Aging After Brain Injury: BrainLine Talks with Dr. Steven Flanagan

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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.

My son incurred his moderately severe TBI when an uninsured motorist over compensated to the left at 60 mph on a country road with a 45 mph speed limit, hitting our car as we waited to take a safe turn. Luke got all the impact from our car crash. He had a CSF leak; lost all speech for 18 months; had a sensorineural hearing loss of his right ear with profound deafness; and struggled behaviorally, socially, and cognitively.

When he was 9 years old, he was diagnosed with precocious puberty by a Children's Endocrinologist in Birmingham, AL. His symptoms included a 20 lb. weight gain and a 5-inch gain in height in six months. His testosterone measured at nearly a 17 year old level. With Lupron 30 mg injections given once every three months, he now measures in the 75th percentile for weight and 93rd percentile for height. He has gained very little height and no weight during treatment, and his 20-lb. weight gain was never lost. He was placed on these injections because his genitalia would have looked like a grown man's by 11 years old, and his growth plates were going to close five years prematurely.

I would advise you to investigate further and find a pediatrician who is well-experienced with patients who have TBI (which I am sure is not an easy find).

My daughter sustained a broken neck and left frontal lobe closed head injury 22 years ago. She's now 41. She's had numerous episodes since the time of the car accident. Different meds at times which have kept her level. For the last year though her behavior has changed dramatically. She's not the same person anymore. Has all the symptoms of ABI. Verbal and physical aggression, swearing, irritability, anxiety and depression. She has difficulty organising everyday activities. She's been seen by Mental health and both her and her psychiatrist have diagnosed ABI. Sadly she won't see me or any of her family. If she does she yells and abuses us. ABIOS have stated there's no rehab available for her as the accident was 22years ago. The Psychiatrist, Mental health and ABIOS have all said leave it to Community service to help her. Difficulty is she's not willing to let anyone help. Interestingly ABIOS have said it is odd that these symptoms have appeared all these years later. Reading all your letters obviously this isn't correct. I feel so devastated and helpless.

I am by no means an expert in TBI, so please do not let anything I may say offend you or be mistaken as medical advice. I work in the field of catastrophic injuries and have assisted multiple brain injured persons with their medical care for years following their injury. I would like to comment that a brain injury changes the lives of all the family members - forever. Everyone has to rescript their lives to adjust to the changes inflicted by the injury event. Yet, the person with the actual injury is the only one that receives treatment. I know your sacrifices and adjustments probably went unrecognized or were treated as if it was expected you would rearrange whatever was necessary to accommodate the brain injury. I want to acknowledge all you gave, gave up, put off, let go or otherwise adjusted in your life/hopes/dreams/plans to provide the best environment for your daughter. I realize you must feel helpless since your daughter will not listen to you and the available resources are very limited. I'm sure you feel anger and frustration at the medical community's lack of response to your request for help as well. It has to be overwhelming for an unsolvable problem to be handed to you to figure out and make better. I commend you for your efforts to intervene and find help for your daughter. In my humble opinion, it sounds as if your daughter may be experiencing some type of mental crisis. I have never seen the return of a group of symptoms once a brain injury has healed; especially not after such a long period of time. Once the brain has "healed" from the injury, it has formed new pathways for information to travel. The changes we notice to a person's demeanor, personality, preferences, responses, humor, etc. are probably due to the disruption of the brain's previous pathways used for processing information along with changes in their memories, perception, attention, mood, etc. Our brains are amazing in that it forms new pathways for handling the mass of information fed into it by sensory input. We may be slower at first as the brain tentatively maps the new road, but repeated use allows us to become quicker. The rebuilding of pathways allows us to continue as members of society. But those new paths are different than the previous pathways and result in a "different" person. The long term effects of TBI on the brain's function have not been studied, so very little can actually be cited as proven or used as an expert resource. I do not know what is meant when you say she has all the symptoms of an ABI. Those symptoms vary from injury to injury. The symptoms you do provide would be in line with a "behavioral" patient - a person that no longer exerts the same level of control over their actions or emotions. But if these symptoms have just presented now, after 22 years, it would be difficult to associate them with the original brain injury. Does she believe she acts this way? Are these new behaviors? Has she experienced these symptoms in the past? Were these behaviors controlled with a medication regimen? Has she quit taking the medications? Have different/new medications been prescribed? It is probably difficult to get any information from her regarding this matter and you cannot legally act on her behalf unless she is in danger of harming herself or others. I'm sorry to say, there isn't much you can do at this point. Let her know you are available to talk, visit, assist her if she desires, reiterate this to her as often as possible without becoming a pest, and wait for the situation to change. I realize this does nothing to help with the problem, but it allows you to let the problem go until there comes a time you can help her. Best of luck.

