Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

Tessa Hart, PhD and Keith Cicerone, PhD, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injury and emotions

A brain injury can change the way people feel or express emotions. A person with TBI can have several types of emotional problems.

Difficulty controlling emotions or “mood swings”

Some people may experience emotions very quickly and intensely but with very little lasting effect. For example, they may get angry easily but get over it quickly. Or they may seem to be “on an emotional roller coaster” in which they are happy one moment, sad the next and then angry. This is called emotional lability.

What causes this problem?

  • Mood swings and emotional lability are often caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls emotions and behavior.
  • Often there is no specific event that triggers a sudden emotional response. This may be confusing for family members who may think they accidently did something that upset the injured person.
  • In some cases the brain injury can cause sudden episodes of crying or laughing. These emotional expressions or outbursts may not have any relationship to the way the persons feels (in other words, they may cry without feeling sad or laugh without feeling happy). In some cases the emotional expression may not match the situation (such as laughing at a sad story). Usually the person cannot control these expressions of emotion.

What can be done about it?

  • Fortunately, this situation often improves in the first few months after injury, and people often return to a more normal emotional balance and expression.
  • If you are having problems controlling your emotions, it is important to talk to a physician or psychologist to find out the cause and get help with treatment.
  • Counseling for the family can be reassuring and allow them to cope better on a daily basis.
  • Several medications may help improve or stabilize mood. You should consult a physician familiar with the emotional problems caused by brain injury.

What family members and others can do:

  • Remain calm if an emotional outburst occurs, and avoid reacting emotionally yourself.
  • Take the person to a quiet area to help him or her calm down and regain control.
  • Acknowledge feelings and give the person a chance to talk about feelings.
  • Provide feedback gently and supportively after the person gains control.
  • Gently redirect attention to a different topic or activity.


Anxiety is a feeling of fear or nervousness that is out of proportion to the situation. People with brain injury may feel anxious without exactly knowing why. Or they may worry and become anxious about making too many mistakes, or “failing” at a task, or if they feel they are being criticized. Many situations can be harder to handle after brain injury and cause anxiety, such as being in crowds, being rushed, or adjusting to sudden changes in plan.

Some people may have sudden onset of anxiety that can be overwhelming (“panic attacks”). Anxiety may be related to a very stressful situation — sometimes the situation that caused the injury — that gets “replayed” in the person’s mind over and over and interferes with sleep (“post traumatic stress disorder”). Since each form of anxiety calls for a different treatment, anxiety should always be diagnosed by a mental health professional or physician.

What causes anxiety after TBI?

  • Difficulty reasoning and concentrating can make it hard for the person with TBI to solve problems. This can make the person feel overwhelmed, especially if he or she is being asked to make decisions.
  • Anxiety often happens when there are too many demands on the injured person, such as returning to employment too soon after injury. Time pressure can also heighten anxiety.
  • Situations that require a lot of attention and information-processing can make people with TBI anxious. Examples of such situations might be crowded environments, heavy traffic or noisy children.

What can be done about anxiety?

  • Try to reduce the environmental demands and unnecessary stresses that may be causing anxiety.
  • Provide reassurance to help calm the person and allow them to reduce their feelings of anxiety when they occur.
  • Add structured activities into the daily routine, such as exercising, volunteering, church activities or self-help groups.
  • Anxiety can be helped by certain medications, by psychotherapy (counseling) from a mental health professional who is familiar with TBI, or a combination of medications and counseling.


Feeling sad is a normal response to the losses and changes a person faces after TBI. Feelings of sadness, frustration and loss are common after brain injury. These feelings often appear during the later stages of recovery, after the individual has become more aware of the long-term situation. If these feelings become overwhelming or interfere with recovery, the person may be suffering from depression.

Symptoms of depression include feeling sad or worthless, changes in sleep or appetite, difficulty concentrating, withdrawing from others, loss of interest or pleasure in life, lethargy (feeling tired and sluggish), or thoughts of death or suicide.

Because signs of depression are also symptoms of a brain injury itself, having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean the injured person is depressed. The problems are more likely to mean depression if they show up a few months after the injury rather than soon after it.

What causes depression?

  • Depression can arise as the person struggles to adjust to temporary or lasting disability and loss or to changes in one’s roles in the family and society caused by the brain injury.
  • Depression may also occur if the injury has affected areas of the brain that control emotions. Both biochemical and physical changes in the brain can cause depression.

What can be done about depression?

  • Anti-depressant medications, psychotherapy (counseling) from a mental health professional who is familiar with TBI, or a combination of the two, can help most people who have depression.
  • Aerobic exercise and structured activities during each day can sometimes help reduce depression.
  • Depression is not a sign of weakness, and it is not anyone’s fault. Depression is an illness. A person cannot get over depression by simply wishing it away, using more willpower or “toughening up.”
  • It is best to get treatment early to prevent needless suffering. Don’t wait.

