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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 1985
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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I was 'choked out' a few months ago by a martial artist

Customer Question

I was 'choked out' a few months ago by a martial artist (causing me to blackout) and when I came around I had the following symptoms which are still present six months later:
- Headaches.
- Heavy-head ('dull brain') feeling.
- I can also feel my heart beat in my head.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Difficulty concentrating (I literally get a chronic headache if I do 5 minutes of mental/thinking work).
- Anxiety, depression and crying because the physical symptoms have affected my life so much.
Other symptoms which now seem to have subsided included:
- Aching pain in neck underneath my jaw line. This lasted for only a couple days after I got choked out.
- Visual disturbance where I kind of saw things more slowly (if that makes sense?)
- Nervousness at loud noises putting me on edge.
I've been to the ER and had a neurological examination which I passed.
A couple months later I had an MRI of my head and neck which showed there was no structural damage in my head/brain or neck.
But I've still got the symptoms I listed above - which is really affecting my life in a bad way (such as stopping me working, studying, going to the gym, doing sport, driving, being able to watch a movie etc).
My blood pressure and heart beat rate check out fine. But what has happened to me?
How long will I be like this?
Can I do anything to improve/speed up my recovery?
Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

how old are you?

many of your symptoms sound like post traumatic stress disorder type symptoms.

you need to see a psychotherapist or counselor about your anxiety and depression and crying symptoms

you may benefit from medications like SSRI agents like sertraline or paroxetine which could help your anxiety and depression and headache symptoms.

have you taken these medications before?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm a 35 year old male, normally fit, healthy and active - with no vices.My overriding concerns are with the physical symptoms such as the headaches, the heavy-head ('dull brain') feeling, feeling my heart beat in my head, the extreme tiredness, and the difficulty concentrating. Also, I get stressed real easily nowadays at the smallest thing.The anxiety, depression and crying all stem from the physical symptoms. So if I can improve the physical symptoms I know it will improve the anxiety etc.That's why I want to address the cause (the physical symptoms).I don't merely want to talk about why I might have anxiety for example. I already know why I'm anxious, and it's because I have physical symptoms.I'm wondering if I could have had an injury (like a bleed on the brain/clot) as a result of being choked out. Which might have subsequently cleared itself and then not shown up on the MRI?I can no longer tolerate wearing a shirt with the top button done up and a neck tie, because even a slight restriction/pressure around my neck makes my headaches worse (even though blood flow in my neck arteries checked out fine when the doctor listened to them through a stethoscope). Why might this be?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

your MRI scan would have seen a bleed or a brain clot in your brain.

slight pressure from touch from a shirt with the buttons up on the collar is not enough to cause physical symptoms

this is due to psychological anxiety issues magnified by your trauma from being choked out

you will continue to have headaches and physical symptoms as long as you don't have your anxiety and depression treated.

your scans and test have not shown injury or clots or damage to your body from your traumatic event.

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