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 (153)

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.

TBI or not. Our daughter was brain injured at birth. Fetal distress and delivered vaginally instead of C section. Anoxic, took several minutes for nurses to establish breathing. Six hours after birth she developed seizures and had to be taken by air to another hospital in another state. Spent two weeks in NICU. There are other 'reasons' for the injury but to long to explain. To this day she has very limited speech, cannot tell time, no concept of danger. She lives in a wonderful group home. She is 38. She has sudden outbursts, lashes out at her house mates, sometimes hits others or will throw things. Also has bouts of crying or laughing for no reason. She is on seizure meds and psychotherapy meds. Her brain damage is such that most of her left brain does not exist and her right brain has some damage. The state does not consider her brain damaged, saying the injury must have occurred 72 hours after birth. So, TBI or not?

My husband had a tractor(semi) transmission fall on his head. (He was a diesel mechanic) Knocked him out. Split the skin deep. Doctors didn’t even keep him over night for observation. No x-rays or anything. At home he vomited and couldn’t move without being sick for a couple of days. He has been kicked in the head by cows more than once. Now, years later and looking back he has suffered emotionally so much so that he struggles with relationships with all our children and me. I don’t know what to do anymore. He has no compassion, he has trouble sleeping, he doesn’t enjoy anything, he developed anxiety. He now just ranches, so he doesn’t work with anyone for the most part. He lost job after job after the injury and I never connected the dots. I get to where I can’t take anymore and want to leave. I didn’t think all these troubles were from TBI but maybe that is the case.

I can relate to your story tenfold....kids, marriage, all of it. Is there any help for these guys anymore at this point? I'm praying there is.

I think the main ideas in your article are very true. The advice to help however lacks some depth that I think can seriously impact those with brain injury. Altho there are psychologists and psychiatrists that specialize in neuro related issues, it seems like those without this speciality do not recognize how brain injury related anxieties, depression, etc., vary from these issues in someone without brain injury. I think you should be suggesting that brain injured people with these issues, go to see a neuro psychologist or a neuro psychiatrist.

July 2018 I worked for a tree service company I got hit with a log 8 ft long I was a good 70 ft from base of tree it separated my right shoulder screwed me up in 2020 I got hit where it cracked my hard hat from a limb bounced through a tree and stuck me hard enough to take me off my feet and chin strap was choking me I got a witness I have all symptoms of tbi I've lost my job cause of this anyone got any good advice to help me or good attorney number

i was injured iat work i fell 20 feet off a ladder was knocked out was told i broke my wrist when i explaineed my feelings to doctor he said it was chronic pain i lost everything and have no help but everything in this story is how i live day by day

I'm sorry to hear that Jesse. I hope things get better for you. I fully understand what your going through as I find it hard to get by when I'm expected to function as a normal person. I should be on a disability pension but it's very hard to claim in my case as they classify it as a 'soft injury'. I haven't got any family to support me either so I basically just survive based on my own gathered wisdom and managing my life according to how fatigued I get.

I hope we can find more people like ourselves so that we can listen and support each other.

I am a survivor as well as a medical professional...I've been in 2 MVAs, having experienced an mTBI in the first, being unconscious for 12 hours and being disoriented for about a day after...I was working on my PhD in neuropsychology, ironically I realize. Tried to go back to school almost immediately and that was less than successful. To make matters worse, I had several Tonic-Clonic Seizures that semester. All in all it took 10 years before I could return to school and I wasn't able to continue in my program for neuropsychology. The computations were performed by hand back then and I just wasn't quick enough and my short term memory was unreliable at best.
I also struggled with outbursts of anger and depression, I had been a 4.0 student all my life. I was having a very tough time adapting and repeated Seizures weren't helping either. The medication I had to take left me exhausted and the brain injury interfered with my basic reasoning. I was working at a local counseling center and I had trouble using a phone, it was bad. I had to take time off to focus on recovery. Like so many here, I lost friends not because they didn't care, per se...but because I couldn't do the emotional and intellectual work of maintaining a stable friendship. As I had studied neuropsychology, at least I understood what was happening and could do some small things to rehabilitate my brain. Crossword puzzles, math challenges that were timed, Checkers against the computer, and counseling. I finally sought professional assistance as well. Finally after 10 years, I decided to try nursing school.
It wasn't easy. I passed with a 3.0, not spectacular...but it was still just enough to pass (2.85 pass) I definitely wasn't the gifted/talented student I used to be in public school or the honors student I was at University...it was a very painful change. It would take a long time to accept who I was now.
After graduating, I became an Emergency/Trauma nurse and earned my first assist. (I was able to assist in the actual surgical procedure to a limited degree) I loved doing Emergency/Trauma nursing. Unfortunately, a second accident put end to that 15 years later. I lost part of my leg and sustained another concussion. I couldn't stand for hours in surgery anymore and I couldn't concentrate for long. I left very depressed. There was one thing that did save me...I had found my wife while I was working as an ED nurse. She stayed by me while I got myself back together and switched to psychiatric nursing, specializing in traumatic brain injury. I want to help as many as people as I can who have suffered traumatic brain injury as I have. I know many people have it much worse than I do. Regardless, I also can emphasize and I know what it is like, especially when I am tired. My memory is like a bucket without a bottom, I have trouble with word finding, I get confused sometimes if I am distracted by someone while in the middle of a task, I can be very labile sometimes, and I get frequent headaches. I also talk way too much :-D. Sorry about that. If there is a way that this old, brain injured nurse can help...that's within my ability, leave me a reply and I'll see if I am able...