Amazing response. You just helped me so much, sitting here feeling (17 years post TBI) that my brain was some sort of ticking time bomb because of my injury.

Again, thank you for clearing that up.

I am a 61 year old woman who had a cerebellar astrocytoma when I was 18, my senior year of high school. I too still struggle with anxiety, depression, loss of balance, double vision etc. I guess I've lived with these health issues most of my life but have learned to cope with them mainly through diet and exercise. I can't do strenuous exercise, yoga and Pilates are excellent to help with balance and my mental health! I can't take much medication my system is very sensitive. I know what everyone on this website may be feeling and want to let everyone know that exercising and faith in God or a higher power is imperative!! Even a little bit! I hope this helps at least one person! God be with you all!!!

I have a dear friend who was in a major car accident when he was a teenager. I am interested in learning more about post trauma brain injuries as an aging adult. I am really trying to understand certain behaviors that I feel stem from the head trauma. What is the best resource that I can use to learn more about this?

I was 24 when I had moderate to severe tbi. I'm 35 now, feels like after around 2 years since the 2 week coma, I'm completely recovered. I cannot see with one eye but it's because in the accident the eye nerve was cut by face bones. Depression, anxiety and etc.? Who doesn't have it? Especially nowadays. All of us have had different level of recovery which depends on many factors and especially age. My doctor told me if I would've be 25 the recovery would be different. Good luck!

My mom ALS started out with a foot drop on her left foot. From there her left leg lost all muscle tone and all the entire left leg muscles were almost gone. Also her fingers and thumbs "contract" at times. Left arm is losing muscle tone too,she have been suffering from amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) disease for the last seven years and had constant pain which really get us worried, especially in her knees, the only treatment for this ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is natural organic treatments honestly ,Multivitamin Herbal Care has the perfect herbal remedy to Motor Neuron Disease including,getting into bed was also another thing she finds impossible. We had to find a better solution for her condition which has really helped her a lot,The biggest help we had was multivitamincare orgThey walked us through the proper steps, I highly recommend these herbs to anyone suffering from ALS.

I'm in this same situation. I fell 15 ft out of a tree when I was six and cracked my skull open. I was in intensive care for months. Now I'm 32 and I experience bad migraines, eye pain, lack of energy, problems with balance, depression, and anxiety. Just started happening here lately.

I'm sorry to hear of this, I was in a wreck with a brain injury and in a coma for a month. I don't have any of the issues that you mention. The issue that I have to live with is that my brain stopped developing at 19. So basically my mind will think I'm 19 for the rest of my life.

Not sure the point in sharing here. I was hoping for answers :( 31 years ago, my motorcycle and a truck got in a fight. The motorcycle slammed me into the truck, broke most every bone in my body, then I flew 90 feet in the air, head first into the pavement. Fractured skull. TBI. Etc. Learned how to walk, how to talk, how to think, all over again. I was 17. And mentally, I felt 17 for the next 20 years. Now I feel like I'm 25. Meaning that my brain has not ever caught back up to my now 48 year old body. My body aged, my brain didn't. I eventually recovered enough to get into management and leadership roles. Just an old kid. I've always had some form of depression since the accident. Occasional suicidal thoughts. About 5 years ago, I snapped. I screamed at a friend because I was mad at her. Prior to this event, I was always able to contain my anger. But I acted horribly. Unlike me. And I've been doing this more and more often. I was a long term type employee. Now I can barely keep jobs I like. Because I'll blow up at something stupid. I'm on meds. Doesn't help. Now, I'm starting to feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm not right, and I don't know what's happening to me. On the outside, one may not know, that on the inside, I'm dying. And I want to die. But I don't want to die. See? And I'm feeling like everyone is against me, even my friends. I can't think straight. I've gotten worse over the years and each year seems twice as bad as the previous. I don't know what made me snap 5+ years ago, but I do feel like I'm losing my mind, because of my TBI. I yelled at and lost a woman I love, because I can't control this. I've lost many jobs in the last 5 years. And I almost never lost a job before. Help.

