Updated: Nov 20
When I sustained my concussion in May 2017, something changed inside me. Before the accident, I felt “steady,” and right now, I feel so emotional all the time. In this blog, I will tell you more about “Can a concussion affect your emotions?” and crying after a concussion, something that happened to me often and to many others who sustained a concussion.
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Can a concussion affect your emotions? The first time I noticed this
I remember it like yesterday, I was driving home on my scooter and bumped into another scooter. I didn’t hit my head, and I thought I’d only hurt my ankle. So I went home like nothing happened. I went to work the next day and even had this emergency phone from work for the next 48 hours.
This means clients can call you in case there is an emergency. I worked at a travel company so travelers could call in case something happened. Well, during these 48 hours, so many flights got cancelled because of the weather. After getting 16 calls, I felt so overwhelmed and started to cry.
This was the first time I thought, what is going on with me? Why am I so emotional? I never cried because of something like this.
I didn’t know I had a concussion in my first year because no doctor told me this, so I only knew something was WRONG.
I didn’t feel myself anymore. It even felt like my personality had changed.
Personality change after a concussion
By the time I found out I had a concussion, I’d started to Google my symptoms. I didn’t recognize myself anymore, and sometimes I started crying out of nowhere without any reason.
This happened a lot when I felt overwhelmed. For example, when I went to a supermarket, this was too much to handle. The only thought I had was going home and crying. I didn’t cry because I felt sad; this wasn’t the happiest situation, but I cried because I had to release all the impressions my body couldn’t process.
This was my way to let go of it.
I also read about personality change after a concussion. At first, I was a bit skeptical because deep inside, I still felt like the old me. But people did see a different me. From the outside, it was like my personality had changed (my body couldn’t handle the excited version of me), but inside, it felt like I had the old personality. I was conflicted with myself. All the time.
Crying after a concussion - People ask you why
When this happened in public, people asked me what was wrong. But I didn’t have an answer to that. The only thing I knew was that this was the worst feeling ever.
I can describe it as a restless feeling that’s everywhere in your body, I felt it inside my back like some waves were going through my back. Sometimes, I could hold it for like a minute to find a “safe space,” but other times, when people asked me the question: what’s wrong, the only thing I could do was cry.
I hated it, I didn’t have any control over it
During my concussion recovery, I met other people (in my city or online) experiencing the same. Some of them didn’t feel emotional or didn’t have to cry like I did. But one time, I met a girl, and she felt exactly the same.
She told me: “"The worst thing in my recovery was that I had to cry all the time, not knowing why...", it’s like a never-ending thing”. I could relate to that one. I hated it because I couldn’t control it.
I started to isolate myself a bit more because I just didn’t want this to happen in public or when I was with a group of friends or at a random place with only strangers. The easiest way was to stay at home; this was my safe space without all the noise from the outside world.
Staying at home all the time was helping, but it made me sad
When I was at home, I didn’t have to cry that much because I felt less overwhelmed. But isolating myself a bit more negatively affected my wellbeing as well. I felt sad because I couldn’t keep up with my social life like I used to. I missed out on so many things, and that made me cry too.
>>Read my other blog: “How does a concussion affect you socially”?
So, what do you do when you can’t go outside, but staying at home isn’t making you happy either?
I was always balancing between these two things. When I chose to stay at home, I felt less overwhelmed but sadder when I chose to meet friends, I felt overwhelmed, resulting in feeling more emotional.
So, my first two years were very hard. I pushed myself sometimes because I just didn’t want to stay at home again. Sometimes, it helped, it made me happy to be able to do something “normal.” But other times, it made me sad because I couldn’t handle it.
>> Read my other blog: “pushing myself can go two ways: getting more confidence or getting a setback”
Looking back at the most emotional part of my concussion recovery
It was a hard time, such a rollercoaster when I look back at that period of my life.
But right now, I see it from a helicopter view, something that’s impossible when you’re right in the middle of it.
When I was in the middle of it, it felt like there was no way out, and it would be like that for the rest of my life.
When I look at it right now, things did improve, I started to reach out to people in the same situation, and many new possibilities came my way.
I realize I learned so much during the hardest part of my life. I listened to many personal development books because that was basically the only thing I could do. Without these books, I would be so bored.
They were my life saver, I got energy from all these different stories and tips. It helped me to feel deep inside that there was more, that there should be a way out, even if I didn’t know how during that moment.
During these two years of feeling emotional, I learned the most about myself. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. So I can answer that question: can a concussion affect your emotions? with the answer, YES, definitely!
“In between times in your journey”
Recently, I found this text on Instagram, which resonated so much with me. I hope it will help you as well:
“In your journey, there will be “in between times” of transition. You may feel lost, confused, angry, unseen or empty. Don’t confuse these times of transition as a forever state of being or being broken. You are breaking away from what was, creating space to welcome what will be.”
I started to see feeling emotional after a concussion and crying after a concussion as something my body needed (and still sometimes needs) to break away from things, to let go of some parts and creating space to welcome what will be.
For everyone right in the middle of this emotional rollercoaster, I hope this helped you a bit. Know you’re always welcome in our community, and we can’t wait to support you even more. Sometimes, you can’t do things alone, and you don’t have to.
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