Temper outbursts and irritability

Family members of individuals with TBI often describe the injured person as having a “short fuse,” “flying off the handle” easily, being irritable or having a quick temper. Studies show that up to 71% of people with TBI are frequently irritable. The injured person may yell, use bad language, throw objects, slam fists into things, slam doors, or threaten or hurt family members or others.

What causes this problem?

Temper outbursts after TBI are likely caused by several factors, including:

  • Injury to the parts of the brain that control emotional expression.
  • Frustration and dissatisfaction with the changes in life brought on by the injury, such as loss of one’s job and independence.
  • Feeling isolated, depressed or misunderstood.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, expressing oneself or following conversations, all of which can lead to frustration.
  • Tiring easily.
  • Pain.

What can be done about temper problems?

  • Reducing stress and decreasing irritating situations can remove some of the triggers for temper outbursts and irritability.
  • People with brain injury can learn some basic anger management skills such as self-calming strategies, relaxation and better communication methods. A psychologist or other mental health professional familiar with TBI can help.
  • Certain medications can be prescribed to help control temper outbursts.

Family members can help by changing the way they react to the temper outbursts:

  • Understand that being irritable and getting angry easily is due to the brain injury. Try not to take it personally.
  • Do not try to argue with the injured person during an outburst. Instead, let him or her cool down for a few minutes first.
  • Do not try to calm the person down by giving into his or her demands.
  • Set some rules for communication. Let the injured person know that it is not acceptable to yell at, threaten or hurt others. Refuse to talk to the injured person when he or she is yelling or throwing a temper tantrum.
  • After the outburst is over, talk about what might have led to the outburst. Encourage the injured person to discuss the problem in a calm way. Suggest other outlets, such as leaving the room and taking a walk (after letting others know when he/she will return) when the person feels anger coming on.

Questions to ask your physician or treatment provider to better understand your problem

If you or your family members are experiencing anxiety, feelings of sadness or depression, irritability or mood swings, consider asking your doctor:

  • Would psychological counseling be helpful?
  • Would an evaluation by a psychiatrist be helpful?
  • Are there medications that can help?

More about medications

If you or your family member tries a medication for one of these problems, it is very important to work closely with the physician or other health care provider who prescribes them. Always make a follow-up appointment to let him or her know how the medication is working, and report any unusual reactions between appointments. Remember that:

  • There can be a delay until the beneficial effects of medications are felt.
  • Doses might need to be adjusted by your doctor for maximum benefit.
  • You may need to try one or more different medications to find the one that works best for you.
  • Except in an emergency, you should not stop taking a prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.

Peer and other support

Remember, too, that not all help comes from professionals! You may benefit from:

  • A brain injury support group — some are specialized for the person with TBI, others are for family members, and others are open to everyone affected by brain injury.
  • Peer mentoring, in which a person who has coped with brain injury for a long time gives support and suggestions to someone who is struggling with similar problems.
  • Check with your local Brain Injury Association chapter to find out more about these resources. Go to www.biausa.org to find brain injury resources near you.
  • Talk to a friend, family member, member of the clergy or someone else who is a good listener.

Recommended reading

Posted on BrainLine November 28, 2017. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

Our health information content is based on research evidence and/or professional consensus and has been reviewed and approved by an editorial team of experts from the TBI Model Systems.

Emotional Problems after TBI was developed by Tessa Hart, PhD and Keith Cicerone, PhD, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. Portions of this document were adapted from materials developed by the UAB TBI Model System, the Mayo Clinic TBI Model System, the New York TBI Model System, the Carolinas Rehabilitation and Research System, and from Picking up the Pieces after TBI: A Guide for Family Members, by Angelle M. Sander, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine (2002).

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

Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury. (2010).

Comments (114)

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.

Is there any help? Is there any phone that this human beings cal call? It’s important to have someone that can listen when you need it


The Brain Injury Association of America (https://www.biausa.org/) can help you learn more about the resources available to you. You can reach them toll-free at 1-800-444-6443.

Best, BrainLine

I felt so wortless, misunderstood and very sundial today. After reading this article it made me realise I'm nt alone and it was finally something made sense why I am this way now After my head trauma injury cause by car accident... I was never the same like so many of. You. I nw have anxiety, Chronic PTSd, Social Aniety Disorder, Hyper Vigilant and have many deficiencies with intellect, memory, reasoning and others which is permanent... it gets so exhausting trying to explain myself when I just don't get what or why...worst of all Im not or never really heard, I am left out, as no one gets me. I was looking up today the easiest way today on google and I found this... I only wish there was actual helping for all of us who yearn to be able to talk to someone who cares, would listen without judgement, or annoyance or rudeness...ias the helplines don't take into account our brains working and affecting us differently... IS THERE AN ACTUAL BRAIN INJUIRY HELPLINE THAT CONSIDERS things discuss as I feel this important. For myself...

