Concussion has been linked to an increased risk of depression and suicide in adults. Now new research published in Journal of Affective Disorders suggests high school students with a history of sports-related concussions might be at an increased risk for suicide completion. The study examined survey data collected from more than 13,000 high school students in the United States. Participants were asked if they had received a concussion related to sports or physical activity in the last year, as well as a range of questions to measure potential suicidal behaviors. Approximately 15% of students surveyed reported having suffered a concussion.
Researchers discovered that teenagers who reported having a concussion in the last year were more likely to report feelings of depression, suicidal ideations, and planned or previous suicide attempts. Of the portion of students who reported a history of concussions, approximately 36% reported they had felt sad or hopeless (compared to 31.1% of all teens) and around 21% had thoughts of suicide (compared to 17%).