10 Things People with a Brain Injury Would Like to Hear...

BrainLine
10 Things People with a Brain Injury Would Like to Hear

BrainLine asked our online community to share the things they would most like to hear from their friends and family, and the list below captures some of the many responses so generously provided by people with TBI.

Every individual’s experience with traumatic brain injury is unique, but there are many common symptoms and emotions. Anger, fear, depression, and anxiety may be accompanied by difficulties with memory, pain, and the challenges of maintaining relationships.


1. I'm sorry. How can I help?
– Alison

2. Please tell me what having a TBI is like. Can you tell me where I can read more about TBI?
– Melody

3. I don't know how you feel, but you are my friend and I will always be there for you.
– AmyRenee

4. I admire your willpower. You will get through this.
– Amina

5. I know I don't understand what it's like, but I will try my hardest to be patient and understanding.
– Christy

6. Take your time — we are not in a hurry.
– Lisa

7. When are you going grocery shopping, I want to go, too. Or, what yard work can I come do?
– Darla

8. I don't know what to say but I'm sorry it happened to you.
– Crystal

9. The you that is YOU hasn't changed. You just have a harder time thinking than you used to.
– Fred

10. I will bring you some delicious healthy brain foods and snacks — and come to sweep and do laundry, but don't worry, I won't stay too long.
– Heal Your Concussion

We encourage you to add your own definitions in the comments section below and to join the BrainLine community on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted on BrainLine February 28, 2018. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Comments (162)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I know how you feel. It tears me up to read your story. Hard to explain a tbi to someone that has not lived it. Never give up. Keep your loved ones close.

“I know how you feel.” No, you don’t. Nobody knows how another person feels, especially if you have not experienced brain injury. Even if you have, your experiences would be different. Making this kind of comment discounts what a person is going through. Instead try something like this, “I cannot imagine how you feel.”

In the year 2003 I awoke after a crash in University Hospital to a wonderful loving wife, unfortunately, TBI came with the awakening. Now, after the years have gone by, TBI never goes away, and the symptoms from it have caused a strain on my wife's life too. I wish it was easier after all this time, but it isn't, I am certainly glad to still be here, but in what content, so many things do not compute, I wish I could fix myself, and be the person I used to be. Where to turn to help my wife's life be better and me stay in it too?? I have met so many people who desperately need help, but society seems to only go so far, is there someplace where we both could be helped,..I realize I cannot be the person I WAS, but maybe understand and deal with things enough to be the loving husband I used to be and for my wife, she could understand and cope too, she deserves a happier life as well. Thank you Very Much.

Getting extremely upset when asked the same question constantly, but on different days.

Just an FYI for caregivers-watch for loops-being caught in a cycle of repetition that leads nowhere. This is extremely frustrating and would be nice to have this pointed out, because most times we don't see it. I saw the above comment and had to add. I get stuck in a loop all the time. As a matter of fact that's exactly the word I use to describe it. My poor husband takes the brunt of it and I don't know how to stop it. I see 3 different doctors now. I'm over 3 years POST TBI and I am straining our relationship. How do you stop the loop??

Find someone that gets it. Find someone that understands what you're talking about or trying to say. Good luck

i dont know how to stop it but you are not alone!! just letting you know!! it sucks!!

My ex husband was a very violent and abusive man. He had head on brain injury due to an accident in a swimming pool during his teenage years. His personality greatly changed after that. I wonder... Are all reckless behavior by TBI patient purely unintentional? Does he know that he is reckless and impulsive?

In our case, he knows that he is being reckless and impulsive, but he has lost the ability to use that information to make better choices.

One of the things my family was warned of before I got home was not to ever leave me alone because I would not be able to recognize when I was not being safe. I think that goes with the territory. But not necessarily. We differ, each one of us. I I know I have done things that I recognized was reckless even when explained to me. In fact, by trying to explain it to me I got angry. I felt like they were over exaggeration to make me feel bad. The problem is that the brain does not necessarily recognize its deficiencies. It can be in denial. prayers go out to you and your family.

There are several posts expressing a need for connection and understanding. If anyone whose friends aren't there right now wants to reach out, I would be so happy to connect with you. Even if its just email, I'd love to just talk. My name is Ross. I am a student at Arizona State University. My email is recarlto@asu.edu   

I know this is kind of weird and out there, but please don't be afraid to reach out.

When I ask for help or accompaniment for a seemingly simple task or walk to the store it would be nice to have that person say sure ok lets go rather than a selfish un-understanding no or brush off reaction as that is infuriating. Like its not embarrassing enough to need assistance for basic ass shit. Add a mental breakdown and full on embarrassment ensues.