I hope your doing okay. I was smashed in the head with a baseball bat at 15. And now at 42 have had the exact same problems as you. Like exactly. Stay strong

Ever think about counseling? maybe a social group where you can be around other people who are going through what you are, and i even bet you would make a few friends like a big brother to eachother :)

I am glad I got to read your post. I also had a TBI 34 years ago and a concussion 24 years ago. I also just snapped about 5 years ago with very similar experiences. I have't found any real help or anyone to connect with about this. If you have found a direction to get more help, please share. I am sorry for your pain and I definitely relate to the bewilderment. I hope to hear from you. L

I'm 53 years old. I had a head injury when I was 6 years old. My skull was cracked and I was in a coma for 3 weeks. Now I suffer with depression, anxiety and loss of memory. Thank you for this article. I could never find the truth behind my depression, and the lack of ability to retain information. but now it makes sense.

Thank you so much for this article, it's really helpful. I had a concussion when I was four and was in a coma for six months. I'm now 39 and have been living a normal life so far, as I'm able to work and live independently. However, I still have problems with anxiety and depression, as well as worrying about the long term effect of my injury as I age. Your advice is very useful. Again, thank you!!

My uncle fell from a ladder while painting outside and suffered a brain injury, this was back in 2012. Sadly he now has little time left in this world and I will miss him dearly. They said he would not make it originally four years ago but he fought hard. After all the physical therapy, occupational therapy and rehabs. Numerous test and examinations I think his body is tired. He suffered frontal lobe damage both sides. During his recovery diabetes, high blood pressure and seizures appeared, blood clots on his brain and body aches from the fall. About a month ago he suffered a stroke and he could no longer eat so they put in a feeding tube. He now has pneumonia and is not expected to make it till his birthday this month. I cared for my uncle after his injury until June of this year and he had a clean bill of health and the doctors told me he had no issues as long as he took his meds daily! Guess they were so wrong..... I will always love him. Keep my family in your prayers

My husband suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a roof at work on 8/1/11 as well as left pelvic ring fracture with two pins in his lower back and other injuries including a lacerated spleen. As per a Neurologist he suffered left frontal lobe damage.  I hate to report he has been getting slowly worse over time. Even with physical therapy his balance starting getting bad which resulted in more falls and a few more hospitalizations. He has developed swallowing problems and after a swallow test was diagnosed with dysphasia. He has also had speech and OT therapies. I have to puree all of his foods. He has lost a lot of weight. He is now 64 years old and has to be with an aid all day as he can not stay alone and I work full time. He is not the big strong man who went to work that day more than five years ago and he is not the same person. 

I’m so sorry. People do not understand that you are now living with a different person. This is not the man you married. It’s so difficult for a wife. I know. Good luck

You need to help him make new synapses by encouraging him to read, exercise, and learn.

Also, please take time to research antioxidants, fish oil, and New Chapter vitamins with herbs.

TBI survivors need much more nutrition, and I promise that there is not a prescription better than these aforementioned supplements. Ten years later, my son continues to be introduced to new supplements, and each one works for him very specifically and sometimes quickly.

My fiances TBI happened over 20 years ago. Since I have been with him, I have seen various episodes where I know his brain isn't functioning correctly. I understand you can't give medical or legal advice...but can you tell us where to start on getting help? He has talked to the doctors and he has been trying to get disability but Its like no-one is listening because his injury happened so long ago.

I'm 42 years old & I had a car accident when I was 19, my brain stopped maturing then & I thought everything was cool but it's not. My husband is also 42 but I'm really not only in age. It has caused so many problems. I need help

I had a severe traumatic injury years ago and have no do I find a general practitioner that is knowledgeable about TBI's?

I had a severe TBI 15 years ago and I feel my memory has gotten even worse as I age. Just trying to enjoy everyday because yesterday is forgotten

I had a severe brain injury at 12 years old. Skull fracture in a car accident. Coma for 14 days, hospitalized for 5 weeks. Had all kinds of problems my whole life related to it. But, with a lot of love and help from those around me, I've managed to live a relatively successful life (as a musician) and a meditation practitioner.

