from the infographic below.

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Concussion and Depression

Many signs and symptoms of concussion and depression overlap, including:

  • Sleeping less or more than usual
  • Irritability
  • Feeling tired
  • Mood changes
  • Sadness
  • Difficult thinking clearly
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Social withdrawal

Concussion patients may experience symptoms of depression due to:

  • Situational changes such as not being able to participate in sports
  • Living with unremitting headaches or dizziness
  • Hopelessness regarding recovery
  • Pathophysiological and neurochemical changes that occur immediately following head injury

Symptoms of depression should resolve as recovery improves, but in some cases, may last longer.

The onset of depression following concussion can affect recovery and should be treated.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of depression, speak with a doctor for a referral for treatment.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts and need immediate help, call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.