Cognitive Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

Dawn Neumann, PhD and Anthony Lequerica, PhD, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Cognitive Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

What is cognition?

Cognition is the act of knowing or thinking. It includes the ability to choose, understand, remember and use information. Cognition includes:

  • Attention and concentration.
  • Processing and understanding information.
  • Memory.
  • Communication.
  • Planning, organizing, and assembling.
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, and judgment.
  • Controlling impulses and desires and being patient.

How does TBI affect cognition and what can be done about it?

After a TBI it is common for people to have problems with attention, concentration, speech and language, learning and memory, reasoning, planning and problem-solving.

Attention and concentration problems

A person with TBI may be unable to focus, pay attention, or attend to more than one thing at a time. This may result in:

  • Restlessness and being easily distracted.
  • Difficulty finishing a project or working on more than one task at a time.
  • Problems carrying on long conversations or sitting still for long periods of time.

Since attention skills are considered a “building block” of higher level skills (such as memory and reasoning), people with attention or concentration problems often show signs of other cognitive problems as well.

What can be done to improve attention and concentration?

  • Decrease the distractions. For example, work in a quiet room.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Begin practicing attention skills on simple, yet practical activities (such as reading a paragraph or adding numbers) in a quiet room. Gradually make the tasks harder (read a short story or balance a checkbook) or work in a more noisy environment.
  • Take breaks when you get tired.

Problems with processing and understanding information

After brain injury, a person’s ability to process and understand information often slows down, resulting in the following problems:

  • Taking longer to grasp what others are saying.
  • Taking more time to understand and follow directions.
  • Having trouble following television shows, movies, etc.
  • Taking longer to read and understand written information including books, newspapers or magazines.
  • Being slower to react. This is especially important for driving, which may become unsafe if the person cannot react fast enough to stop signs, traffic lights or other warning signs. Individuals with TBI should not drive until their visual skills and reaction time have been tested by a specialist.
  • Being slower to carry out physical tasks, including routine activities like getting dressed or cooking.

What can be done to improve the ability to process and understand information?

  • Place your full attention on what you are trying to understand. Decrease distractions.
  • Allow more time to think about the information before moving on.
  • Re-read information as needed. Take notes and summarize in your own words.
  • If needed, ask people to repeat themselves, to say something in a different way, or to speak slower. Repeat what you just heard to make sure you understood it correctly.

Language and communication problems

Communication problems can cause persons with TBI to have difficulty understanding and expressing information in some of the following ways:

  • Difficulty thinking of the right word.
  • Trouble starting or following conversations or understanding what others say.
  • Rambling or getting off topic easily.
  • Difficulty with more complex language skills, such as expressing thoughts in an organized manner.
  • Trouble communicating thoughts and feelings using facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (non-verbal communication).
  • Having problems reading others’ emotions and not responding appropriately to another person’s feelings or to the social situation.
  • Misunderstanding jokes or sarcasm.

What can be done to improve language and communication?

Work with a speech therapist to identify areas that need work. Communication problems can keep improving for a long time after the injury.

How family members can help:

  • Use kind words and a gentle tone of voice. Be careful not to “talk down” to the person.
  • When talking with the injured person, ask every so often if he or she understands what you are saying, or ask the person a question to determine if he or she understood what you said.
  • Do not speak too fast or say too much at once.
  • Develop a signal (like raising a finger) that will let the injured person know when he or she has gotten off topic. Practice this ahead of time. If signals don’t work, try saying “We were talking about…”
  • Limit conversations to one person at a time.

Problems learning and remembering new information

  • Persons with TBI may have trouble learning and remembering new information and events.
  • They may have difficulty remembering events that happened several weeks or months before the injury (although this often comes back over time). Persons with TBI are usually able to remember events that happened long ago.
  • They may have problems remembering entire events or conversations. Therefore, the mind tries to “fill in the gaps” of missing information and recalls things that did not actually happen. Sometimes bits and pieces from several situ¬ations are remembered as one event. These false memories are not lies.

What can be done to improve memory problems?

  • Put together a structured routine of daily tasks and activities.
  • Be organized and have a set location for keeping things.
  • Learn to use memory aids such as memory notebooks, calendars, daily schedules, daily task lists, computer reminder programs and cue cards.
  • Devote time and attention to review and practice new information often.
  • Be well rested and try to reduce anxiety as much as possible.
  • Speak with your doctor about how medications may affect your memory.

Planning and Organization Problems

  • Persons with TBI may have difficulty planning their day and scheduling appointments.
  • They may have trouble with tasks that require multiple steps done in a particular order, such as laundry or cooking.