Can't get to sleep at night since the operation just can't get off why

I was in an accident about 4 year ago. I was sent to the I.C.U for head injury and was in the hospital for about 3 week. i have no recollection of what happened to me. For some reason I lost all my feelings and emotions. i no longer feel sad or happy or scared. I can no longer love someone or have empathy for someone who lost a loved one. I'm cold and can no longer recognize what a person is feeling. Some may say I lost my humanity that day. doctors still don't know what is wrong.

I had brain surgery a month and two weeks ago and it's been about two weeks that I have been getting where my head fogs up and then I get angry thought s about hurting other people around me and crying a lot and really bad anxiety I am feeling real helpless I had. A brain tumor removed on my brain stem I don't what to do or how long this will last

I suffered a mTBI twelve years ago.
I didn’t realise until I had pushed away everything and everyone in my life, including the woman I love and was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, how much I had hit self destruct.
I refused professional help until afterwards and was told that a fear of failure and an expectation that everything around me will leave me eventually anyway caused me to commit sub conscious suicide.
I have no doubt now that I have my emotions in check and I see clearer than ever since I ruined my life 7 months ago. But I fear it may be too late to repair the damage I have caused to the beautiful girl that stood by me for so long.
It is common that such life altering events such as a break up will set you on the right path after a bout of depression and/or anxiety following a TBI, but it is often too late.
Don’t think you’re on your own guys and don’t leave it too late to accept help as I did.

Good luck everyone

My boyfriend got in a car wreck and he has spinal cord syndrome and ever since he got in the hospital he's been screaming at me and yelling at me he's pushing me away he moved in with his sister when he was living here I'm losing my my baby right I don't know what to do because his sister's keeping him from me I don't understand any of it chilly riddle this I can't get to him until I get to talk to him in person I love him and I don't know what to do

I feel for you. The very same happened to me following a head injury from a car accident. This was many years ago now and like yourself, I did not realise the significance of TBI and pushed away many people, I to had that feeling of failure and an expectation that everything around me would leave me eventually anyway. I lost my then girlfriend who I love dearly. It took more than 6 months before I started to improve and around 12 to 16 months before I really felt like I was myself again, of course it was difficult to determine to what extent with heartbreak in parallel. I still feel a sense of sadness about that time.

I am 28 years old about to be 29 March 6. I've had three TBI from 3 car accidents that happened when I was 20, 22, & 23... I was married at the time of my first car accident an was goin to have a baby with her that got aborted... my ex didn't want to support me and help me through this. All the things I deal with now from the accident is the short-term memory, trying to remember names, directions and Exedra. I've been using a lot of hard drugs & drinking lately to self-medicate, feeling suicidal. Im basically stuck at this point I'm trying to find a solution before too late. 2/21/20

Dear Kevin,

I'm so sorry that you're going through this and that you don't feel understood.. You may think no one has ever experienced what you’re going through and that no one can help you. I'm here to say that you can get through this.

Have you expressed what you’re struggling with to your family or to a friend? If you’re not comfortable talking with them or feel they're unable to understand, please consider reaching out to one of these confidential resources:

National Suicide Crisis Line (24/7)

When you call you will hear a message that you’ve reached the crisis line, there will be brief hold music while you’re connected. Then a skilled, trained crisis worker who works at the Lifeline network crisis center will answer the phone. This person will listen to you, understand how your problem is affecting you, provide support, and share any resources that may be helpful.

Crisis Text Line (NAMI)

Text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to talk via text message.

When you text HOME to 741-741 the first two responses are automated. They tell you that you're being connected with a Crisis Counselor, and invite you to share a bit more. It usually takes less than five minutes to connect you with a Crisis Counselor. When you’ve reached a Crisis Counselor, they’ll introduce themselves, reflect on what you’ve said, and invite you to share at your own pace. You’ll then text back and forth with the Crisis Counselor. You never have to share anything you don’t want to.

“Talk to a friend, family member, member of the clergy or someone else who is a good listener.“
DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE EXCEPT A PROFESSIONAL!!! If you talk to a friend be prepared to lose that friend. Once people know what’s wrong with you they either fade away or you just never hear from them. This bulls**t is written by people who have not experienced it. And you keep thinking that someone will understand but no one does. By the time you realize there is no one that will understand you have lost everyone and everything.

Everything you wrote is Truth, pFamily and Friendships will wither away! No one understands, not even me...

One exception to avoiding non-professionals: Talk to other survivors. Many have information (e.g. clinics, doctors, exercises, experiences) that may help. I'm in several self-help groups and they are a boon for multiple reasons.

