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6 Ways a Concussion Can Affect Your Cognitive Function and Mental Health

1 in 5 people may experience mental health symptoms following a traumatic brain injury or severe concussion, making it incredibly important to see a trained professional for concussion treatments.

You might be surprised to learn that even a simple concussion can leave you struggling with an array of mental and cognitive symptoms that need to be treated—the sooner after you’re injured the better. Some of the most common issues you could face include:

1. Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health symptoms people experience after a serious concussion. This is because impact injuries can cause psychological changes in your brain, causing dysregulation and feelings of anxiety and stress to emerge.

2. Depression

Similarly, depression also tends to increase following a concussion as your bodily systems struggle to regulate themselves. You might experience hormonal imbalances and other changes to your brain chemistry, and as a result, your moods may vary significantly. It’s important to discuss these symptoms with your healthcare provider.


Like anxiety and depression, PTSD is not uncommon after getting a head injury or concussion. You might find yourself worrying about recurring injuries or getting hurt again after a concussion, and may hesitate to return to your regular activities.

two boys play soccer on the beach.


4. Memory problems

For several months after a concussion, you may struggle with memory problems, making it difficult to focus on work, stay alert, recall information, or remember things. This isn’t uncommon, but it’s definitely not something to be dismissed or downplayed. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding concussion treatments and develop techniques to get around memory gaps and other issues.

5. Social withdrawal

Many individuals also experience social withdrawal and isolation after a concussion. This mental health symptom is important to report and discuss with your doctor, given that it’s necessary to identify concerning indicators of poor mental health.

6. Decreased productivity

As a result of your concussion, you may struggle with reduced efficiency, productivity, and work quality, all of which can impact your performance. Cognitive difficulties are not uncommon after a head injury, and you might need some downtime to recover.



If you’ve suffered a blow to your head—especially if you’ve lost consciousness—due to a sports injury, an automobile accident, or a simple fall, go to the emergency room for treatment immediately after your injury . The earlier you are diagnosed and receive concussion treatment, the more likely you are to minimize the condition’s long-term effects. At Friendswood Specialty Hospital, you’ll find orthopedic sports medicine specialists who can help at our Sports Medicine Program. Visit Specialty Hospital near NASA TX to learn more and scroll down the page to find a physician who’s right for you. Then click on their profile to schedule an appointment.