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Frequently Asked Questions

Comments [22]

Michael Paul Mason, BrainLine

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Case managers or social workers may be available through treatment centers or through your state’s health and human services organizations. They may be aware of specific types of aid particular to your circumstances. Veterans, on the other hand, should approach their care coordinators to help identify options that may (or may not) exist.

18. What are some housing options for people with TBI?

Keeping and maintaining a home environment is difficult enough for the average person; with a TBI, housing issues can become a real problem. Finding help for your housing needs is a complicated, difficult task, and in some areas of the country, adequate housing simply may not be available.

Your local Department of Health may be able to direct you to housing assistance programs in your area. For those requiring in-home medical assistance, some programs may be available through local nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, or community support programs.

19. Will I be able to resume my old job, or find new, meaningful employment?

TBIs often upset a person’s ability to work, but many people who experience a TBI are able to return to their previous occupations. You may require additional assistance or certain technologies (voice recorders, organizers, or visual aids) in order to resume former duties, or you may enlist the help of a vocational rehabilitation expert to find new and meaningful employment. In severe cases, a person may not be able to physically participate in work.

Businesses that employ more than 15 people must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) or face legal repercussions. If you have a substantial impairment from a TBI, then the ADA requires your employer to provide you with reasonable accommodation.

To learn more about your ADA rights, visit http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada18.html.

20. Who will love me?

TBI does not affect your ability to love or be loved, but it can have an effect on relationships. While no studies offer information about relationships in the case of mild TBIs, one study reports that 46 percent of people who sustained moderate to severe TBI experienced a divorce within five years after their injury.11

Despite the numbers affecting the severe TBI population, many people with TBI are able sustain and nurture their relationships with minimal difficulties. In some cases, leaning on resources such as support groups or relationship counselors can be a helpful way to deal with relationship challenges.

21. How do I deal with all these new emotions like depression, anxiety, anger?

Emotional hardship is one of the most common consequences of TBI. It is a frightening and frustrating injury, and can cause you to feel depressed, anxious, or angry. If emotional problems begin to have a direct effect on your ability to function and maintain your relationships, you should seek the help of a therapist or counselor familiar with TBI issues. Additionally, neuropsychiatrists and neuropsychologists may be of help in diagnosing and treating emotional disorders that arise after TBI.

22. Where do I find the services and help I need — not just for today, but down the road?

With TBI, finding the right kind of help can be tricky. In many cases, it’s much easier to ask for help from local organizations. Most states have a Brain Injury Association that may provide a list of services that are available. Additionally, state health and human services programs may offer case managers or social workers who can help create a treatment strategy for those with TBI.

23. What are the primary collaborating organizations ?

Brain Injury Association of America
www.biausa.org
800-444-6443

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov
800-311-3435

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
www.dvbic.org
800-870-9244

Health Resources and Services Administration
www.hrsa.gov
301-443-3376

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
www.nashia.org
301-656-3500

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD, NIH
https://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/ncmrr/Pages/overview.aspx
800-370-2943

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr
202-245-7640

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
www.ninds.nih.gov
800-352-9424

North American Brain Injury Society
www.nabis.org
703-960-6500

Social Security Administration
www.ssa.gov
800-772-1213

Some of these answers are based in whole or in part on publications of The Centers for Disease Control and the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Group at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Sources

  1. Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002–2006. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.
  2. Selassie AW, Zaloshnja E, Langlois JA, Miller T, Jones P, Steiner C. The incidence of long-term disability following traumatic brain injury hospitalization in the United States Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2007. In press.
  3. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). [unpublished]. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Defense; 2005.
  4. Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2006.

Written exclusively for BrainLine by Michael Paul Mason. For more information about author and brain injury case manager Michael Paul Mason, go to www.michaelpaulmason.com.


Michael Paul Mason Michael Paul Mason, Michael Paul Mason is the founding editor of This Land, a monthly magazine based in Tulsa. Mason's first book, Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath, is an exploration into the harsh realities endured by people with brain injury. 


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Comments [22]

When I was 4 years of age, i fell down from our ladder. My head was wounded and broked and was stitched for about 2 inches. Now, I am 22 years old, I am experiencing head cramps, an unexplained feeling of my head like it was been crumpled (back of my head) and like felling down when I'm standing ( I can't stand for an hour). I am also wearing an eyeglass now because of my eye disorder. My question is , the condition I am feeling right now is from the injury of my head? Is there a possibility?