The biggest problem with doctors is how many are lazy, they want a "one size fits all" solution for brain injuries. Two people could be hit in the exact same place with the exact same force and have different symptoms or problems. And when doctors see this, many shrug and walk away or assume the injured person is faking it.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who goes through emotional roller coasters due to TBI... I've recently lost my significant other because of my "impulsiveness, negative attitude and anger outbursts". I haven't had a concussion per say but I've had three surgeries in an attempt to cure my epilepsy if anyone can relate. The first was when I was 5 to remove a tumor in my right temporal lobe/amygdala. Then again when I was 22 to remove scar tissue and an apparent seizure focus in my frontal lobe. My last surgery was a year later at 23 because the previous surgery was unsuccessful. They tried going into my insular cortex this time. The surgeries drastically reduced my seizures to about two per year but the effect on my emotional state will be ever lasting. Nice to know that the amygdala, temporal lobe, frontal lobe, and insular cortex all take part in controlling emotions! I have anger out bursts and throw things at times. I am severely depressed and have trouble meeting people. I'm afraid to go back to work because I'm so nervous. My resume has big gaps in employment with only silly jobs like food service on it and I have a measly associates degree in general studies. A neuropsychologist diagnosed me with "mild neurocognitive impairment" a few weeks ago and noted that I am "at risk of further decline". I am only 25 and I'm already on social security disability. I am terrified of what my life will be like 20-30 years from now. Sometimes I feel like I was just convinced and used as a guinea pig by my surgeons in LA and Denver. Now I have to deal with the consequences so just f**k me I guess!

Sorry to hear that for you at such a young age. Mine did not happen until my mid forties and it has been an adjustment to say the least.

I hope you find healing, peace and overall happiness. Those of us with brain injury get you. You can and WILL do this day by day, moment by moment.

Anonymous....Im new to this, I suffered several TBI's from a car wreck at the end of June 2019...what actually could be called a fender bender although my car was totaled so maybe not. But I was sitting at a red light listening to music when a young girl slammed into the back of me, no breaking or slowing down...pretty sure she was on her phone but I guess Ill never know the truth. Anyway if I lost consciousness it was briefly but the impact left me very dazed and confused...my car was shot forward about 25 feet through the intersection I was sitting at...Im lucky it was clear of crossing traffic. But a brain injury is a brain injury...having your brain operated on is a very big deal so don't discount what youre going through..we all suffer from this...doesn't matter how we got to this point. I know exactly what you're going through..all these testimonies are the same and what Ive come to realize is it really doesnt matter how sever your TBI was..these awful symptoms affect us all. Im 55, I have a BS degree in Information Systems Security, I'm a husband and father of two girls and Im the sole bread winner in the family as my wife has a disability that keeps her from earning an income. Ive lost one job bc of these symptoms that I wish i would have been told about when It was found I had 4 brain injuries from the accident. I had no idea what was wrong with me...the fatigue, the extreme agitation causing me to go full MMA on whom ever just happens to be in my sites at the time..or Im so down and depressed I sob..for no reason. And the debilitating headaches from waking up to going to bed don't help. My wife claims she doesn't know me anymore..weve been together since 1984...and this has seriously challenged our relationship!! I almost hit her once and caught myself at the very last second, my wife is afraid of me now, she said she never saw such rage in my eyes as I had that night...Ive never once even remotely came close to raising a hand to her...and that in itself has driven my depression to dangerous levels..even my kids walk on egg shells...its no way to be and its the complete opposite of who Ive been my entire life. Now that we know whats going on, we work on it..its hard but we do. Im sorry youre so young and going through this...just try to remember its not who you are and you can change things with concentration and work with a professional. I dont know what my future holds, I can't stand the thought that I may (probably will) have to re-make "ME". That I may never be able to hold a job bc of my poor concentration, my short term memory and my inability to cope being around others for very long without becoming an butthole...only time will tell but all I (and you) can do is work on ourselves, the rest is out of our hands and thinking about it only makes it worse. God bless and I will keep you in my prayers.

I had a severe brain injury 32 years ago. I have accepted it but I still hate it and what it has done to my life. Most days I wish I had died.

I sustained a brain injury 30 years ago in a motor vehicle accident. “I” died that day, yet I am still here...it took my spirit and my very being . I miss who I was, and I loathe what I am.

:( my son had severe brain injury due to hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. He was 10 and had to have a shunt placed. He had very hard mood swings but it wasn't just that he changed. He lacks emotion at times. I cried after 6 months of non stop yelling when he came up to me and gave me a hug. It was the first sign of hope. It's been a year and he's not a violent or verbal but like your comment he's not the same. God bless.

