The difference between having a concussion and also having
problems from the concussion like depressed mood or depression
or having chronic pain and having a condition
that is, in fact, the full barrage of both of those
or all three of those conditions linked together is that if the concussion itself
or the PTSD itself is just causing symptoms, it's just causing you to have
a somewhat depressed mood but not have full-blown depression,
or the concussion is causing you to have a little bit of anxiety, or the PTSD is causing you
to have a little bit of anxiety, those--that single diagnosis with just symptoms
that kind of look similar will respond exquisitely well to the known treatments.
From, again, my experience and what limited things we know from the
science, the research that's been done is the human brain, the human body
does extremely well when it has a mission or a problem that it understands,
that it can deal with. When people understand what the goal is,
what their problem is, even if, to be fair, we don't understand it 100 percent--
maybe we're at 91 percent or 86 percent--but the patient feels,
"I've got a care provider and a team that understands this. They've seen this before.
It's got a name." All this-- People actually want to understand or to have something
to call what they're working on and, more importantly, not just a name,
but to know what to expect, even if the expecting thing isn't good.
You know--if you've had a more severe injury or you've got cancer,
and you know it's going to be rough, but someone paints the picture for you
and says, "Here is your chemo. Here are the symptoms. Here is your
chance of doing well, etc. That's much better than the unknown.
And we really get the unknown when one care provider says, "You've got
generalized anxiety disorder."
Another care provider says, "It's related to medications that you're taking
that are interacting and making you feel weird."
Another care provider says, "I think it was that blast you had 2 years ago,
and you got your bell rung."
Even though each of those might have a piece in this, to present it like that
is very challenging. It's challenging for the healthcare provider
to present six diseases at once and how do they interact.
But it really does help the entire--the system. The care provider. The patient.
The family. The therapists who are providing the services.
So, again, from my experience, it's been a very useful tool.
Show transcript | Print transcript
Not knowing the root of medical and psychological problems often exacerbates the issues; a clear diagnosis is important for successful recovery.
Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Brian King, BrainLine.
David Cifu, MD is chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia, and national director of the PM&R program office for the Veterans Health Administration.
The contents of Brainline Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.