Nov 18th, 2014 9:15pm

so i have hit my head 3 times, badly. Like falling 7ft to the edge of a table with my head...other hits. I answered yes to all at point .11. I have been complaing about my head, and other things to doctors, and only now, almost 5 years later I am being taken seriously. I should have gone hospital when I hit my head. I am currently laying on my front on my bed with laptop in front of my and my head hurts. when i first lay down my head pulsates and im in agony, the pain eases, but i have been laying here for about 10mins and my head still hurts. 

I just want answers. so frustraing. 

Jul 12th, 2014 5:53pm

Does the memory get better? I was in a bad car accident and was in a coma for 17 days and I had a severe traumatic brain injury know I'm having problems with my memory. Check out my story on facebook at Green For Garrett

Jul 2nd, 2014 1:18am

I was in a car accident 4 years ago, was in a coma for 7 days and in the hospital for 3 weeks.  My body healed quickly, but my brain is still healing... Aphasia is just part of my personality now.  I am working again!! It took a year or so for my taste buds to come back.   My short term memory skills are getting stronger. I started playing Lumosity.com online games a few years ago, I know it has really helped my memory and brain functioning skills!!  I have never regretted the accident, I am grateful every day!!! even though I miss reading.. I have no desire for books anymore.  I feel normal almost all the time, but get tired easily, and if I'm tired my brain is super slow and I need a lot of alone time.  My very supportive family and incredible husband made the process easier - I am a lucky woman.

Jun 13th, 2014 12:46am

My husband has a severe TBI from a vehicle accident. He is 64. It has been 7 months since the accident and he seems to have little interest in food or beverages. He will taste something and say that " it's so good " but one or two bites are enough for him.He is getting his nourishment through a feeding tube. He seems to be coming along in his therapy but has recently developed nausea since they put a shunt in to relieve excess fluid in the brain. Has anyone else seen or had these problems (nausea and lack of appetite?) Did they resolve and how. Thanks for any input.

Dec 21st, 2013 10:23pm

Hello my name is Joseph Dilley i'am 37 years old and had a assault almost 9 years ago, I have made a very good recovery as to what happened to me but I had a child before this an a wife who seemed to do a complete 360 in the way she was before my injury so she left me because I think she didn't think I was going to be the man I was before my injury but she got remarried and now wants to move with my son to Oklahoma so I do not want that I love my son so much but it seems when we go to court I feel my rights are not being taken serious because of my injury so if you or anyone reading this has any ideas on what to do or any services in Albuquerque New Mexico to help me out right to me at my email mmajoseph@msn.com open to anything right now thank you Joseph Dilley.

Aug 27th, 2013 7:35pm

Hello,I just turned 40 in nov.As a child I had several blows to my head.I\'m now having alot of problems.Was in the hospital in dec.I have to go see a neurogolist in Feb.Seem like i cant rem anything my spelling is aweful.how or will the know if i have tbi?one pupil has been bigger than the other for yrs now.

Jan 21st, 2013 4:59am

I have lived with the effects of a severe TBI FOR 27 years I do not believe that you overcome it completely but it's the way you mange it I have found when I have emotional difficulties or stressful circumstances that is when I am effected deeper and longer than some one with out a TBI it has has been difficult at times but I have lived a rewarding life so far my faith in god has helped me

Dec 30th, 2012 7:05pm

My sister had a TBI 27 years ago in 1985 and suffered immediate effects from TBI like changes in personality, impulse control, temper, etc. She was was 18 at the time and is now 45 and has a PhD. It took several years and ADD medication for her to return to a "normal" level of behavior, but she did. It is possible.

Nov 26th, 2012 3:17am

This is a wonderful resource. I have had 5 "knocked out" TBIs as I grew up, then had 2 more TBIs during the past 16 months. Big changes in mood, my immune system and my ability to control what I eat. I always knew growing up that *something* was different. None of my classmates forgot their sweater almost every day at school. As I grew older, most of my friends were able to hold their tongue when it really mattered. But I learned to deal with it. Researching TBI makes me very frustrated. I wish I hadn't been so cavalier in the past. I have documented scar tissue now, and there's nothing I can do about it except eat well, continue to stretch my brain's abilities and hope for progress.