Why don't you say anything about the role stress plays in triggering the limbic systems fight ,flight or freeze response and the "Amygdala Hijack?" The amygdala is the culprit to most of what you mention here. It's no wonder there are so many veterans taking their lives because all this article does is increase the burden of brain injury and does little to educate people about the consequences of brain injuries.

I agree with you Ken Collins. I've dealt with my son's TBI for 15 years. People just do not get it, and it is extremely frustrating! Caregiver's say "oh of course I know TBI, or oh sure, i've worked with TBI" well, evidently they were not "educated" as you say properly. It is very sad.

I am a recovering motorcycle accident I had a head injury and lost memory for about 3 months. I am now back to work with full memory. The issue I am having is my husband he actually had a moderate to severe head injury along with leg injury needing rods, plates and screws.
His TBI is the issue he has emotion liabilty, executive function deficit, memory and emotional outbursts. Today he told me he was going to kill me and kill himself and burn the house with excessive verbal profane name calling slamming his fist on the table and came right up to me and tried to stare me down. This man is 6 2 and very strong but vulnerable with his leg injury. How do you deal with this I just left the house and walking away giving no response does not work. I need some guidance can anyone help

My mum has brain injury
And I find it hard sometimes to be patient as most of the time I’m always shouted at she says the most hurtful negative things to me where I’ve realised it’s causing me to have mental exhaustion specially already working in a stressful environment it doesn’t always help coming home to such an environment everything she sees it being negative nothing is ever good enough

I have a 30-year-old son that has anoxic brain damage, June 5th, 2014 he suffered a massive heart attack with multi-organ failure, both lungs collapsed, and he was in a coma for nearly a month after someone shot him up with Heroin laced with fentanyl. It nearly killed me to see him this way, but I stood by his side this whole time which he has improved far beyond what doctors thought He is physically independent living next door to me, that is very helpful because for the last 3yrs all of his friends deserted him. He is taking mood stabilizer's and depression meds as well as Vyvanse for concentration. In the last year, he has gotten worse with the verbal abuse towards me (Mother). I've read all the articles you can imagine about people with TBI and how they feel, how to deal with it as a caregiver, and I have been so supportive and loving to him. He is my only Son that I love with all my heart, but it is starting to affect me a lot, what should or can I do?

Hang in there. I'm praying for you. Brain injuries are not easy. But just keep in mind, it isn't you, it's the injury. You sound like a beautiful person taking care of your son. Keep loving him, I know you do. Try and focus on the good things, I know sometimes that's hard. Find a support group.

I had a severe tbi when i was 13 y/o. And was comatose for 2 months. I am now 64 y/o and my employment record is spotty. I don't have any short-term recall, so when things happen i will have no memory of it later, when you have to write Progress Notes. I keep a short list of the clients eating, medication adm., or E.R. visits. But i am unable to recall any direct conversations that occurred, between the clients or with me. I am not sure how to maneuver my way around this. Do you have any suggesstions?

Good morning,

I have had numerous Brain operations and tomorrow I am having Cervical Spinal Surgery. A little nervous.

Thank you for your special articles. They feel like that they are just for me... maybe an easier to make a copy for my close friends and family. Thank you

Take care


I was struck by a vehicle, and nearly killed, when I was 2 years old. At a young age, I was outgoing and extroverted. As a freshman I became crippled by social anxiety and have lived so ever since. I am now 36 years old with a family of my own still searching for answers. I am exhausted of telling doctors my story and just feeling sedated as they shift me from medication to medication. Looking for other direction to turn! Any help? Please!

If you could contact your Local Vocational Rehabilitation Office. In your area. They work with survivors of TBI and could find a job for you that is much more friendly and aware of your special needs due to your injury. And would be accomodating to your needs. I go to a Psychologist that works with survivors of TBI, and she is very knowledgable on my job problems.
Good Luck, Debbie Hunt

I was a victim of crime, shot in the head when I was 15 on November 16th 2009. When I came out my coma I spent 1 month in rigorous therapy then continued my treatment as an outpatient. It’s now been 8 years and only NOW are the effects of my accident kicking in. I feel like my life is falling apart and often have this feeling of being “out of place” or that I am losing myself. The feelings are getting worse and I have been getting treatment/medications but I feel like it’s not helping. I don’t know where to go now, I feel that I am losing hope... and I can’t find anyone that has dealt with this. I am just looking for advice on how to cope.

