“Cooksey’s Hard Truth” presented by Scott Sports is a weekly editorial written by Chris Cooksey. Chris will be diving in and out of controversial subjects and bringing you his hard truth about the racing and the riders from around the world of Supercross and Motocross.

As I enter the end of TMS therapy, I am beginning to experience a mental clarity that I have not felt in years. The biggest improvement so far has been my emotional control; I used to fly off the handle pretty easily. Emotional regulation is often overlooked or not focused on when dealing with head injuries, but it’s my biggest struggle. In talk therapy, you are taught techniques to deal with your emotions, but what if your brain cannot make the connection? What if the neuropathways are damaged? I am hopeful my progress continues because I had forgotten how pleasurable life’s simplest things can be. I am finding joy in everyday life, something I haven’t done in a long time.

This brings me to the “pain pill” issue. The last time my brain released positive/pleasurable feelings was when I took pain pills. We all know pain pills are a one-way ticket to more pain and despair, but for a few fleeting moments, they can also provide pleasure. The industry has a serious problem with pain pills and anyone in extreme sports probably knows someone with a life-destroying opiate addiction. In a military sample of two million service personnel discharged from the armed forces in 1992, research provided some alarming trends. Those with a mild brain injury were 2.6 times more likely to be discharged for a substance abuse problem. I believe the reason for this is reduced neuropathways caused by brain injuries, which causes pain pills to have a more significant effect. When I was younger, pain pills took away my pain, but as my depression set in, there was a change in how they affected me. The pills suddenly made me happy. My guess is the pain pills triggered a dopamine rush that had been deficient for quite some time.

Looking at motocross and the extremely high injury rate along with the high concussion rate, the potential addiction for motocross riders is far higher than an average person. Add to that our risk-taking personalities along with the overprescribing of pain killers on a national scale and we have a serious problem. Obviously, there are many factors that lead to drug addiction; I am only pointing out the brain injury aspect of this problem as it is personal to me.

When researching HPR treatment centers, I found that while they focus on the depression relief, TMS provides far more benefits. The FDA has approved TMS for treatment of depression, but the benefits reach much farther than advertised possibly positively impacting social conduct, personal conduct, mood disorders and control disorders.

To me, it seems obvious that brain injury plays a major role in the behavior of aging motocross riders. Far too often they are written off or dismissed as not being able to handle regular world, but that’s way too simple of an explanation. Many of these riders having issues have been in the “real” world most of their careers. Many privateer racers maintain jobs in order to support their racing careers, and I would say they are living in the “real” world. I am sure like many other professional athletes, retirement is an adjustment, but dealing with these additional stresses while the brain isn’t functioning properly is a recipe for disaster. Finding TMS therapy has given me a new lease on life and I want anyone struggling to know there is hope.

After all this, one might think I would second guess my love for motocross and the industry itself, but you couldn’t be more wrong! In the next article, I will update my progress and how this treatment is letting me enjoy the sport like I am a kid again.

Click here if you missed the first two installments of Chris Cooksey’s look into brain injuries in moto and his TMS treatment.

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