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Old 08-14-2019, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Suicide and Concussions

Kind of a spinoff on the hug a loved one thread. When I'm not getting roasted for being a democrat on pirate or adding more booger welds to my jeep, I spend a lot of time mountain biking with a good group of local friends. I have only been riding with them for 10 years or so, so I'm the "New Guy" to the group. Most of these dudes have been friends since high school and are now in their 50s. I consider these guys my close friends and we ride and grab beers once or twice a week. I think this helps keep everyone sane when dealing with everyday life.

One of these guys had numerous concussions in his younger days from racing motorcycles. He was single, drank a lot, lived alone, and would show up and drink/BS with everyone once or twice a week. The problem is he was a hard dude to talk to, almost Rainman status, and it was guaranteed he would corner you and talk your ear off about the same thing every time you saw him. I asked a few of the other guys, and they all confirmed he didn't used to be like that and suspected all the sustained head injuries to be a contributing factor. Lots of dudes would get annoyed with him and try to pass him off to someone else. Maybe I'm new, maybe a I had a different perspective or whatever, but I was ok with letting him chew my ear off for a few beers. A couple of months ago, he stopped showing up. Some guys checked on him, and he was still around, but he stopped riding his bike or hanging out with everyone. Some people were relieved, and I totally get why. Found out today that he shot himself in the head last week. I think I'm always going to wonder if I could have done more to stay in contact if he would still be around.

I also have no doubt in my mind that the number of concussions this guy sustained contributed to his suicide.

Anyway, don't shun your weird buddy if you're the only friends they have and protect your fawking head. People try to make light of "getting your bell rung", but every one of those puts you one step closer to where my friend ended up.

Ok, we can go back to politics now
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I also have no doubt in my mind that the number of concussions this guy sustained contributed to his suicide.
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What evidence do you have that would confirm this? Its just anecdotal.

I think there are some people who are pre-disposed, maybe from environmental factors or from hereditary factors to be deficient of some chemicals in the brain that can cause depression/suicide.

If it was the case, every single football player for the last 60 years would have committed suicide. Hell, even 10-20-30 years ago, kids as young as 10 years old were getting "bell rung" and told not to be a pussy about it and keep playing. All while vomiting, blacking out, etc.

No doubt that concussions are bad. But to link them to suicide, seems to be a convenient excuse for someone killing themselves.


im anecdotal in my evidence, but a few years ago i had a car wreck, not particularly rough, but clipped going through and instersection, spinning and hopping a low concrete wall and slamming the truck back down. No airbag deployment, no broken glass, nothing touched my head. But going to the doctor, going through my head injury history, and finding out as i counted up the incidences, that i got a "whiplash" type concussion just from my head slinging around, was an eye opening experience. Apparently, id had enough concussions that now they come easier to me.

TLDR: concussions are bad, but i dont think they are the end-all be-all excuse for someone killing themselves who had some when they were younger.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How about some people are just weird?
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a friend who has some pretty serious side effects of football related concussions. He played in the NFL for about a decade. A couple of his bad hits were shown in the movie Concussion. He often disappears for days, its nerve racking and worrying, I cant imagine how hard it is on his wife and daughters.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Has he had any recent interactions with the Clintons?
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a friend who has some pretty serious side effects of football related concussions. He played in the NFL for about a decade. A couple of his bad hits were shown in the movie Concussion. He often disappears for days, its nerve racking and worrying, I cant imagine how hard it is on his wife and daughters.
I have several friends that played pro ball.

I have one that is part of the lawsuit against the NFL.

I have another that is an attorney and thinks the lawsuit is mostly BS.

There is no way to correlate behavior with concussions absent everything else in one's life. The drugs likely have done more damage than concussions.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Increased risk of depression is a known factor with traumatic brain injuries, as well as chronic pain sufferers. It is also being argued that CTE sufferers are more likely to commit suicide, but has yet to be proven.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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CTE is a real thing
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is no way to correlate behavior with concussions absent everything else in one's life. The drugs likely have done more damage than concussions.
I agree, the brain trauma may be the cause or it may just be the easy excuse.

I was in a pretty bad auto accident about 10 years ago and really cracked my head several times. I recovered most of the way, but the tiny part that didn't recover really causes me trouble, so I can relate to others who live with the long term effects of brain trauma.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some people (a LOT) have mental health issues that go undiagnosed for most or all of their lives. Many of those people end up self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, etc, without knowing they might have bipolar, etc. Both of these can lead to suicide among other things. If you know someone who you suspect might have a mental health issue and you give a shit you should talk to someone about it. Some states have ways to gently "force" some help onto people, and it's the best thing for everyone.