Oct 14th, 2012 7:03pm

I wish I had found this site earlier! My husband was injured Feb 2012, found out we were pregnant his second week in ICU and blessed his insurance covered a great rehab 6 hours away. It's been long and hard. Everyone seems to think life for us has gone back to normal. We are far from it, he thinks he's back to the same. But I know differently. He also insists going back to drinking. At the time of his 4 wheeler accident his blood alcohol level was .18, more than twice the legal limit. I've had a hard time with his emotional and agression changes. He has damage to the temporal and frontal lobes. His family is in no way supportive, which has really took a toll on my family. They see everything me and him go thru, as well as my 2 year old son. Just reading other's experiences and knowing I'm not the only person who feels this way truly helps. Thanks for making this page available. I wish the Rehab or hospital would make pages like this apparent for families. They only seem to want to leave you in the dark on recovery outcomes, or prepare you for the worst. Thankfully my husband is a high functioning TBI survivor and has been able to go back to his old job, but it's apparent life is different from here on out. katherine_king@bellsouth.net

Sep 14th, 2012 8:07pm

imhave a boyfriend im with he's 28 and been together %months i knew he had brain surgery at age 12 due to accident.. buy he has alot behaviorial issues lies, and acts like hes 12 to 21 at times..

Jul 27th, 2012 9:51pm

My new love interest had a combat injury to frontal lobe. I only know about that...speech/memory issues. He hasn't spoken of it since, but in reading brainline I can see MANY TBI issues at work with our difficulties. I'm glad I read what I did. I have a new approach to work with now, not only for myself, but him, and US.

Jun 15th, 2012 3:10pm

My 23 year old step son was in an accident July 2010. While he has made a very good recovery physically and mentally, I feel often like I am dealing with a teenager not a 23 year old. It is very difficult because he lies and manipulates you in any situation that suits him. They say to be patient and kind and caring to a TBI, but my TBI is very hard to deal with on a daily basis. The lies and manipulation just tear down your patience and caring attitude. I know he struggles but adding the "extras" on top of the injury makes it very depressing to deal with. It seems to be that these personality traits were there before and now are "heightened". SO in so many words I relate to the post of the boy acting 18. We were told by doctors to expect to deal with a 12 year old. I believe daily he goes anywhere from about a 12 year old to an actual 23 year old. I believe it is just the way they will be unless they get the therapy they so need and deserve. That is my hope as for now, starting therapy that should have happened directly after the injury, but it is very hard to get the TBI to understand that there is something wrong and to come to terms with the actual incident. Good luck to all, I know we all need it.

Dec 28th, 2011 6:09pm

I have a 46 year old family member who, at 18, was in terrible accident. He was drinking, rolled his truck, and was thrown from the vehicle. No one saw it actually happen, but he was found walking around the highway with no recollection of the accident. No medical measures were taken, and will he will not acknowledge anything wrong with him. Though he has learned adult coping skills, he thinks and behaves just like he was still 18. Has anyone else experienced this?

Sep 20th, 2011 1:59pm

MVA about fifteen months ago. One of my problems is sexual dysfunction-What can be done??

Jun 1st, 2011 3:42am

After being in serveral blasts in both Iraq and Afghanistan I suffer from TBI, it has a great impact on your daily life, from sleeping, eating, and one of the worst is your emotional state of mind. It not only effects the soldier but the family back home, the TBI has been one of the hardest things that both my wife and I have had to overcome and we are far from overcooming it completely. in short I wanted to tell people not to hide the fact that they have a TBI but to embrace it and learn from it.

May 14th, 2011 12:20am

im experiencing a hard time focussing in class but i never had before i recently took a blow to the head, what do i do

Apr 17th, 2011 8:56am

seizures at the age of 70 with M.R.I scan showing oedema in the brain ??what does it mean???

Jan 11th, 2011 10:21am

I want to know the memory capacity of the human brain

Sep 21st, 2010 6:18am

I had a severe motorbike accident in 1986 - that left me in a coma for 7-months. I had global brain damage. I won't try to fool you: rehabilitation is tough and it takes a lot of effort - but it does happen ... if you're willing to put in a lot of effort.

Aug 28th, 2010 2:13pm

I suffer having a traumatic head injury, because I was hurt in a vehicle accident three years ago. And every day, I suffer because everything is so hard to do, especially since I am in a wheelchair all day long, away from my friends and family. It really is painful, I can't explain it.

Jun 15th, 2010 4:05pm


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