What can be done to improve planning and organization?

  • Make a list of things that need to be done and when. List them in order of what should be done first.
  • Break down activities into smaller steps.
  • When figuring out what steps you need to do first to complete an activity, think of the end goal and work backwards.

Problems with reasoning, problem-solving and judgment

  • Individuals with TBI may have difficulty recognizing when there is a problem, which is the first step in problem-solving.
  • They may have trouble analyzing information or changing the way they are thinking (being flexible).
  • When solving problems, they may have difficulty deciding the best solution, or get stuck on one solution and not consider other, better options.
  • They may make quick decisions without thinking about the consequences, or not use the best judgment.

What can be done to improve reasoning and problem-solving?

  • A speech therapist or psychologist experienced in cognitive rehabilitation can teach an organized approach for daily problem-solving.
  • Work through a step-by-step problem-solving strategy in writing: define the problem; brain¬storm possible solutions; list the pros and cons of each solution; pick a solution to try; evalu¬ate the success of the solution; and try another solution if the first one doesn’t work.

Inappropriate, embarrassing or impulsive behavior

Individuals with brain injuries may lack self-control and self-awareness, and as a result they may behave inappropriately or impulsively (without thinking it through) in social situations.

  • They may deny they have cognitive problems, even if these are obvious to others.
  • They may say hurtful or insensitive things, act out of place, or behave in inconsiderate ways.
  • They may lack awareness of social boundaries and others’ feelings, such as being too personal with people they don’t know well or not realizing when they have made someone uncomfortable.

What causes it?

  • Impulsive and socially inappropriate behavior results from decreased reasoning abilities and lack of control. The injured person may not reason that “If I say or do this, something bad is going to happen.”
  • Self-awareness requires complex thinking skills that are often weakened after brain injury.

What can be done about it?

Things family members can do:

  • Think ahead about situations that might bring about poor judgment.
  • Give realistic, supportive feedback as you observe inappropriate behavior.
  • Provide clear expectations for desirable behavior before events.
  • Plan and rehearse social interactions so they will be predictable and consistent.
  • Establish verbal and non-verbal cues to signal the person to “stop and think.” For example, you could hold up your hand to signal “stop,” shake your head “no,” or say a special word you have both agreed on. Practice this ahead of time.
  • If undesired behavior occurs, stop whatever activity you are doing. For example, if you are at the mall, return home immediately.

Cognitive outcome/recovery and rehabilitation

Cognition is usually evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Since there are many factors that can affect how someone will improve cognitively, it is very difficult to predict how much someone will recover. With practice, cognitive problems usually improve to some degree.

Cognitive rehabilitation is therapy to improve cognitive skills and has two main approaches, remediation and compensation:

  • Remediation focuses on improving skills that have been lost or impaired.
  • Compensation helps you learn to use different ways to achieve a goal.

Discuss your concerns with your physician or treatment provider.

You should discuss any questions or concerns you have with a physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist) or the rehabilitation team. It is important to mention new problems as they develop. New problems could be the result of medication or require further evaluation.

Recommended reading

Posted on BrainLine March 25, 2010. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Cognitive Problems after TBI was developed by Dawn Neumann, PhD and Anthony Lequerica, PhD, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. Portions of this document were adapted from materials developed by the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury System, the UAB TBI Model System, the Mayo Clinic TBI Model System, the New York TBI Model System, and from Picking up the Pieces after TBI: A Guide for Family Members, by Angelle M. Sander, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine (2002). Copyright © 2010 by University of Washington/MSKTC. 

Please check the MSKTC site for any recent updates on this article.

Comments (88)

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.

Hey folks. I was walking in a sidewalk and a van hit me throwing me ten feet. Subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhaging and basil skull fracture. When this happened in 1996, I wasn’t given enough cognitive rehab therapy and became homeless with my four cats. Things became a lot better when Brain InjurySpecialists stepped in to help me. I’m now working on being an advocate, as professional journals estimate 50% of homeless people have brain injuries. It’s a frickin leaning process, but find ways to keep yourself going!!! Music, books, friends, look at the stars or clouds in the sky every night….

Learn as much as you can. I’m now facing being abused by brain injury rehab people, and no one is listening. I also just learned that I don’t need a cognitive behavioral therapist, but a cognitive REHAB therapist. Another reason to get a lawyer.

Believe in yourself people. There’s got to be a purpose in what we are dealing with. Life events happen sometime that we don’t cause or deserve, but just have to deal with. ✌️and hope for you all…..

