The Effect of Concussions on Mental Health

Topics: Traumatic brain injury, Concussion, Suicide Pages: 2 (803 words) Published: October 1, 2012
A Concussion’s Effect on Mental Health
As of May 23, there have been over 2,200 lawsuits against the NFL over concussions. Most people think that concussions occur only during huge helmet-to-helmet collisions resulting in a player being knocked unconscious. These hits do cause severe concussions but the truth is that most concussions happen during small hits or in a dog pile. These mild hits add up and take a toll on your brain. I believe that the NFL should implement a concussion limit and mental test in order to protect player’s brains from damage. (Ex: more than 3 mild concussions in a single season will result in a mandatory leave for the rest of the season, and the player must pass a mental test to see if he is capable of playing again in the next season.)

Junior Seau is a possible victim of concussions in the National Football League (NFL). He played for 20 years and recently committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. Junior was neither a drug addict nor alcoholic, and was known as a very friendly person. He is just one of many ex NFL players that have committed/attempted suicide. Seau’s case stands out because during his autopsy, coroners found traces of the sleep aid commonly known as Ambien. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that Ambien can cause suicidal thoughts or actions. Seau took Ambien because he had problems staying asleep which could have been a result of his numerous concussions. It is not yet known whether Seau’s suicide was caused by the very rare side effect of Ambien or in fact a result of the numerous concussions he contracted. The National Institute of Health has now decided to study his brain to better understand what the cause was.

In high school, most deaths caused by head injuries are an outcome of cumulative concussions. Cumulative concussions occur when the first concussion goes undiagnosed or ignored by the player. They then take another blow to the head while being previously concussed and...
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