Now at age 54, early onset dementia came on with a profound sense of apathy and disconnection from the world.  I realized that my life was coming to an end as a functional human being.  Fortunately, I discovered a book called Stop Alzheimers Now that promotes a Ketogenic Diet.  I have been on the Ketogenic Diet for quite a few months now and have seen SIGNIFICANT improvement in my functioning (not 100%, but like 80%).  So, I HIGHLY recommend the Ketogenic Diet to anyone dealing with TBI and Dementia.  Check out Dr Fife's book, although there also lots of other sources. 

Good Luck!!!

My 31 year old son had a TBI a month ago. He lives with us. He seems ok but I worry about him being alone for a week if we go away as planned. I feel I need to cancel our plans. He still has headaches and some equilibrium issues.

I am 54 yrs now. In 1977, hit by car. Coma 11 days, hospital 3 months. At that time, no one believed I had any brain problems; they just believed I became "lazy". 40 years later, not able to get diagnosed TBI to get help. Not able to communicate to get help. Recently, I tried to get family doctor to refer me. He forgot. Drained to keep trying. Very tired, a lot. Simple things take me all day. But, I am thankful God loves me, & provides basic necessities, & that, eventually, by the end of the day, I usually am dressed for the day. Even that drains me. Life is precious. Each second is a miracle. Even if I could just pray silently, instead of having a blank mind, a miracle. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I know who holds tomorrow is faithful & true.

In 1994 I was hit from behind (in a car). 9 mos.later, I was diagnosed with Post Concussive Syndrome with no follow-up at any time.  I know I look normal, etc. but I am not able to function normally. I "used to" lots of stuff, but can't anymore. I can't make decisions. Is there any help out there. I am 77 and falling down the "rabbit-hole." 

I'm a brain injury patient. Suffering a closed head injury in 1987 and experienced amnesia for a few weeks. After the swelling went down my memory began to get better and six to eight months short term got better too. Now 61, I feel my meniere's disease is probably due to that injury of years ago!

So pleased to read all this... I am post injury 4 years, initially thought Mild TBI but 2 years later upgraded to Medium... Every day is a battle to achieve things that used to be automatic and easy, especially cognitively, emotionally, short term memory and fatigue... these notes make me feel like I am not alone... I maintain my old job on a reduced 3 days a week but the concentration and energy and reasoning required wear me out daily. I work with Registered nurses and health professionals supporting young families and none of my bosses or colleagues 'get it' which adds further to my frustrations. My immediate manager said to me "it's hard to understand and appreciate your challenges because you look so normal" Grrrr... If health professionals don't understand what hope is there for anyone else to understand. I still have to fight to prove myself often so I can be compensated by ACC (accident compensation) so they will cover the one day a week I have reduced my hours at work even though I have several medical reports saying this a long term condition unlikely to change. It would be nice if the professionals that mange these decisions understood the challenges and that pressure to perform and any change is stressful. I feel like my whole life and personality has changed with my energy levels especially.... I hate it but it would be a lot easier to accept without having to work and the pressure to perform.. I wish I could just resign and stay at home gardening... managing the house ... and maybe writing for a living! and have a life I can physically manage instead of everything being a big effort that leaves me continually exhausted.

I had multiple TBI's during my time in the MARINE CORPS, the worst one my forehead swelled so large I only need to turn my eyes up to see my forehead. Now I've got dysplasia (trouble swallowing) early onset Parkinson's, memory problems etc etc etc. Sorry for your husband's problems. I'm a disabled veteran and I know how it feels to think nobody cares.