I suffered two minor brain injuries when I was younger, one at 19 and one at 23, and then a major TBI at the age of 29. I experience virtually everything listed on this page and sadly no medicine seems to help. There are many days I just want to give up on living. Been 9 years now since the major TBI and things have only improved slightly. Hard to face the fact the rest of my life will be miserable. Worst of all, the U.S. government refuses to give me disability, claiming that I just dont want to work.

I have many cognitive problems, but I didn't have a TBI, I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, I have read that schizophrenia can cause many cognitive problems, my problems are with language comprehension, I can't understand so many things, I can't understand movies, TV shows, audiobooks, books, comic books etc., it's very hard for me to live with these problems, I have improved over the years, but I still can't understand very well.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia 20 years ago and he discovered that improvement meant finding a very specific combination of medicines at very specific dosages. Every persons body is different so you might want to ask your doctor to adjust your medicine and add or remove medicines. My friend also went through 3 doctors before finding one that would really work with him. Sadly too many in the medical community only follow textbook recommendations and do not tailor their medical treatments to the individual needs of each person.

Hell my wife is a nurse and she calls me insensitive for forgetting thing, wont listen to me when i talk and wont let me finish without distracting me, then i get lost. Can deal with explosive emotional outbursts, angger, im isolated and alone.

Are there support groups for family members? My son's girlfriends, mother, has TBI. Her mom can be erratic and controlling of her daughter, making her cry multiple times a week and question herself as a good person. I'm not sure if all her mom's behavior is due to the TBI, but I have experienced first hand her mom's irrational behavior and I try to be understanding... but there should be boundaries. I think it would be great for my son and his girlfriend to go to a support group where they can get help in understanding and dealing what is going on. They are in Washington at college... does anyone have any suggestions?

There are support groups on Facebook as well their may be ones online or your local brain injury clinic.

A quick search and I know Facebook does.

Much of the advice here in my opinion is going to leave your family member with a TBI potentially more ashamed and more embarrassed.

For example it states if the undesired behavior occurs to leave the space immediately. Additionally raise a finger at them if they get off topic so they know.

My husband had initially tried these sort of tactics with me and it hurt my feelings. Instead now he employs a gentler approach of patience and loving guidance which has worked much better and avoids making me feel ashamed if I’ve gotten off topic (no fingers waggling in my face) instead he kindly redirects the conversation back.

If I’ve done something inappropriate no more being marched out of the public space in front of everyone like a child instead he handles it calmly, waits until the space is clear and provides clear simple options (one of which is always to go home and rest).

The advice in this column isn’t very good. Your family member is hopefully someone you love who is hurt so treat them like it, not like someone who is sick and can be bossed around.

Your husband sounds like a sweet heart and you are very lucky to have him. I strongly believe there should be a guide for friends, family, coworkers, etc. on how to approach those whom they know with TBI and what to expect.

I suffered a concussion on 9/3/19, I have difficulty with almost all of the things above. My short term memory is really bad, but I can remember in detail what happened or events in my life from 20 years ago. The only things that have gotten better are the dizzyness and balance, which lasted 10 or 11 weeks. My family doesn't fully understand what is happening to me. My daughter had a concussion 2 years ago and her symptoms only lasted 6 weeks, she has said that my injury is far worse. My neurologist is helpful, but workman's comp has been delaying my therapies until I undergo an ime exam. They have never approved speech therapy which was recommended by my neurologist and physical therapist. I'm extremely depressed to the point that I don't shower every day, and this is very unlike me. I also have herniated discs in my cervical spine and fear that I will regress without the help I truly need. The list goes on and on.

Karyn, if workers comp is not working with you and denying treatments, you might look for a workers comp lawyer to help you navigate. Unfortunately this is a common occurrence. I got really lucky with my workers comp rep. Also, know that somewhere on the order of 30% of those who suffer concussion (which is a TBI) don’t recover right away. You aren’t alone and it’s not because of anything you have done. I can recommend the book conquering concussion by Dr. Mary Esty for both you and family members to read at least the first 100 pages - which include examples of others and common post concussion symptoms. that helped me understand why so many simple things- like doing my dishes or laundry were so hard after injury due to the effects on executive function. Good luck!

My injury occurred in 2008, due to a brain tumor. I have someone in particular in my life (gym trainer), who says after I forget, misunderstood, get appointments incorrect. or don't follow through on things, that my TBI is just an excuse. They have known me since being released from the hospital PT program to rehabilitate on my own. They say I should be doing this, or that, every week now...every time the blow up at me getting upset or p****d off at me...and in public--the gym. I am a higher-functioning TBI survivor, but I have cognitive issues. I paraphrased this explanation for the sake of spaced time. My questions for the community is, am I doing something wrong? I'm so frustrated that I'm no longer mentally sharp, depression is working hard on me. I must be doing something wrong they keep hounding me.
Thanks for any feedback.