I understand completely. I was in a car accident 2 years ago and recently I've become a complete stranger. I fly off the handle for no reason, I say things I don't mean, act impulsively and verbally lash out at anyone who is within ear shot. My mouth spouts off very hateful things. Especially to the one person who has loved me in spite of the hot mess I've become. I am so grateful to find out that there is a reason this is happening.

went thru same with my son from drunk driver. We used Superfoods Chlorella and spirulina to give brain mega nutrition so it fix itself. Hes 32 and undergoing surgery for tumor on amygdala this year and it has given quality of life. he is only subject at UCLA who is not in wheelchair or on IV o r oxygen. Plus his tumor is not growing. best of all his energy and focus are good enough for him to remain independent and work pt. look it up on YouTube

That's terrible. I'm 14 yrs. after a near fatal brain injury and your words resonated with me completely. Although certain "circuits" still don't appear to operate, the constant feeling of dread and anxiety just "went away" about a year or so ago. To tell you the truth I had to simplify my life somewhat to stop the series of mental and nervous breakdowns I was becoming so good at "sailing through" although as you know, it's just horrible. I can analyze things much better now but emotionally I can't relate to anyone from the time period of my injury. Which I am being punished for by some very non-understanding people. So, same s***, different day is what I suppose I'm saying. It DOES get better.

I was working a spring-summer contract as an educational gardener, teaching schoolchildren how to plant seeds and create organic vegetable gardens in their schoolyards. This summer, my boss had the brilliant idea of not only offering this service to kindergartens and schools but also an autistic center. I was not comfortable with this since I had no training in dealing with mentally challenged adults.
I did plant the seeds with a group composed of mostly Down Syndrome adults because they were more functional unlike the other patients (they call them clients) that were autistic. I had to return almost every week to check on the seedlings, and make sure they were watered. I must admit I never felt comfortable in this environment nor did I feel safe.
On a beautiful afternoon in June I went to the Autistic Center, I followed the procedure, open the main door and stay there until the person in charge would fetch me and open the door to the plant area (a room that could also be accessed by the outside without having to go through the center where all the clients (autistic people) where hanging out. The moment I opened the main door I felt something was wrong, its hard to tell what it was among the moaning, screaming, whatever other noises but there was violence in the air.
It happened as the person in charge and I were opening the door to the plant area. Not only did he assault me, his mother was there to pick him up, after he assaulted me he turned to his mother and violently attacked her in front of me grabbing her by the hair and hitting her...the story goes on.
I was told by the person in charge that I had TRIGGERED him because I happened to walk in !!!! Really stupid thing to say to someone that has just been assaulted. I guess the person in charge was trying to put the blame on me when it was her decision to let me in knowing this autistic person was already having a meltdown before I walked in hence my feeling of violence in the air was real. I could have gone through the outside door and not have to deal with going through the center. I continued my duties, watering the plants, although I was very dizzy and my eye was in bad shape, guess the adrenaline was on, I could not continue because I was shaking (this lasted 8 hours). After the assault, the person in charge wanted me to come back through the center, at that point I was traumatized and refused to go back in as she tried to tell me it was OK (OK? the person in charge obviously lacked proper judgement and the autistic center does not have any security measures, no male presence to subdue with strength out of control clients, and probably no cameras...).
I have been trying to deal with this new situation in my life, its extremely difficult and sad and getting quite frustrating. This is a difficult case since I am in the grey zone, I am a victim of criminal physical assault yet because he is autistic it rules out pressing charges or getting help as a victim of assault. I can only press charges on the Center for lack of protection, security measures and judgement. Up to now, the personal injury lawyers I have called to inquire about what to do seem quite interested until they ask my age (around 50) then they just say I dont have enough proof (?!) and they cant take this case!!!
I am in Canada, more specifically in Quebec (Montreal) can anyone recommend a personal injury lawyer or anyone with knowledge of the legal system it seems like I am being tossed into the cracks of the system and being left to rot...autistic people seem to have more rights than myself..this incident has left me completely at loss of everything regarding a normal functioning life..all the important spheres of life have been severely affected : family, work, physical and mental...not looking forward to winter since I have become dependent on others to drive me to my appointments and anything concerning chores (my eyesight is totally messed up)...I am now dealing with the brain trauma and that is sad enough.

I would contact an agency through your government, because it sounds line toy ate being discriminated against! You have rights just like everyone else, regardless of whether a person is Autistic or not, you were still assaulted & assualt is assault! I am from the USA and all people are held responsible for their actions, so I'd check with the local public legal system (District Attorneys Office in the U.S.) or Human Service Agency that deals with people that have been assaulted and/or discriminated against due to the assault, i.e., no one will help you do to whom asked you... I wish you the best. Take Care of yourself...
**Namaste, I've Been There

I am so sorry to hear what happened to you, But I would hold the center as well as the guardian of this person that attacked you accountable for his actions, I am worried that this will eventually happen in my situation, going from verbal to physical abuse by my son. I really hope you recover 100% and again I am so sorry to hear what happened, hang in there and do what you can to have justice served

Hello to all!
My mom suffered 2 brain aneurysms, she's 2 years post, and really having problems with depression and anxiety. I'm her oldest (29), a brother who is (17) and a sister (7) who is Autistic. She's loosing her home, her husband died and it makes me really sad. She was a nurse, so all of this is really hard for her, as well as us. She'll never be the same although she can somewhat function properly. This has taken a toll on my life as well. I wish you all nothing but the best wishes! TBI's are hard.