I am 31 years old when i was 21 i was attacked and my skull was fractured by a lump hammer. I had surgery to fix the hole in my skull. I was in hospital and discharged 2 days later under the impression every thing was ok i had a follow up appointment and the doctor examined the skull to see if the bone cement has set I must have been there about 15 minutes and he said everything is ok. I have head ache, very impulsive and dangerous behavior. Slower on anything that involves working out things and reading. And following conversations and communicating with ppl. I have never even thought anything was to do with the skull fracture and ignored it. In the last 12 months I have come to a point were I'm so tired and finding things more and more difficult so I've come out of work and since I have been mental health who had me think I was depressed anxiety and personality disorder ptsd and intrusive thoughts. After more weeks I was going dizzy and double vision more often and lasting days. And have tremors and acting out dreams in sleep. My doctor referred me to neurologist and he said I have front lobe damage. Essential tremors and rem sleep disorder. My mri is 2 days away to see the extent. I have spent the last 10 years battling myself in my head being confused why I act the way I do thinking I was schizophrenic and going around the bend. I would flip at family members even my kids and look in to their eyes and there faces looked sad and once I snapped out of it I felt so sad with myself. It's like a switch that turns off in my head and I go into rage for the smallest things. Then the switch turns off and I'm left with the guilt and say to myself wtf am I doing. I've never associated anything with the head injury and tried my best to control something i could never control on my own. My family think am lazy and say nothing is wrong with you its so annoying i feel lazy myself but the littlest tasks might as well be mountains standing in my way. I feel let down by the doctors for not explaining any effects or mental as well as physical issues i could get so at least i could look out for. I'm feel what the doctor has said now has give me a sense of closure and i can now move forward with my life understanding more what my limitations are and to avoid stress and start my own mind healing instead of the constant battle and stress I have had with my self for 10 years without no understanding of a TBI. They say you are your own worse enemy and it is true.

You do not have to suffer any longer. You do not have to be a victim of your brain's faulty wiring system. There are a variety of medications that could help regulate your mood, help your initiation, control your racing thoughts, etc. I would suggest you start by looking for a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (a physiatrist - NOT psychiatrist or a PMR) in your area that treats brain injuries, and give them a call. If there is a center in your region that treats traumatic brain injuries or acquired brain injuries - this may be a brain injury rehabilitation center - your search for a provider could start there. If you call a rehabilitation facility, ask to speak with the social worker or case manager or discharge planner or even the admissions coordinator and ask them to point you in the direction for accessing outpatient care following a traumatic brain injury. Often the inpatient rehabilitation centers only deal with clients that have treated in their facility, but don't let them blow you off. You are not asking them to personally recommend a provider, you are looking for them to point you to a place where you can begin to search for a provider. Google it - being sure to include brain injury in the criteria - and start phoning doctor's offices. Please research the physician as much as possible before choosing one. If you do not have insurance, this would be one of the best investments you could ever make - even if you have to use a credit card or borrow money to pay for the visit. Help is available. Please make yourself important enough to do whatever is necessary to get to it. Life could really be so much better with the proper management of your injury. While knowing about it and understanding it are great - very, very important steps - that cannot change the way your brain has been rewired. Make getting the proper treatment for your brain injury the one unplanned/unscheduled/unbudgeted thing you do for yourself. One day you can look back and point to the exact day you made your life change for the better. You are worth every cent it takes.

I found this very interesting, my husband suffered a TBI in 1969, at the age of 19.  He had several operations the last putting bone from his hip into the front lobal area of his head.  He seemed to make a recovery at the time, being young and in love helped.   He started having unexplained turns, blackouts and seizures from about 1998, always unexplained why they happened and the hospital and doctors couldn't help.  He was always sent home and no follow up.  In 2010, he had a breakdown and hasn't worked since.  I have tried many different doctors, specialist and even Brain Injury Units, No one can help.  My husband is an example of Aging After Brain Injury, but not one seems to care about him.

From everything I've read so far and how I've felt for a long time. I thought I was crazy then thought I was just really stupid then one day I remembered the incident and I also remembered that was the first time I ever forgot someone's name and the girl was actually one of my best friends. I think the marijuana also helps too. Research says it grows brain cells. When I feel the high sometimes I get uncomfortable but after the high I feel so normal. I can concentrate and feel like a human being again.