I experienced my TBI in September 2016. My main question for those of you who might read this: what have been your issues with hearing after your TBI? I was non-hearing for 3-4 months when I learned to lip read and some ASL. Then sound came back slightly but heavily distorted. With more issues than I’m explain here. I can’t hear music. I hear it but it registers as jumbled noise. I’d be very curious if someone has similar issues. From what I can tell it may always be this way or slowly get better with time. Thoughts? Similar experiences? Find me on Twitter @popwatching I’d love to discuss. Thanks.

After a TBI I was diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). I have trouble hearing sound correctly and a bunch of other cognitive issues that come with TBI induced CAPD. I highly recommend the book, When the Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder. by. Teri James Bellis. Hopefully this will help you, it helped me a lot.

I had a car accident with a TBI on April 6. I was taken from the scene of a Total loss accident when hit by a Semi Truck that totaled my 3 month old brand new SUV. 55k. and put in the tow truck driver vehicle. I was last wandering in Portland for a few hours until my son found me after going to the tow yard and finding they let me leave and had been gone over 3 or 4 hours after they towed my vehicle to the tow lot. I don’t remember the next 48 hours. My son had to come and find me wandering around Portland. I was covered from head to foot with mud had no phone or identification nothing. The chp shouldn’t have let me go with the tow truck driver and the tow driver shouldn’t have let me walk away without my phone, wallet and purse at the tow yard. I did hit the left side of my head very hard and have hearing loss in that ear . I have had headaches and severe nausea and have felt the most tired I’ve felt in In my life. I can fall asleep during a conversation and then when I wake up and I am still talking but not making any sense and don’t know what I was talking about. I’m sorry you got hurt. I am not having the same issues as you with sound except it is just harder to hear. Mine are more with balance, memory, headache, cognitive, vision, memory, communication, speech, balance and speech. .

Thank you for replying Cynthia. I’m so very sorry that happened to you and I agree you shouldn’t have been allowed to leave the scene. That’s very scary. I’m so glad your son found you. Have you had medical care since? I’m assuming you have since you know it’s a TBI. I was in a coma for 3 weeks and in the hospital for nearly 4 months so I had a lot of care (physical therapy, speech therapy, neuropsychological therapy, occupational therapy and I’ve seen ENTs and audiologists). I hope you are getting plenty of care, Cynthia. Because even though you weren’t in a coma like me TBIs are serious.

I’m sorry that your hearing has not returned. Mine has taken quite some time but is still not 100%. I would recommend seeing an ENT to determine the best plan.

Cass, thank you so much for your reply. Much appreciated. Yes, I have been to an ENT and audiologists. I have been to neurologists that specialize in brain injury. So far what I “hear” the most from them is healing takes time. And every TBI is unique so there’s no guarantee my hearing will improve more than it already has. Right now I’m just reaching out to fellow survivors (like yourself) for if they’ve had similar experiences. I haven’t given up on the medical community though. I’m still pursuing those avenues as well. Thanks again, Cass. I hope you’re well.

what do you do when you don't have contacts anymore because the resources ran out yrs. ago to pay facilitators to come and help for a short period of time but now the medicaid I'm forced to use won't pay the very people that helped me before when car insurance pd. the bills of the psychologist and chiropractor. so now I'm in constant pain from lower back down legs and have a terrible time being able to clear my house to be livable again and after I lost my doctors..I have no social life at all

I am 31 I had a bad tbi and many many bad concussions after. I saw so many specialists and nothing. Then I saw dr Cantu in concord the #1 concussion specialist and found out a lot. I had an mri and found out I had a hole in my brain and the left side is deteriorating. Cte has proven side effects there’s 4 stages. The fourth is suicidal thoughts that hit like a freight train. There’s two medication that save our lives. Allow us to focus work and be sane. Zoloft is made for tbi and time release adderal. It will change your life it did mine. If anyone ever needs anything please reach out to a dr and also look up cte side effects. Anger impulsive depression suicide. It can be managed.

