Tough Decisions about Concussions
Decisions like the one Texas Longhorn Nolan Brewster recently made to quit playing football are tough. I am not one of the physician taking part of his care, so I do not know all the specifics. But having had similar conversations with my patients, I can understand the process he has gone through. The Sport becomes part of the athletes’ identity. In the case of a top college football player, it is also a potential source of future income for himself and his family. But when the safety of the athlete becomes a major concern, sometimes this tough decision is the right decision. This decision did not happen overnight. It involves the discussion of the whole family along with a multi-disciplinary approach with coaches, trainers, and medical professions. I always recommend consultation with a sports psychologist when concussions start affecting the normal routine for an athlete, and especially when decisions about quitting or changing a sport is involved. Depression is among the possible symptoms of concussions and cumulative head injury. For an athlete who needs to find a new identity, strong family support and a good sports psychologist are the most important things going forward. I wish Nolan Brewster much luck and success on the next chapter of his life.