Yes it's very hard. I just turned 38 yrs old, had 2jobs, life, car, apartment and bf. 1/2017 was my Anuerysms (2.5). I had brain surgery and tons rehab thkgoodness. My doctor say if I wasn't young the brain surgery would be a success. I lost all I had except God never left my side or me. I'm thkful to be able to talk, walk and be here. I see life differently now.

After the surgery was there a point where you felt a combination of listlessness and complete indifference to all of your past experience and values?

After years of dizziness and migraines as a child the doctors excused these symptoms as growing pains... in 2004, at the age of 40 I was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma. I responded by doing everything the medical field was telling me to do for this Brain Tumor. I had radio surgery and was watched for a few years. After the surgery, I was told by my doctor "You won't even know you had the surgery". So when my symptoms grew even worse, I went in for a scheduled check-up. When the doctor asked how things were going? I told him, and this was his response! "I can do another operation". My response to that was "No Thank you". The professional doctor slammed my file on his desk, would no longer look at me and said " There is nothing more I can do for you". Let's just say my life has never been the same, I don't know what is in store for me...Hopefully I will be able to take care of myself one way or another when I don't even know who I am...

My experience has been the field seems even more resistant when it comes to diagnosing TBI in miniorities.  I know I'm not crazy, I'm injured and I'm close to losing everything.

12 times with a concussion, at least the ones that put me out. I never felt any irritability until the last one. Now I'm a monster, I barely make it through my days, and if someone slams the door, or complains about their life, or tries to dump their stress on me, I just break down and start screaming and cussing and punching. I know I am ruining my family, my children are scared to death of me, my wife is an angel but I fear her grace won't last. I think about suicide every day, but can't go through with it too afraid I would mess up my children. I don't have any friends anymore I can't stand my family and haven't spoken with any of them for years. I've worked really hard to try to get better spent lots of money and time on therapies and different diet and supplements. I barely function at work I just go to work and back to the house and when I'm home I lock myself in my room, it's been two years. I have to stay distracted hundred percent of the time, if I'm not distracted my thoughts will race and I will think about everyone and what they're thinking about me and how they weren't there for me or how they wrong to me and Boom, rage. I went from being physically active and a very good athlete, to a guy that can't do 10 push-ups, not because my body won't do it but because my head freaks out I get this crazy popping in my head and my ears and my eyes, and then I go into to rage then it's fatigue. Not just a regular fatigue, but if a T where I don't have the energy to connect for a conversation with anybody. I already only connect with my wife and my two younger children, I can't stand my older kids and they are angels. This is not life, it's just hell!

Hang in there and if you have the ability, find some respect living by the golden rule and cease being a jerk to those around you. I don’t care how hard it is for you to be nice, you are responsible for yourself.

you must not have a brain injury or a serious one or live with one. this isn’t the support ANYONE, with a brain injury wants to hear. acknowledging it. learning more about it. knowing it’s absolute hell for us to try and “make it through the day sometimes without exploding”. you can blame us for being irresponsible. sure. that’s because we have a brain injuries. we don’t think YOUR way. stop shaming and start emphasizing.

Ok. First you are not alone-others are and have been thru this! That does not mean it is not hell right now in your life!!! :-( But I can tell you beyond a doubt major positive changes can happen--and i am only one testament. It means there is Great Hope, with time and good help.

I offer the below as a fellow TBI'er, graduate of a Intensive Cognitive Rehab Program (fyi was rejected at firect because I was in too bad a mental state), and for over two years working at a Brain Injury Model System Magnet rehab hospital with outstanding outpatient programs and and with a passion for brain science and Emotional Regulation & Support groups.

Having what I call the "Cumulative Effect" (Personally having 18+ know LOC/unconsciousness with two more serious 'TBI's" that sent me into a totally different league in terms of cognitive & in particular "Emotional Dis-Regulation". Emotional Issues are the 2nd Half of the TBI Equation--albeit less know and understood in my humble option.

So What you are going thru is fairly normal after TBI, but VERY serious and dr's must be aware even if not a ideal choice. I had ptsd via 9/11 & 2 TBI's. Twice I had to admit self admit myself to a hospital/psychiatric facility to protect myself and my daughter when being overly aggressive in general public or 'overreacting' at home. I will not lie I hated it and left as soon as possible but it still gave me a respite of sorts and a calm environment to help collect my 'confused thoughts' and meds are often introduced.

