Updated: Nov 20
For me, it’s 5.5 years ago (at the time of writing this blog) since I sustained a concussion and whiplash. The question: “How long does a concussion last” was in my mind for so long, especially during my first two years.
I would have given anything to get an answer to that question. There is no one right answer about how long it takes to recover from a concussion, but as we all want an answer to this question, I would like to write more about it and share my experience.
Download my free eBook to learn 7 things that have helped me to reduce my symptoms: click here.
How long does a concussion last?
Around 80% of all people who sustain a concussion will have symptoms for “only” 14 days up to 6 weeks. When your symptoms stay longer, you automatically get the label: post-concussion syndrome.
I don’t like labels because we don’t know that much about our brains so there is no one cure to heal a concussion, which makes everything so complicated.
But as long as we don’t know anything, I decided to choose the positive side: everything is possible, there is always hope.
How long does it take to recover from a concussion - my experience
As you already read in the beginning of this blog, I sustained my concussion and whiplash 5.5 years ago, in May 2017.
In my first two years, I barely improved, and the question “How long does a concussion last?” was in my mind every day.
I was looking for answers. I went to many doctors, I Googled a lot and joined support groups. It was like nothing helped, and I felt stuck and alone, not knowing what to do anymore.
I thought this would last forever
When you’re right in the middle of that negative spiral, you sometimes don’t see a way out. It can be so hard to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing when and if you will get better.
>>>Read my other blog> “Concussion Recovery - Dealing with uncertainty”
But on the other side, if someone gave me a note and told me right away after the accident that it would last this long, I don’t know what I have done either.
Not knowing how long it takes gave also me some hope. They didn’t tell me it’s permanent, so as long as we don’t know anything about the brain, I chose the positive side of hope.
You mostly read negative stories online
Most of the time when you start searching on Google, you only hear about negative stories. People who still have symptoms after many years. I think this is because people who are healed are not talking about it anymore. People who are looking for a solution, dealing with struggles are sharing about it online.
So, this doesn’t mean you have to live with this forever, and there is no way out. I’ve heard success stories even from people who recovered after 5 years or even 20 years.
There is no fixed timeline when it comes to concussions. If there was one, I would have given it to you.
How can I speed up concussion recovery?
Speeding up our concussion recovery is something we all want so we are back to our old lives.
When I look back at the years of my recovery, I would have done some things differently. And I even think that would have helped me to not deal with symptoms at this moment anymore.
Things that can help to speed up your recovery / what I would change if I could walk the same road?
Reduce screen time: I pushed myself sometimes too much. I tried to go back to work way too soon. I was addicted to my phone, and as I couldn’t go outside my house, it was my connection to the outside world. But it was definitely not helping in my recovery.
Getting enough rest: I just didn’t want to accept I had this concussion. So I pushed myself to see friends and do things that didn’t serve me anymore. >> Read my other blog: “8 things I needed to let go in order to move forward”.
Gentle exercise: Or I didn’t exercise at all OR I pushed myself to go back to my old sport routine, which gave me setbacks. Gentle exercise is helpful, even a short walk a day can do wonders.
Getting the right nutrition: As I already had enough on my plate, I didn’t make this a priority, but it can change many things. Try to cut out sugar, eat less gluten, more healthy protein (fish), eat foods with a lot of antioxidants and lots of fruits and even more vegetables.
Be patient and try not to fight against your symptoms: this is the hardest thing ever because all you want is a life without these symptoms. But from the moment I stopped fighting against them, it felt like I moved forward in my journey. Save that energy for healing.
Your body is the leader, not your to-do list: I always “listened” to my to-do list and not what my body could handle. After struggling for two years, getting setbacks and feeling stuck I changed things from the moment I listened to my body and slowly let go of all the tasks I needed to do. It wasn’t easy, but it gets easier over time.
I want to share something with you that I often see go wrong.
Most people in their concussion recovery only focus on the physical aspect of getting better. But did you know I improved the most in my recovery by focusing on my mindset and the emotional part?
In order to move forward, the emotional side/mindset is equally important as the physical aspect. And it will definitely affect the answer to the question: how long does a concussion last? Focusing on the emotional side can speed up your concussion recovery.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, and in my first two years, I only focused on the physical part. But from the moment I started to focus on my mindset and the emotional part that comes with recovery, I took the biggest steps in my recovery.
How long does it take to recover from a concussion?
What do you do if your symptoms don’t go away? What if you feel stuck? What if you have already tried many things, but you’re still not moving forward? Don’t you try everything to get better?
Mindset is often underestimated and is the answer to many of these questions.
Do you want stop struggling all by yourself and finally be able to take the next steps in your recovery?
Then The Concussion Community might be something for you. In this community:
84 concussion experts share all their knowledge in classes and courses, so you finally get access to the correct knowledge and know what to do to move forward.
170+ members support each other and share tips. I learned more from them than from my own doctor.
I share more about the exact things that helped me to improve by 80%.
Our TBI Coach, Julie Kuch, hosts coaching classes in the community every month on a different topic.
This community is designed especially for people who sustained a concussion or TBI who:
1. Is feeling stuck and feel they are not getting the correct knowledge or recognition from their doctor(s).
2. Has been busy searching for a while to find more information about how to heal their concussion but still does not feel they are moving forward.
3. Feel misunderstood by the people around them, mostly friends and family. People who feel like they are alone in this and have to figure out everything by themselves.
4. Have an open mindset, believe in new changes and opportunities, and know: "Knowledge is power." They are curious to look further than what their own country has to offer.
"But above all: It is for every concussion survivor who feels there is more out there, that this isn't it."
People who joined The Concussion Community have achieved amazing results. The reviews above are just a fraction of them. Click here for all reviews.
If you have read this blog, and have felt addressed so far, I am sure this is a great next step for you. Click here to read more about the community and/or board immediately
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