Or maybe they don't have any mental health issues and maybe you misinterpreted the symptoms. But if you don't know anything about it and you never talked to anyone you did nothing, which is much worse.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If concussions = suicide, Travis Pastrana should have killed himself many years ago.

He's probably had more concussions than any other human.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some states have ways to gently "force" some help onto people, and it's the best thing for everyone.
its the best for everyone who hates freedom
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My joke with my wife (a neuroscientist) whenever I bash my head is that I just phosphorilated some tau.

Its a protein in the brain and its build up is bad. From Wikipedia:

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Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is now recognized as a central component of brain injury in contact sports, especially American football,[42][43] and the concussive force of military blasts.[44] It can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that is characterized by fibrillar tangles of hyperphosphorylated tau.[45]

High levels of tau protein in fluid bathing the brain are linked to poor recovery after head trauma.[46]

Concussions increase the speed of cognitive decline which is caused by a degradation in the brain from the Tau protein.[47]
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If concussions = suicide, Travis Pastrana should have killed himself many years ago.

he is an interesting case , i suspect a lot of the issues arise when you slow down and are no longer at the top of the game.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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he is an interesting case , i suspect a lot of the issues arise when you slow down and are no longer at the top of the game.
Hes only 35. Id be shocked if he doesnt develop some issues as he gets older.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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its the best for everyone who hates freedom
You have no clue what you are talking about. I'm talking about people with chemical imbalances that need medication, be it mild or strong. If you don't realize this is a real problem then I hope you never find out the hard way.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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No way to prove that, I've had more than 15 but less than 30 hard core concussions. Nowhere near suicidal.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If concussions = suicide, Travis Pastrana should have killed himself many years ago.

He's probably had more concussions than any other human.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrRIxXnl06Q (night terrors interview)

that dude also manages to walk still... not a typical example
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hes only 35. Id be shocked if he doesnt develop some issues as he gets older.
which is a basically dead in most action sport realms, he is really smart and/or is smart enough to surround himself with people who have helped him diversify his skillset, while pulling back on the physically risks he is taking. there will come a time when the nitro show goes away, he starts falling off the rallye pace, and is struggling to feed the alpha risk taker need. IMO that is when the issues will start to show up.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
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it was guaranteed he would corner you and talk your ear off about the same thing every time you saw him. I asked a few of the other guys, and they all confirmed he didn't used to be like that and suspected all the sustained head injuries to be a contributing factor. Lots of dudes would get annoyed with him and try to pass him off to someone else.
my dad has a similar group, with a similar guy in that group

i'm going to endure an extra one of his stories after reading this
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There are genetic factors that affect a person’s susceptibility towards severe concussion and the way they recover from them. People who carry the ApoE e4 gene are at a way higher risk of having brain damage and dimentia due to brain trauma than are people without that gene. Not everyone is the same.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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You have no clue what you are talking about. I'm talking about people with chemical imbalances that need medication, be it mild or strong. If you don't realize this is a real problem then I hope you never find out the hard way.
I know what I'm talking about. It is not the role of the government to meddle in people's lives and pushing for it shows me you hate freedom. Family, friends, doctors who the person sees on their own, etc, sure, but not the government.

Now, if the person has committed crimes with victims, that is another story.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:36 PM   #24 (permalink)
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What evidence do you have that would confirm this? Its just anecdotal.
It is indeed anecdotal. I'm basing my claim on friends who knew him before and after all the concussions, my own interactions with my friend, and comparing that to other accounts of athletes who had CTE and committed suicides(Mira, Junior Seau, etc.). I'm no doctor, but I figured that was obvious based on my posting here.

I'm not saying because someone has a concussion or two that they are suddenly going to kill themselves. I raced DH mountain bikes for a long time, and have had and known others who have had concussions(at the time no one really took it seriously, racing same day, joking about it, etc). In all of my interactions, I had not met anyone who seemed to have a textbook case of CTE as this guy.

In remembering my friend, I did want to try and spread the word to treat concussions seriously and to make an effort to mitigate them at all costs. Hence my post here.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I know what I'm talking about. It is not the role of the government to meddle in people's lives and pushing for it shows me you hate freedom. Family, friends, doctors who the person sees on their own, etc, sure, but not the government.

Now, if the person has committed crimes with victims, that is another story.
My friend lived alone and didn't really spend much time with anyone other than seeing our group of riders once or twice a week. He wasn't found in his house until several days after he died. I dunno, looking back I wish someone would have done something, myself included, and I feel bad about that. He didn't really have the support group except for a bunch of dudes who try not to meddle in their friend's business. Maybe he could have used a little help from the government, or maybe it would have made him more miserable, I don't know.
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