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I have had 3 significant concussions in my life beginning at the age of 17. Two of the concussions occurred on the basketball court. I had some of the classical symptoms like nausea, headache, light sensitivity. I also had mood swings, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I received the proper treatment from concussion specialists in my area and my coaches and trainers did ImPACT testing before I returned to play. I did all the right things except for one. I made one huge mistake. Following the last concussion my trainer ImPACT tested me and I passed. BUT I failed to tell him I was still having symptoms because I wanted to play. This is truly one of the biggest regrets of my life. I played with nausea and a headache and now the suicidal thoughts were constant. I could not control my thoughts and I knew something was terribly wrong.

I finally told my coach and my trainer and we all agreed that I should not play basketball for that season. I continued to have the suicidal thoughts and headaches. I was on antidepressants and miserable. I finally went to a concussion specialist for treatment and after much testing and careful consideration I decided to quit basketball to protect my brain for the future.

My story does not have to be your story. You can play the sport you love and even get a concussion and still be safe. You just have to make sure you get prompt treatment and report your symptoms. Even if your coach or trainer says it is OK to play ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR BRAIN.

PlaySmart and you will StaySmart

Brian S. from Tampa, FL