Wow. I think it is remarkable how you have survived and adapted to your situation. I would be interested in tbi counseling for my 34 yr old Son. He has had 3 separate cerebral hemorrhages, and its also a gunshot survivor. I was reading this article seeking support. If still an option? I can be reached by my email: onalife101@gmail.com

Would you be willing to come to my TBI Survivor group and talk with us? It's every Friday from 11am to 1pm St. Jude Brain Injury Network. Please e-mail me if possible. Roclaundergroundmusicsound@gmail.com I too am a survivor of TBI and am going through a really hard time but trying to make the best out of it. Thank you very much for sharing your story. It was amazing. Take care. Israel

I was 9 years old on February 3, 1974, when my parents rushed me to the hospital, unresponsive. A spinal tap revealed the worst. I had severe acute measles-encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and had dropped into a deep coma. I had been at the same hospital two days prior with a 106.2F fever and was diagnosed with measles. Now, the high fever had allowed the virus to cross the blood/brain barrier. In the next four days, I would receive the last rites twice. It would be six-and-a-half weeks before I would awake. The neurological and physical damage was substantial. The most obvious was I couldn't walk, talk, or swallow. Fortunately, those came back rather quickly. I only spent three months in the hospital altogether. But the personality I had before I entered the hospital had disappeared completely. I had partial amnesia that never returned. I had lost emotional control. I had learning disabilities. I had mental illnesses that couldn't be diagnosed because the medical community had not yet defined them for people under the age of 18. I had emerged from the coma a stranger to myself. Worse, their knowledge of the brain was truly infantile at best. A lot of my problems mirrored those of people with TBI. Painfully slowly, I recovered in many areas. Others I haven't to this day many decades later.

As a child, having little understanding of the nature of what had occurred, and more frightening, having no guarantees of whether I might have a normal life as an adult where I could go to college, have a career, get married, have children, buy a house, and live a happy life, I can't count the number of times I considered committing suicide. As it stood, my existence was so unstable and unpredictable socially, it took three hours just to decompress after a day of school.

And then my father. embarrassed and disappointed by my behavior and accomplishments, began to abuse me. I lived in fear for the rest of my childhood. We fought bitterly, yelling at the top of our lungs, and I've got lungs. My drama teacher in high school taught me how to be heard in the last seat in the auditorium and that same teacher taught me to sing from my abdomen. I never filled out. I graduated high school a year early at 6' 113 lbs. My dad was 5' 8"235. I was scared to death of him. I was always one hit away from running away for good.

I ended up going to college, getting married, having a career, buying a house. We never had children. My wife became and chronically ill and high risk for pregnancy, and was driven from the workforce due to chronic pain just as we were ready to start a family. Even so, I never held a job for longer than five years, ad eventually had to stop working because of a suicide attempt due to PTSD from the child abuse all those years before. The doctors said working would kill me (authority figures causing flashbacks - not helpful...).

The happy news is my wife and I care deeply for each other and have been happily married for 36 years. We own a home in a pastoral countryside area and, despite our issues, we press on to the future together!

Moral of the story: Get vaccinated for the measles. Covid would be a grand idea as well.

