My Blog

Posts for category: Mental health

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 03, 2020
Category: Mental health
Tags: Concussion  

Concussions last longer than many people realize, often causing pain, memory problems, dizziness, and other issues for weeks or months. Fortunately, the treatments offered by the neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA can help you manage your concussion symptoms.

What to do if you have a concussion

You've probably been advised to rest if you have a concussion, and although rest is certainly important, resting alone may not improve all of your symptoms. In addition to headaches, concussions can cause:

  • Memory and concentration issues
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Personality changes
  • Smell and taste changes
  • Blurred vision

Whether your concussion occurred on the playing field or a result of an accident or blow to the head, proper treatment in Winchester VA can help you avoid long-term effects from your injury.

If your recovery is taking longer than you expected, you may benefit from an evaluation at Winchester Neurological Associates. Your evaluation may include balance/vestibular testing, imPACT or Neurotrax testing, neuroimaging, and cognitive testing.

Your concussion care team will develop a treatment plan for you based on your symptoms and the results of your tests. Your plan may include one or more of these therapies:

  • Cognitive Therapy: Cognitive therapy will help you improve your memory, concentration, multi-tasking abilities, time management, and other problem areas.
  • Vestibular Therapy: If vertigo, dizziness, or lightheadedness keep you from doing the things you want to do, vestibular rehabilitation can be helpful. The therapy may include gaze stabilization exercises to help you control your eye movements and decrease dizziness and reading issues. Habituation, balance, and exertional training exercises may also help improve coordination and reduce dizziness and headaches.
  • Physical Therapy: Chronic headaches can sometimes be caused by neck injuries that occurred when you suffered your concussion. Physical therapy can help relieve neck pain and headaches and may also help you improve your balance.
  • Psychological Counseling: Dealing with the ongoing physical and mental effects of a concussion can be challenging. You'll learn relaxation techniques and skills that will improve your self-confidence and your ability to cope with your symptoms during counseling sessions.

Has your concussion changed your life? Call your neurologists in Winchester VA at Winchester Neurological Associates at (540) 667-1828 to schedule an appointment.

By Winchester Neurological Consultants
June 22, 2020
Category: Mental health
Tags: Sleep Disorders   Sleep  

The amount and quality of sleep we get can have an impact on our health. For example, a lack of sleep can lead to low energy levels throughout the day or difficulty concentrating. The physical effects of sleep loss are often readily understood, while the mental effects are less known. If a lack of sleep is affecting your mental health, the experienced providers at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA can help.

Sleep Disorders

An occasional poor night’s sleep can leave you feeling less than your best the next day but is usually nothing to worry about. However, chronic sleep problems can harm your overall mental health. If you regularly experience difficulty sleeping or often feel unrested in the morning, you might have a sleep disorder. Some different types of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Periodic limb movement

The skilled providers at our clinic in Winchester VA can perform diagnostic screening tests to determine if you have a sleep disorder. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan can be developed to help you achieve more restful sleep. For example, individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea experience interrupted sleep due to brief pauses in breathing during the night, often due to the tongue blocking the airway. An oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can keep the airway open so you can sleep more soundly.

How Sleep Affects Mental Health

Sleep can affect your mental health in a few different ways. Prolonged sleep issues, such as those due to a sleep disorder, could potentially contribute to certain mental health issues. For instance, some research studies have shown that people who struggle with insomnia have a higher risk of developing depression than individuals who do not have a sleep disorder. Additionally, a lack of restful sleep could also lead to increased irritability and difficulty dealing with stress.

A lack of quality sleep can also aggravate existing mental health conditions. For example, individuals who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues might experience a worsening of symptoms when they are not getting enough quality sleep.

In contrast, achieving restful sleep regularly can potentially lead to better mental health. When you are well-rested you are likely to think clearly, concentrate better, have better recall, and enjoy a more positive mood. The knowledgeable providers at Winchester Neurological Consultants can help prevent sleep issues from adversely affecting your mental health by developing a plan to help you achieve better sleep.

Our helpful providers can help you enjoy better physical and mental health by addressing your sleep issues. To schedule an appointment or a virtual Telehealth visit, call Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA at (540) 667-1828.