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I'm here looking for answers for my sister. She had a concussion almost two years ago she fell and broke her orbital bone, woke up to a pool of blood. They said she had a concussion but from the time this happened until now no one can tell her what's wrong. I read everyone's story and yours sounds similar to hers. I need a good Dr. To take her to we are in Maryland. She keeps saying the Drs looked at the MRI but didn't see anything. Anyone that talks to her knows something is wrong. She has trouble finding words . reading, forming sentences, she can't remember how to spell. She says she see things differently than everyone else. I'm very worried for her. She's sad she feels alone no one can hold a full conversation with her. If anyone knows a Dr in md that will take on a patient that doesn't have insurance and pays cash please let me know. I miss my sister and im concerned she's slipping into a deep depression from this. She cries all of the time. It's so sad. She was an awesome bartender, she taught me now she can't remember how to pour. I hope this reaches someone that can help me help her because her husband isn't willing to help. They had just gotten married when this happened and he seems done dealing with it. If anyone can help please contact me. Thank you in advance.

I can't believe this website has been here all this time and I never ran into it. Some much information that I had to walk away for a little bit, but I'll be reading more each day. Anyway one of the things that I wonder about is that I've been diagnosis with bipolar disorder and I'm wonder if that's a misdiagnosis or more likely a result of the injury. The accident happened when I was 29 and I never had a history of mental illness until after the accident. Sure there were ups and downs but not to the degree I had in the following years. Now I take an anti seizure, anti anxiety and respirone to control paranoia. After reading the information on this website definitely going to have a few doctors look more closely at my case management. Of course going to remain on my present meds :p but I'm curious to find out how much is contacted here and if there is more I can do to improve my cognitive ability.

I was curious if you told your doctor? Are they looking into it more? Just wondering if so how they went about it and what your outcome was?

I had a TBI and brain surgery in 2015. I'm having trouble. Nobody has patience to deal with me. I get so frustrated. Hearing loss and trouble grasping what people are asking me. What do I do?

My grandson is the same ,he is living with me because he was with he’s mum and stepdad. I understand it difficult for you .you must seek help special if you have no one to ack on your behalf! Need to learn new ways to deal with thing . I feel for you as I do my grandson.

Have your doctor refer you to a good speech therapist and occupational therapist. They can help you work throught it. Also see a neuropsychologist for testing and diagnosis. You have to push and advocate for yourself. I found a lot of healthcare professionals will blow you off.

Very true I have found the same thing my saving grace was stumbling across a article like this I went back to the neurologist that said there was nothing I could do but wait and asked for referral to the Speech Therapist she was so wonderful and has helped my come along way #Gratefull

Thank you for sharing I have found my people. You all are Mental Warriors and I am so thankful for sharing. Thank you Thank you Thank you I am so great full for my following experiences:

When I was 5 years old I fell out of a tree house, hospitalized with concussion and broken left wrist.
When I was 13 I wiped out on a skateboard going 30 – 40 mph trying to break a speed record, hospitalized with a concussion
When I was 16 I broke my jaw in baseball taking a line drive hit from the pitching mound back to my right jaw, hospitalized with a concussion and broken jaw in two places.

Brain Injuries
When I was 4 years old I fell directly on the basement floor on my head from a monkey bar. Only fell a few feet guess I was warming up.
At 5, I went head first into a glass front door, hospitalized with several stitches in back of my neck.
At 7 years old on my bike I ran into a car, went to doctor with bleeding tong and was told to eat nothing but jello and broth for 2 weeks.
At 9 years old, I had a PTSD incident
At 14 years old I had debilitating migraines and doctors could not find anything.
When I was 48, I was in a car accident (totaled car) with whiplash

Played HS and College Football

I have had memory problems, processing problems, comprehension issues, migraines and headaches my whole life. I

I have been diagnosed with Neuropathy, Neuro Fatigue, Digentitive Disk Disease, Depression, insomnia, Tinnitus, Sleep Apnea, Bi Polar, Chronic pain and fatigue, Roasa, IBS, RA, Migraines, Digenitive Disk Disease, Hiatal Hernia, GERD, acid reflux, tarsal tunnel syndrome, social isolation, and entering Parkinson’s with stiff muscels and joints, internal shaking,

At 55 I am jobless, broke and trying to survive. In 2015 I started eating clean, meditating, affirmations, exercise (lost 80 lbs.) but nothing working so far.

Eat a plant exclusive lifestyle
Read High Performance Habits (this does help but I have lost steam which I know you understand)
Sell stuff to pay rent
Start Walking in am
Check out app Brain HQ
Get approved for disability
Create Web Page

Love you all thoughts and prayers

As I was reading your post... I could so relate!! I am 53 and after this last concussion I started to realize just how many concussions I have had diagnosed and undiagnosed. I also have identified with several of your diagnosis!
Thank yoh for sharing... and I appreciate your positive perspective on “internally not giving up”.
Blessings back at ya!!