Nobody understands me anymore. This is my third TBI. I am fifty two. One of my kids messages me this big note and I can't understand it. Other then I have been disowned. I ca not communicating back because garner mistakes get me in trouble. Everyone laughs. I me if I get a word wrong. One relative keeps saying when are you going to get better, then it all turn religious and stressful. I just wan to kill my self. I even had years of psychology treatment. I am so tired of insurance adjuster on my case bugging me. Now I have a new neurologist that is against the seizures drug I am taking I was about to walk out of the office. He didn't hear anty of my thing about the head ach after rolling a SUV no nun of that matters. All that mattered was that the drug I was taking causes weight loss and that was why I w "claiming" to be epileptic. OM fingers G. This was not my first seizure. Where are these doctors getting their licences. And that is only the frozen water droplet of the iceberg of the shit I have been going through scince 2006

Keep your head up and never give up.There are still many people who care and know your exact pain and suffering.Guardian angels are looking over you has I type.I know without a doubt that your entire terrible situation is fixing to change for the better.Godbless.

Your words are encouraging and thoughtful. Unfortunately you said there are people that care and want to help.
True, there are those people, but the fight with insurance companies begins and they don't want to pay for help. Someone mentioned a LOOP in this blog. It's a never ending loop.

You're never going to get well, you're now marked as crazy and people will take advantage of you and manipulate you for the rest of your life.  Nobody will ever give a crap about you, so go find a desolate place and hide for the rest of your miserable life.  This is just an honest truth.  Don't ever get your hopes up.

Your words are so miserable to hear. But I am realizing after years of looking for help that your words are so F-ing true. I even tried to explain to family and friends what I have, why I act the way I do and they claim they get it.
They don't get it. The medical profession doesn't get it. It is so frustrating. No wonder we want to be left alone.

I'm so glad these comments are here. My son suffered from TBI, it's been 8 years and he's still trying to find ways to live a normal life day by day

Been almost 6 yr for my son. Most difficult thing we've ever been through... How do you stay positive and move from here?

I have had TBI for about one year. I have stayed positive because I used to do ninjitsu. I remember from this martial art that when we are dealing with a situation best to deal with it straight on, this way you can cope. I remember when in this situation been told about the five doors. when confronted you have a choice as to which door you open so instead of open the depressed or the angry door, try opening the more peaceful or thoughtful door. the point is there is always a choice to how you react. it is something from ninjitsu that I have used all my life, especially now..since day one at the Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation clinic I have turned away from the angry and depressed door and opened the think forward and positive action door and the gain control door. this got me out of a wheelchair in about 12 weeks. I believe it makes a difference...I hope this helps.

The human mind is powerful. I believe what your saying. We just need others to understand what were saying

Thank you, thank you, I am going to do this too!

I will not stray away from you, you are my friend . Smile, you are so special..

Kind and thoughtful words except for the last word. Saying someone is "special" simply opens up the door for more criticism from people that pretend they care.

It would also be nice to hear, I love you

Okay first of all I have TBI supposedly.  I was in a car accident in a coma for 2 1/2  I had to learn everything over again but I do so much for everyone and when they can't find someone I find the for them I don't even live with someone and I make a suggestion and it's there I can do everything I did before my accident so why do they treat everyone with TBI the same it's getting really old I feel like I'm a kid again and what I want to look up there's nothing about what I want to look up is that because they don't know anything or everything about TBI I think it varies from person to person and also I think the person ask the way that you treated if they get treated like a kid they act like a kid to get treated like they have responsibilities they act like they have it so I think they better do a little more research on the subject case close

I received TBI following a RTA in 1972. I lost my vision speech and my left side Useless. It was worse than learning as a child as I was  5' 10" farmer and rugby player.my Vision slowly returned.It took 30 years for my speech to not stutter, this gave me more confidence and I felt less self conscious. I have to take part in exercises to continue my ability to walk with a limp,I just wonder how long I can continue.How it would be good to run. So lucky to be able to take part in outwardly normal life.Nice to hear you look fine, l understand how any disability effects you.

You are doing great! I admire your strength and courage, please help me to understand what you need me to do to help you.

I need you to help me in a way that can make everyone understand.
Goodluck

Just an FYI for caregivers-watch for loops-being caught in a cycle of repetition that leads nowhere. This is extremely frustrating and would be nice to have this pointed out, because most times we don't see it.

it would be wonderful if someone said 'well done' or 'good job' after I have struggled for ages to do some simple task in their minds.  it is exhausting to accomplish anything and a kind word would mean so much to me.  all I get is 'you're too slow' or 'you need to hurry'.  people need to stop and think :)

I understand what you're saying.

