Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Personal Account of What Suffering from a Concussion is Like

In 1999, Clark Elliott was in a fairly minor automobile accident. He had a moment of blackout, but thought that his symptoms would quickly pass. They didn't. He experienced intense pain in his skull, suffered balance problems, had trouble thinking for any extended period of time, and suffered bouts of nausea when concentrating hard.

Medical professionals were unable to help him, suggesting that he learn to live with his symptoms. Clark is a remarkable person. He did live with his symptoms for ten years and during that time recorded his struggle to cope and understand his problems. Being a professor of artificial intelligence, he described his symptoms in language relating to information processing. Although at times his descriptions become a little technical, he offers simplified examples so the book is easy to follow.

The descriptions of how the cognitive processes in his brain appeared to work are fascinating. Because his thinking speed was slowed, he was able to analyze the way his brain worked to retrieve and process information. Anyone interested in cognitive psychology should read this book. Necessarily, it is one person's experience, and therefore, a case study. However, it is a case study that suggests a number of pathways for future research.

Perhaps one of the most significant sections of the book for anyone suffering from the effects of concussion is the part about his eventual successful treatment. I highly recommend this to anyone suffering from concussion and looking to understand and get treatment for their symptoms.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.