I am 16. At school people were doing this thing where you hyperventilate and then end up passing out so I thought it would be fun to try it. I regret it so much because from all the research I have done and from the symptoms I have and also talking to one of my dads friends who has severe brain damage I surmised that I now have brain damage. I have not told anyone because of the fact that it is such a pathetic cause of brain damage and honestly its just embarrassing. It is only mild brain damage so I can manage it quite effectively but often I feel so depressed and suicidal. One thing that makes me feel better is exercise, I love martial arts and crossfit, but sometimes it just doesn't help. I can wholeheartedly and comfortably say that if you smoke a little bit of marijuana every so often it will improve your concentration, comprehension of tasks, social life, depression, ADHD, mood swings and the list just goes on. It just makes you feel "normal" again. You can enjoy life without the feeling that its just going by and not giving a shit about you. I do not use it as an escape from life, in fact I often take month long breaks in order to avoid making it an escape, I use it sparingly and only when I feel really rubbish. It really has improved my quality of life. PS: marijuana has huge health benefits, apart from assisting you to deal with brain damage. Just my opinion and my situation though because here it says * Please remember, we can’t reply directly and are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor.

I was ejected from my car in 2012.. The bones have healed, the scars are there, but, it's the TBI that is a daily challenge..they took me to a shrink about 6 months after the wreck..she was diagnosing me with one disorder after another..I lost my husband a couple months before the wreck, since I was in foster care growing up, there was no family..the only thing I found out about the wreck was what was reported on the changed my personality and it seems to have exacerbated all the other disorders..I'm now terribly anxious, always in's so tragic..

I was in a coma and had to be taught everything but I did with no issues They said I could not walk I did I could not run I did and went to the Jr Olympics. My I que is 168. Yet turning 60 has me to scared and I do not know why. My life began at 10 yrs old.

Don't ever give up the fight, as long as breath is left in the body. I've been dealing with Moderate TBI for over ten years now. I did research on the national health website pubmed database / PMC articles and have been the one to request specific labwork be done, check GH, thyroid. Due to brain injury, it has been slow to process and read the information and spearhead my own healing. My kidneys were going into a greater stage of failure each year, now are within range, but did require percutaneous nephrolithotomy surgery. My HSCRP is very high (inflammation of veins and arteries, putting you at higher risk of heart attack or stroke) - this is common with TBI, so should be monitored. After over ten years and with research, knowing my symptoms, I requested my adrenals be checked and gonads and endocrine system. I have cascading neuroendocrine dysfunction and the doctors would never have caught it - most doctors refused to even check the GH deficiency years ago or the thyroid at first, so I found different doctors who would and you guessed it! They were an issue. I am now going to UCSF (a good facility that does ongoing research - find the best in your area!) to see a neuroendocrine doctor, hopefully get a decent neuroradiology report of the full brain (I've had two brain MRIs that only looked at the pitutary in the report) - One thing I've learned is there are a lot of ignorant &/or incompetent doctors out there. Even if they are really nice and competent within a narrow range of patients, that doesn't mean they are good for those with TBI. Don't waste time and money on them. Go to someone who specializes in it and do so at the nearest (mine is 3 hrs away) facility that also leads in research. I can't wait to move to the NW. The U of WA is one of the best in the nation. No matter what, believe in yourself and continue to be a stand for yourself. The doctors who are really good, keep. Just because they have a phd after their name, does not mean they have the analytical insight to understand your condition and direct your best treatment. Find doctors you trust. If they minimize or dismiss your concerns or symptoms you mention which continue to be problematic, find a different doctor. Dr. Flanagan is a rare and really good doctor - most do not do any sort of follow up. In fact, even after discovering abnormal labs, I have to push to get treatment (need to be replaced and/or addressed) and once prescribed a new medication, they often don't even follow up to check and see if the dosage was correct and do more labs. All people with TBI should be checked annually for pituitary hormones for the first ten years. If they have abnormal labs, their adrenals, gonads, thyroid, etc. should be regularly checked for ten years. Many hormonal deficiencies are not checked and often if they are initially checked and within range, not rechecked - but they often present late onset, even years after injury.

Get yourself a copy of "The Ghost in my Brain" by Clark Elliot and/or find a neurologist or neuropsychologist with good knowledge of concussion/TBI.