Would be nice to hear at least one of theses... Not sure if I ever have? Living with a broken brain has been rough but I'm still going.

https://vimeo.com/channels/novavision/41094802

My acceptance of my TBI has taught me that "the old me" is gone, and to deal with me now! # 9 is not true for me!

I disagree with number nine. Because we have changed and that's the problem! Everyone wants the old you back, but that's not possible.

I was told that talking about my brain injury was victim mentality. I got TBI by domestic violence and don't know how to deal with it. It scares me

Physical violence is so horrible. I've never experienced it but I have a MTBI from a MVA. It's bad enough to have a life altering brain injury from a vehicle accident. I'm saying accident only because it wasn't intentional. To have a brain injury from violence is so much more disturbing. I'm so sorry. I truly am

I was in the backseat and the car began to flip and my head smashed through the back window, the two in the front walked away with nothing. I woke up in the hospital forgetting my whole childhood and paralyzed. I can now walk but do not remember my childhood, just middle school and up. Since the accident all my best friends stop talking to me and seeing me, these have been life long friends but now they say I complain and cry to much. Do I want to? No. My emotions just jump on me, I wish they knew that. These times are hard for me, I used to workout everyday and school and work, now I sit at home with an IV and get pumped of fluids. I have lost 50 pounds and continue to lose. More then ever I just want my friends, but they are gone. As the old me is as well.

I so totally understand what you're saying. There is no such thing as a Friend anymore. If there is, they were never friends. I know it sounds horrible but it's true. The truth is simply this... "No one will ever understand unless they experience it themselves".

At the time of my injury I was a Level III Trauma Emergency Room Nurse.  Now I sit at home and have never been called by my supervisors or my Manager, it is coming on 2 months,  I was in the ICU unit of the hospital, I was there for 3 days until I was downgraded.   I have only been called by 2 nurses I work with and other nurses are telling them to ask me what I need.  If the nurses really cared they would put out an effort to talk to me and assess for themselves what I need, I sometimes cannot express what i need and also call some of my conversations, word vomit, and when I hear another you told me that yesterday I actually repeat it again every 30 minutes until i get my point across that yes I will excuse your rude behavior but that that person will have to put up with what I call "my therapy" until I feel their ignorance has been handled or in other words "reeducated".  I am proud to say I spent seven years taking care of patients in the emergency phase of their care and being their voice and their advocate to their families very sad I may not do this again,  I am a medical professional with training in this area and it is still very hard for me everyone is not alone

I suffered a TBI in 2008. I am what some call, "high functioning". People don't seem to understand how hard EVERYTHING is for me. A lot of effort goes into not looking helpless. I don't know which words could be said to make me feel better. I, most likely, would forget them pretty soon after hearing them, anyway.

I GET REALLY MAD WHEN PEOPLE SAY, WELL YOU LOOK ALRIGHT TO ME, IGNORANT BASTARDS, IF THEY SAID. I CANT IMAGINE WHAT IT MUST BE LIKE FOR YOU, BUT IF ITS ANY CONSOLATION, YOUR LOOKING QUIET WELL. IT WOULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. GOD BLESS ANYBODY WHO IS GOING THROUGH THIS SHIT, STAY STRONG, AND TRY AND STAY POSITIVE, X DENNIS.

I have a brain injury and people try to do everything for me and do my thinking and just drive me nuts if I do things on my own then they come and baby talk me then say I do a super job and then critique what I do. Then do my house cleaning or laundry

I've been reading and learning a lot about TBI. I'm so sorry for all the hurt that my words actions have caused you. I will never get in your face or complain about things you haven't done yet. I understand that this happened to you because you fought for our Nation and were providing a great life for me and our kiddos! I promise that I will NEVER call you names or make fun of you again! I will never nag at or blame your for my problems.

This July will be 19 years  suffering from TBI.. And  only 5 years ago  I finally found a doctor  to help me with my issues.. The memory is the worst  part of  my life  like remembering  to take my meds remembering things  my wife ask me to do  and just dealing with everyday things... The  biggest  and dumbest thing  I have ever heard is ......"there isn't anything wrong with you" and "Your just as normal as  anyone else you dont have any issues."

i will walk beside you on this new journey in your life, if you would like a friend. at your pace

Saying... "at my pace" is hurtful

Do you have any paperwork that you might need help filling out?

Ask yourself why your asking that question

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