Educated, WOW Seriously, and it personally seems as if there's plenty of U.S. nowadays assume that this wouldn't happen, yet We're on top of what's going on lately, yet this so-called quote on quote "Woke" Society crap shows me just how Stupid we've become and how some people appear to be able to get away with anything! Seriously, How easy it getting U.S. to follow after what ever it is that they're saying! Ever wonder Why it personally seems like every Major Metropolitan area, even Nationally who seem to be pushing U.S. Colored American Citizens for Generations (especially if We're Not Willing to just bend over and accept the massive amounts of False Allegations Gossip and Whispering that they're constantly putting out to completely send someone off or to act out of character, to do something, anything Wrong so that they're able to continue keeping saying that I told you so!) yet even with my having come out of a coma with No memory of anything, I'm not going to claim that I'm supposedly some "Lady", using this as any means of getting away with Murder, how is it that a person can come out of a coma, at first unable to even tell you what his own Name was and/or much of Anything else.. I'm mind-boggled at the fact that it's been over a decade now, that I've been saying the exact same thing around the Country through 20 State's and a District thus far begging for Empathy, Acknowledgement, a break or a bit of Help? Can Anyone Please explain to me how certain individuals have the power, the ability to get by and make sure that I'm unable to even Litigate or even gain Safe Suitable Housing during a Global Pandemic, even long before now, can't seem to come by Ethical Medical Attention since, nor gain the ability of blowing the whistle on a few things that I've noticed in all this time? I'm dead Serious when I say you honestly wouldn't believe the off the wall amounts of characters who've been either promoting or going way out of their way to make sure that you are the one who's supposedly out of it for thinking that it's the Right thing to do, thinking that you should go pointing out what they've been doing and trying to play it like it's supposedly cute or cool playing under the genocidal act, keeping U.S. Broke and Homeless and Hobbled, that way who's going to listen to whatever you might have to say, right?

What needs to be seen is the people who do the right thing finally be able to get away with what has been provided unjustly to those who lie, gossip, and hurt others to avoid taking responsibility, Too many people are accused of acting out of sorts and as being the problem for standing up in their own defense because no one else dares to go against the wrongful gossip that has ripped apart the life they have worked hard to build. If a person is out of sorts because no one listens, no one prosecutes, no one stands up for what's right, that alone is an injury inflicted unseparable to an individual at this point, and it's shameful. Criminalizing victims that the system failed to help failed to protect, and we somehow think that they are supposed to function normal it is revictimization at its worst and victims aren't the problem. I have no recollection of events after what I have pieced together as a severe anxiety attack after finding someone I did not let into my home there. This happened while dealing with an upcoming court date as a victim in a case that I had received numerous threats about and involved several incidents of physical, emotional, and physiological abuse. I now have a court case due to admitting I had been drinking at a friend's house. I was transported from my own home and have no recollection of anything, I fell asleep on my own couch woke up in a concrete room on the floor wearing a hospital gown. Having received multiple blows to the head during the abusive relationship in which the court case involved, I can tell you nothing has caused me more injury than this event that I still have no answers for. He is out of prison, and I am still dealing with a court case that relied on a statement of me admitting to something in a brief conversation with an n officer on the way from the hospital to the jail, I guess. It was like waking up in a horror movie, literally a concrete room with nothing to indicate where you even are. I finally, after the third time of going back to sleep thinking it had to be a dream, I called out not knowing if I would get a response to ask where I was. VICTIMS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM the system has created victims and problems this is a nightmare that has caused me to live in absolute fear. My home was robbed I fear the police the protective order failed on many occasions and the gossip and rumors have nearly destroyed my standing as a human.

I am so sorry for all of the injustices you have endured. Honestly and sincerely. I suffered a TBI in 2008 myself so I understand the emotional roller coaster that comes with it. I have always had a healthy sense of empathy for others but my injury enhanced it immensely. I cry for others more easily. I cried for you. Not everyone is a heartless a-ho!e. I promise. I'm sorry you have endured so many of them. Some folks have NO business being in authority positions, health care or mental health care. Some folks don't even deserve the title of human. The people in your life are monsters and you have every right to be angry, not just angry but pissed! I pray things get better for you and that you get the happy, healthy and SAFE life you deserve. You don't just deserve it, you have a right to it.

My daughter had a TBI in 91 and another accident in 01 that put her backwards for a while. She is now 45 and at times her memory is even worse. She tell lies but does not know she did. It is difficult to know if she is worse or just older. Her r leg was affected buy the injury and she wears a brace. She has a walker with front wheels now after many falls. She needs to loose weight and does well for a short time then it gets worse. She now has her own apartment but has no interaction with people her age. Is there nothing that can be done to keep her independent but safe.