I'm very moved by each of your stories and heroism. The symptoms can occur years later and by lack of understanding it's progression and or change in symptoms (lack of others understanding) we may be very slow to recognize we need help (thanks Doc). We must advocate for ourselves and DO not give up. I don't know if my situation was exacerbated by being hit by a car while on a bike...quite a contusion to my head (100 feet in air aided by the hit and run metal catapulting my long jump. My symptoms are now much more challenging . Flooding heightened anxiety and arousal, my communication is disconnected and nor clear and organized (monologuing). I accept Monogram and Adderal. Do not give up and advocate for yourself; engaging ADA interactive dialogue can happen to afford you some accomodation. It bought me time to keep working without feeling so victimized, as this most painful period--of 'beginning to learn my limits' has also had persons be there for me in so many ways. Do not give up or isolate. Re-read these comments find a Dr. like this and or an attorney to advise you. And like those of you above, I may have missed the deadline too because I thought. trying harder would get me 'over or thru this'. I might have missed vocational re-training offered by my state s-r disability program. Also, anther tangible. I now have a mood disorder plus ADHD. My employer wanted forms signed by Kaiser in order for me to engage Americans with Disability Act interactive dialogues. An attorney told me I didn't need behavioral health therapists to sign off on forms to obtain ADA interactive dialogue! It was like pulling teeth, so know this as it can beat you down unnecessarily when therapists won't sign off. Best

I had a TBI sept 7th, 2014 from a motorcycle accident, that I have no memory of. I was told the bike rotated 4 times with me still on it before I was ejected off. My first memory was in NICU of what would be day 3. I self discharged with Hospitals agreement after a neurologist tried to classify me as bipolar, depressive, explosive, blah blah blah and all this was based off a the current brain injury. The were going to move me to another room where they said i would be for at least the next to weeks. When we told them I wanted out, they said if I self discharged the insurance wouldn't pay. When we told them why and what the neurologist said, the doctors had a meeting and agreed to let me discharge. Not sure that was a good move or idea. On our behalf or theirs. Especially if the patient is not of sound mind to make such decisions not understanding the severity of the injury. I have light, sound sensitivity, headaches, major depression, constant ear ringing and Easily stressed. Yesterday i went to the gym and did some cardio and weights. 30 minutes after leaving I went into severe dizziness and everything spun for 6 hours. Has anyone else that happen after working out? Really kinda scared me.

I was in a car accident at age 3 & 1/2. The impact was like hitting a brick wall going 90mph. The sunroof came in & sliced my head open causing a skull fx and a brain bleed. I was pronounced clinically dead & resuscitated after 5mins, was in coma for a week & hospital a week. Impact was over left top side of head required 120 stitches. I wasn't expected to live and if I did, I would drag one side of my body. To look at me today, you couldn't tell (other than visible scar), but I have found that as I have gotten older (37yrs currently), i am getting worse mentally in the fact that things are extremely hard to understand & comprehend (EI: instructions & trying to replicate something, learning information, memory is getting TERRIBLE, the list goes on). Recently in the last 2 years I have been stumbling when I talk. Sometimes the words don't come out right. I have had a HUGE difficulty dealing with things emotionally, such as not being able to deal with deadlines for a paper or a bad grade in college & feeling like its the end of the world. My husband says that I can't "deal with/handle anything anymore, even daily stress." I try twice as hard as everyone else to get things done, to be productive, to learn & understand things, I ask A LOT of questions & repeat the answer given, no matter what it is, to make sure I "get it." I have more trouble concentrating, I often feel like things that happen are the end of the world for me & just want to feel "normal." I've been treated for depression before, tried several different medications and they would work for a short time, a month or so then wouldn't do anything. Would up the dosage and repeat this about 3-4 different times to no avail. Either I have recognized my abilities/limitations as I've gotten older or I have gotten worse and gone backwards. I have noticed I am worse since I turned 35 than I was any age prior to.

I forgot after my last comment, to also add one of the things that is a HUGE burden daily from all of this, Hydrocephalus, and the VP Shunt I had to have inserted... 