Would love to share a bit of my learning that has worked for me. For starters Exercise Literally Kills Stress and Builds Brain Cells---Scientific Facts...and if ever get to a level of longer run 4+ for many a meditative state can be a dual benefit as meditation (a kind that resonates for you (progressive muscle, mindfulness, breath focused, gilded audio, or a walk in the woods, Finally I found a study at Mount Sinai for "Emotional Regulation" within the brain Injury population...ongoing, yet pilot year plus study was Very Positive/effective. I took park and it really helped.

Hang in there TIME IS YOUR FRIEND...just try and survive! and make sure you seek help before you lose it.

Two great quotes two exerience pych/BI Dr.'s said:
"You Are Stronger Then You Think" - i did not believe it but it helped ans was true
"You Are Going To Have A Non-Linear Recovery"- so absolutely true. Just make it through the lows ok. Just Survive If You Must--i've been there

Sending Positive Thoughts going you way. I Fully Promise you it can and will get better over time...but deal one minute at a time. Folks are often fearful to seek help, but the def of courageous is acting in spite of fear, not lack of fear.

Two Mantras that kept me alive...find you own.
NEVER GIVE UP, Never Never Give up, Never Never Never Give up!
Faith Not Fear

Hello, im close to 50, an suffered a TBI, loss of consciousness, in a car accident in 2010. I am a diff person, with many of the symptoms most speak of here. Worked my entire life in my career field, often 6-7 days, @ 10-16 hrs daily. I loved my line of work more than most ever get too. I wish now i hated my job before, so i wouldnt miss being able to do it now. I was considered 1 of the best in my field, & now i just hate,my life, cuz im mean, frustrated, sad, angry, & have euined nearly all my friendships. I wish i were more positive, and had a better outlook, but no matter how much i try, i cant find that frame of mind post head injury. I feel for all of you, because i understand. & the spouses may have it as hard or harder than the injured. If my wife was not so supportive, or i had been single before & today, .....Well, lets just say that i prolly wouldnt be typing this, or breathing at all. I hope you all have better luck than I, at keeping a good outlook on life, & trying to learn to manage your ptsd, anxiety, & anger issues with each passing day. I figure if its not gotten better much in 7 yrs, its prolly not. Done tons of doctors, meds, therapy, U name it. Church prolly helped the most, but my best friend was a really old farmer from church who died at 98, and although u think u should be happy he had a great life, im really angry cuz i miss him so much. I starting to cry, just thinking about him now. May God bless you all, & dont be like me, get up everyday and try your best. I know what the alternative is, & u dont wanna be there eveey day of your life, just waiting for the day the constant daily pains & headaches go away once & for all. I may not be able to take my own advice, but hope you all will continue to find hope in ea new day, unlike myself. Regards

I had frontal lobe surgery in '08 due to a car accident. I don't remember much but I was in the hospital for about 4 months altogether. I thought I was okay but now the longer I'm being faced with life's moments (such as having a family) it is really taking its toll on my family. i never knew why I would get anxiety and overwhelmed by such little stupid things but finding information out there is really helping me understand what I need to do to live a good life

I fell out of tree about 25 feet & landed on a piece of wood. I hit my head hard. My head is slightly misshapen, my back broke in many places (ribs, shoulder blades & spinal damage). It was bad. I remember coming to on the wood pile, ringing in my ears, and not being able to move my legs. I flipped myself over, sat my top half on my bottom half and crawled until I could pull myself up. This happened when I was 8. I'm now 34. I can walk, but my back hurts constantly. Along with my hips and my head. I have pressure in my head constantly. I feel like I have a permanent headache. I have a very short memory, I have to make notes everyday so I don't forget what I'm doing. I get moments where I'm just enraged at the stupidest things. My fingers if the tips are hit just right I hear ringing in my ears, get hot, feel like I'm going to pass out, become nauseous & then lose my vision for a few minutes. Its awful. I never thought a game of hide & seek would leave me like this. As I've gotten older my memory is getting worse & where I broke arthritis is setting in & hurts. Life goes on & you deal with the pain. Brain injuries are no joke.

I was pitching in a baseball game at the age of 13 and took a 120 mph line drive to the back of the head (occipital lobe). I was unconscious, throwing up on the mound, and rushed to the hospital. Spent a week in ICU with a brain contusion, fortunately, surgery wasn't needed. I'm 24 years old now and looking back at all these symptoms; I had them shortly after and still have them today. It's scary. I'm now more aware of what exactly happened and the effects of it, but I still have major episodes of anxiety throughout the day everyday. As much as I remind myself why I feel so much anxiety, the anxiety is still there. I get anxiety from having to or wanting to speak about things. It's unexplainable but it's there. I just keep plugging along the best I can.