I'm 4.5 years post my brain injury: swelling of the brain, seizures, global damage affecting all areas of my life. The official term is encephalopathy, I think.

I've been doing well, using helping tools but in the last six months, my family and I have noticed a dramatic decrease in long-term and especially short-term/current memory abilities. Have any studies/research determined that brain damage can worsen with age? With anything else?

I was tested for seizures and dementia and both came back negative but I forget what I did this morning, yesterday, going to my daughter's graduation and Disneyland in late June. I have absolutely no memory of being there.

Up to about 4 years post-coma, I had both long and short-term memory problems but not nearly as bad as now.

I appreciate ANY help!

Thank you in advance,
Jennifer Kerber

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask what I can do, where I can go, or who to talk to.

I suffered an accident when I was a child with my mother in the same car. All I can remember was we were driving home and the next thing the windows shattered. My mom called someone to tow the car and we didn't go to the hospital. I had bumped my head and thought little of it, my injury healed. Ever since then, I've had problems, -- making friends, keeping a girlfriend, interacting with my family, focusing on one task. I've had it rough. By Gods grace, I'm still alive. In 2014, I was involved in another accident, a car almost hit me at some club. I just remember jumping over the car, barely surviving.

Where can I go for help?

I'm traveling the post concussion syndrome road with continued cognitive issues that at first were being completely attributed to visual processing problems until I saw a neuro optemetrist. Based on how conversations and interactions are also fatiguing she thought I should also see a speech therapist maybe...a guess on her part which was a decent one. The speech therapist identified mild cognitive impairment and is now suggesting I see a concussion specialist. I have seen a neurologist in the past who prescribed some medication, but he is lacking in follow up care. I sense concussion specialists, speech/language therapists, and it looks like maybe neuropsychologists(?) are good routes to go. That's the key is finding the people with the right knowledge and skill set. Day by day, one foot in front of the other, we move forward.

I have bicycle accident last September during our steam engines days in my hometown all I remember is riding the bike and the next thing I knew I was heading in the ambulance to the hospital. Now I can't remembering anything I do during the day or who I talk to my short term memory is gone and seems nobody understands please help with information or books I can read to help me understand or any resource in southeast mn close to Rochester mn as groups or resources and people to talk to and living enviroments Im raising my nine year old daughter that witnessed the accident .

Here’s a continuation on my earlier comment on resources. You had ask for book recommendations. Here are a few:“Brain Survival Kit: 365 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Deal with Cognitive Function Loss” by Cheryle Sullivan, MD

“The Traumatized Brain: A Family Guide to Understanding Mood, Memory and Behavior after Brain Injury” (a Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)

“To Root and to Rise: Accepting Brain Injury” by Carol J Starr

“101 Tips for Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury: Practical Advice for TBI Survivors, Caregivers and Teachers” by Kelly Bouldin Darmofal (she also has a memoir)

All on Amazon.

Billie, I too experienced a TBI, and other life threatening injuries in a car accident in September 2016 (ironically a year before you). I was in a coma for 3 weeks. In the hospital for 4 months. It’s been a long road. I can’t live independently anymore, my hearing is incredibly compromised, etc.
However, I’m writing to you to give you resources, hopefully. I’m in MN as well.
We have the MN Brain Injury Alliance (located in Roseville, MN but they have many online resources), this page has some good resources:

You mentioned you’re close to Rochester,MN. Therefore, Mayo. Check out them if you haven’t, especially:

Also, check out this website. It lists TBI resources within a 100 miles of Rochester. 2 are Mayo-related so they’re close. The rest are probably too far.

I hope you find this helpful and not overbearing (that’s not my intent).

I took a swan dive and landed on concrete to get my TBI. I didn't even realize how bad my mind was until a few years ago (about 10 years after the accident, when the seizures became noticeable). People just assumed I was a kid with a poor attention span who didn't react well to others. After very extensive research, I know now how complicated things really are. As much as I wish I could go back to being ignorant and thinking I'm just vapid, it's nice to know there is some kind of explanation for my memory, emotional, and other cognitive problems. And I'm both happy I'm not alone in this, and sad that others are suffering as well (likely worse than I am).