I am so thankful as well to have found this article and all these comments, It has been a Lot to take in this morning, and I will be coming back later to read more. I am only 22 Months Post TBI, I am very lucky to be alive, I had a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm while in my car getting ready to pull out of our driveway, with my 16 Year Old Daughter in the car, She went in and got her Dad who called the ambulance, and from that moment on is a Blur, I remember Having the worst Pain Ever and grabbing my neck and head and Screaming. My husband says when he got out there I was having a seizure. He threw cold water on me and called the Ambulance when I arrived at the hospital (Family told me) My vitals were some what stable however I was Moaning Extremely loud and uncontrollably, and Sweating profusely. However I was still parked on the stretcher up against the glass Nurses station in the ER Hallway, Until (from what I was told later) The Aneurysm ruptured and I let out a Blood Curdling Scream and a Doctor came and looked at me and decided I may have a brain bleed and they should move me back to the Trauma Bay. They then told my husband if there was family that wasn't there that he may want to call them, they were not sure if I would make it or not. I went into Respiratory Failure, Hypertensive Crisis as well as the Brain Bleed, So I was put on a Blood Pressure Medication Drip, Ventilator, and an External Drain from my skull and moved to ICU, until about 12 hours later when they moved me to the other hospital in town and Performed a Coiling Surgery, From that Point I remained in ICU for almost an Entire Month with MULTIPLE Complications, from Bacterial Meningitis, Pneumonia, Unable to control my Body Temp so needing Heating and Cooling blankets, and Vaso-spasm's and so many other concerns. That wall all while in the ICU, now it's memory issues, financial, balance, anger, depression, fatigue, vision and on and on and on. It is just AWESOME To feel Validated for ONCE...

I'm 33 years old and have had approximately 8 concussion that I can recall from playing highschool and college football. Most where documented while some were not. I don't know who I am anymore,I have an uncontrollable rage and its affecting my family by my verbal abuse. I've never been physical towards them and never the urge either but being verbally abusive hurts them maybe even more than phsycal abuse. I also suffer from clinical depression, bi-polar and anxiety. I'm noticing that I have been misplacing items everywhere and it sets me off into an uncontrollable rage over dumbest things. I never thought it was because of the concussions but now that there has been so much attention about this subject brought forth I'm starting to think it may be the root cause. Please do not leave any negative comments it's a very sensitive subject for me.

My 44 year old husband had a major brain injury at age 13 and survived. He has always had some neurological issues, but once he hit 43, everything went downhill. He has lost multiple jobs due to lack of concentration/memory. He woke up one morning with delirium. He no longer works, and is declining rapidly. Why is this happening 30 years later?! Luckily I had him diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia. I am not 100% positive that is what he has, but it is an umbrella term and gets him qualified for Social Security, and got him retired early. I don't think doctors have any clue about Post TBI!

This has been very helpful information to me, as my daughter suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as a teen. She was in a coma for ten months. She is now 42 and I have started noticing a decline in her general functioning, balance, cognitive abilities, however she is still joyful . I feel this is due to being in a family environment, and ongoing therapies every week. The speech therapies, physical, and occupational have kept her strong in all areas. I do not believe she would be as successful without all these things working together. Thank you for your information on what to look for in the aging process

I'm having a hard time accepting that the TBI I sustained as a child (depressed skull fx, subdural hematoma) caused any harm to me physically or emotionally because I survived pretty well for such an injury.  Fifty years later, not working and suffering from depression I guess something happened to mess the plans I had to live independently forever, and I am very frustrated.  I did a lot during my lifetime but reality is what it is:  I depend a lot on my surviving family and the gov't to get by, and it's only going to get worse, or so it seems. Maybe fifty years from now more will be known about the effects of aging on TBI; right know it seems very little is known about this topic.  

Okay... I'm totally humbled by what I'm reading here, and feeling like a cry baby even saying my piece... I believe that I suffered a brain injury as a young child, cure to a bike accident, around age 8 (I am 50 years old now) but was not taken to the hospital, or even seen by a doctor. Prior to the accident I had been diagnosed with  all kinds of learning disabilities and processing issues (such as dyslexia), so while it was completely inappropriate that I was never seen by a doctor, the symptoms I still face today, were likely chalked up to my learning disabilities and may not have been noticed, even if someone had been paying attention. Though I have lived a very full life, I have struggled with memory problems my entire life. I can lay down memories if I am concentrating hard... it also helps if I am seeing, saying and deliberately in some way physically demonstrating an action associated with something I'm trying to memorize, but even then it is somehow disjointed from a normal sequential timeframe. Laying down memories seems to be the missing piece. I have not seen a specialist, or any kind of doctor about my memory problems. Writing this is actually the first official "admission to the world" about any of this. Of course it's a bit of a relief that there may be a reason, other than just being born brain deficient, but none the less a painful admission. I am not sure how really to move forward. I guess I should search out a doctor, though I'm not sure what can be done for me at this point.