Ex-husband, my daughter's dad has a TBI from a fall (human cannonball) at a fairly high speed while riding his bike. He has some mobility on his right side (toes & hand) and nothing else. He appears to be able to comprehend simple yes/no questions. Still in ICU. 16-20 lesions on CT various sizes and locations. Some midline shift. Failed extubation yesterday: docs are trying again today. Trach and jpeg to follow. Patient is 59. If anyone has had similar experience; I would appreciate info (what to expect) in acute care setting; assessments, near-term and long term. Thanks
My brother is 46 and jas TBI from a car accident wjen he was 20. Iam javing so much problems. He is now in wheel chair, has been wearimg brace since the accident and is also wearing a helmet and uses a walker. He is very abusive and the things he says are very hurtful. He lives with caregiver and her family but, it is getting very difficult for them to help him. Can someone pls help
My brain takes a sec. To focus and realize what I'm looking at. ,it alsolost All memory after a hit on my head. Now it doesn't recognise sounds..takes a month n. To know what I'm hearing.
It's very difficult and quite painful to watch your adult child go through this. In fact, someone in the medical profession told her she was beautiful and they would have never guessed; as they were doing her lab draws. Then my daughter, without a filter responds, "What? You mean you have to be F'n' ugly to have a brain injury!" 😳 The worries are endless. I'm concerned about her safety, because she has no filter when something alarms her. Even close family judges her, like it's a behavior thing and they seem to have quickly forgot that these were not issues prior. She may say things that are appropriate for the situation, but certainly not appropriate for the audience. We all get frustrated and rightfully so, but you control your responses. Many TBI victims do not have that ability. Our relationship roles have changed so much. I went from having an independent daughter who took action, to a child needing constant oversite and external regulation. I'm her memory, her monitor, her reminder, as well as taxi, counselor, judgment, comforter, and so much more. She should be finishing her second year of college and poised to launch into the adult world, just like her 3 older siblings did. For now, we are in delay mode. She has little emotion other than the fear response and I find myself crying for her. Then, there is the battle of insurance; which is a story within itself. With all that said, it's the blessing that she survived and is doing as well as she is in the middle of this very long horrible dream.
Hello my name is Alan I believe that a brain injury is cumulative.I was always doing things that I shouldn't have even at a young age. before the age of two I had broken my collarbone. I used to get stitches every single year. in 1992 I had a traumatic injury to my brainI was disabled for four years and was told that I would never return to work. I was told that I would have to have all the vertebrae in my neck fused and partially my back to fused.I was told that I would have been to wind up in a wheelchair. that inspired me to go back to school get my degree in electronics and eventually find a job as a field service engineer. I worked for 20 years and had no problems. in 2010 I was working installing intelligent GPS systems in fleet vehicles and fell out of the door of a semi truck. I fell back hit my head and my back on the open door hard enough to break a rib and cause a traumatic brain injury. dangerous and very mild and the fall was only 5 feet. It took me years to understand how I can be so greatly injured after such a small fall. seems to have a photographic memory now no longer possess I used to be an expert at math and be faster than an individual on a calculator at making simple calculations. for several years I took large doses of d antispasmodic and antispasmodic medications these medications gave me a foggy mentality. the hydrocodon softened my bones and my teeth are now falling out. I had over 75 diagnose conditions all the forts we're related to one small injury. it doesn't matter how large or small the brain injury is a person can suffer a large degree post-traumatic concussive injuriesI suffer from reduced cognitive abilities, reduced inability to concentrate, aphasia, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndrome, a greatly reduced speed in cognition, reduced IQ, greatly reduced libido, clinical depression, and a fear of impending doom to name a few symptoms. Even though I suffer from these symptoms and more, I do believe they can be overcome. I was able to overcome my injuries in 1992. I believe that I can do this again, and I believe that all of you may as well. the medical society seems to be ill equipped to deal with post concussive syndrome, but our minds can overcome all. I no longer listen to what the doctor say I can't do and focus on what I can do. even though those around this can cheer us on it is up to us to decide how far we may go. I have used a cane for the last six years my doctor that's tried on many occasions to prescribe me a walker. my plan to walk without a cane and to ride a bike in the future I don't know how long it will take but I will and even though no one will hire me I will return to work even if I have to start my own business. no one can tell me what I can or can't do it's up to me as it is up to you. Godspeed and good health

Wow, What an attitude....great stuff... you sure are an inspiration and someone to learn from. God speed.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You have helped me to identify some of the issues I have been feeling but unable to sort out.

I wish you well. J

I have been reading through all of the comments and yours has really inspired me. I am a licensed electrician and a class A CDL driver. I received my head injury when a case of liquids fell out of the back of my truck hitting me on the head. It has really changed my life to where I just gave up. I did not think things were going to get better but I have a little hope now. Like you I really don't believe anyone will hire me even if I get better but I need to concentrate on getting better then start that battle. I also walk with a cane now and my PT wants me to have a walker. It really sucks that I educated myself and climbed the chain to get where I was just to get knocked back down to learn it all over again but I am willing to tackle it now so I can get back on my feet to continue on with life. Thank You.

Thanks for sharing all that! I just wanted to recommend a resource for you. It’s the Department of Rehab in your state! They can really help you get back to work after a TBI. Good luck!

I have a tbi from getting hit by a semi and i have severe cognitive disorders and i have done therapy for 21yrs and used positive people to help me process. I don't talk really good but i have a story

You all can write. I am just getting to know someone who cannot read or write . He remembers things almost photographically. He has a very limited vocab. People assume he is on drugs. He is highly intelligent but unable to express properly. He had a traumatic brain injury in a lacrosse game, was resuscitated 3 times, and woke from a coma 2 months later, at 13, and even now at 40 cannot formulate sentences, etc. He has a very high IQ, but is unable to use it.

I had a jerk response to your description of your new friend, he can, I believe -use his hi IQ, or you wouldn't be aware of it.. ugh, I don't know how to explain but you are a good student, he is teaching you many great lessons about life. keep sharing, be his voice ...

My son has most of the same symptoms from a motorcycle accident. I can say for certain that your girlfriend needs a reality check and needs to thank the Lord that you are here and can have any relationship with your son. Your brain has had massive injuries that are probably still healing and you need love and support. If you would like to speak with me or my son for support, you can email me your contact info. Tdrawdy

2013, landed on left side of helmet after hitting side of car turning left in front of me. I was thrown from the motorcycle, doing 30, went maybe 12 feet up in air, landed in street. Had a daydream about floating down a silver river, all happy, beautiful...then a voice said if I kept going, I wouldn't be able to come back. Opened my eyes, and the girl that wrecked me was looking down at me. I didn't try to get up, wasn't sure how bad I was hurt. Called my girlfriend on cell phone and told her I was in wreck. She showed up about the same time as ambulance, wasn't far from home. I thought I was fine, but I couldn't understand why the girl turned left in front of me like that...kept asking why she did that over and over, many times. Got a CT scan and X-rays a the ER. Doctor said I was fine, and told me to take the day off of work. I was working as an RN in an ICU, had been an RN for 20 years. Went home, and don't really remember much for a week..maybe more? Girlfriend said I seemed ok at first, slept for almost 3 days, only getting up to use bathroom. It is mostly just darkness to me, that time, There are bits and pieces, but I rely on my girlfriend to tell me how I was acting. She knew something was wrong with me when I started hallucinating, hearing and seeing things that weren't there, saying strange things...she was afraid to call an ambulance because she thought I would fight them and get hurt worse. Finally, after a few days, she talked me into going to see my doctor. I was sent to a neurologist, optometrist, (left pupil anisocorea), neuropsychologist, endocrinologist, occupational therapy, speech therapy, foot doctor, (had multiple fractures of left foot), knee doctor, shoulder doctor, (torn meniscus, rotator cuff injury), ophthalmology ended up doing surgery on my right eye for a displaced intraocular lense. Anyway, I had to have a lot of stuff done, and I still have frequent migraines, cognitive problems, and visual working memory deficit, (don't remember what I see). I was never allowed to go back to work, and lost my job, had to go on food stamps, long term disability insurance, ( a nightmare), finally was a approved for 100% SSDI, because my doctors didn't think I could work at ANY job that required working regular hours. So, now it is three and a half years later, and my court case with the pizza delivery driver is still pending. I nearly lost my home, I can't stand florescent lighting or looking at computer screens for very long. My balance is lousy, and I have to wear prism glasses because of a midline shift in my brain. I have to take multiple medications, and testosterone replacement, because my pituitary gland was damaged. I have had three surgeries, one on my eye, one on my knee, and one on my shoulder. People say I seem fine, but then after they spend some time with me, they start to notice that I am off a bit...can't remember directions, can't understand things, can't multitask, slow reactions. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, and cry when no one is around, because my life is so far away from what I wanted it to be, and I feel helpless. I try not to be sad though, because there are a lot of people in the world that are far worse off than I am, and I have people around me that still love me, even though I am not quite who I was. I hope to sell my house and move to the country someday, perhaps learn to make furniture in a little shop, or try to learn blacksmithing. I like to make things, but I tire easily, and sometimes cannot function because of the pain in my head, and ringing in my ears. If I could do something at my own pace, maybe sell some things, if they turn out nice, that could keep me busy. My main goals are to never give up hope, keep trying, doing the best I can to improve myself, not dwell upon what might have been, play the cards I've been dealt, to love, and to be loved.