Well the part where y’all say the emotional part gets better a month after ( or starts too) WRONG!!!
I am an OPEN TBI survivor of 26 years, I just celebrated my 37 birthday Friday. I have had to believe Something is wrong with me ever since I have been punished and persecuted treated very very badly not given proper medical care or rehabilitation and I have beeN forced to suck it up and go through the worst HELL my whole life. My left frontal lobe is dead and at the accident my skull was crushed open piercing my brain fluid my left orbital broken. Nothing was said to me about things that could happen or occur down the road you would have thought I was to be the only person to have to go through this as if nothing happened and only celebrities who have to have a crutch or anyone but me had any affects from an open TBI. Which there are not a lot of it seems. I’m a little bit bitter because the hell I have suffered my whole life after my accident and has just gotten worse the older I got. But I have one thing that is the reason I am alive it’s God! I would say I am nothing but a testimony that God is VERY MUCH REAL AND ALIVE AND MEDICAL CARE IS A JOKE! I still am just having to go through with all this and try to make it with God. No medical care or any help has been given except punishment and to be made to believe I’m the only person who’s left frontal lobe is dead but I’m the only person that can live with out any effects. If others with similar problem they can not be blamed it’s not their fault they have had a mild TBI or not really a TBI but a small bump on the head and they can say that is why they are how they are. Me I have litterly been kicked out of my family and Been treated like I am the only person who can not have a reason that might have caused or led to certain things and I have not had nor never was offered or given any follow up care help nothing.

That sounds awful. I had one great doctor but she did not accept my insurance. I would have gotten the care I needed. TBI care should be very personalized. Attending an online support group will help. Look for a good one. Woebot can help. It takes time for it to adapt to a brain injured person. Veterans understand too. Find a TBI Mentor. In CT I know a nice guy who could help . Look up BIAC Meetings in CT. I'm taking up painting rocks with positive messages. People like painted rocks you will at least make new friends.

I read and can hear the frustration and the fight you have been going through. It has not been easy for you. you are not alone and I hope you know that. Every brain injury and every person is unique in their own and no two people or brain injuries are the same. I have been living with mine for almost 4 years now and have fought so hard. if you are on instgram please look me up @slowandsteadyandthatsokay, also please feel free to email me as well crm812002 -at- yahoo -dot- com. I promise you are not alone in this at all. I have had many family members walk away from me and not understand or get what has gone on. The comments have been horrible to say the least and I hear you on the medical field and how they just don't listen or think that its made up. I will say there are some good ones out there still and they are not easy to find at all. I might only be coming on my 4th year of my brain injury and what it has done to me, I will be honest it has not been easy and still is not easy to this day. I have to always try and I don't always have it in me everyday to do it. Sometimes I have down days and it is not easy I do still try no matter what. I am sorry that it has been a very lonely for you. I just turned 40 and before my injury I had a life I was living and it was gone in a moment. I hope that you are able to read this and it gets to you and I do hope that you reach out. There are so many of us out here and still going and trying to figure it out still. I do hope the best for you along the way still and even if not the best I still hope the best for you

[TW: suicide]

I used to work on a cruise ship 20 years ago. They say I fell down three floors on a metal staircase below deck. I woke up for an instant because the pain of changing altitude in a small plane was horrific. Permanent brain damage. Two hematoma the size of baseballs on my frontal lobe. These people said they were my parents. I never saw my face. I can't remember anything until I was in my parents' new place in S.F. Like 20 days after the airplane ride.
I am now a worthless waste of space. I can't get dressed. It takes hours. I can't organize. I can't remember words. I get lost driving every single day. I have ZERO friends. Why do I have to be here? Life will just get worse. No one can understand. My mom says" oh I forget that too". Yes but your 85. I'm so tired of losing my keys 3 times a day. Forgetting where I am. That fear is terrifying. I'm done. I have been tortured enough. I had major depressive disorder before my accident. That's the only thing that stuck with me. That little voice that says" you are such a stupid loser who can't even remember what day it is".
"A Waste of space". "No one gives a s%$@ about loser". "So die my die" Every day I hear it in my head over and over. It's right. I shouldn't be taking up space where a normal person should be. Why. Last time I tried to end it. I had it. Then the cleaning lady found me. I had wrapped duct tape over my head & face the tied plastic bags with duck tape.

I hope you are still around to receive this. You matter and are here. I understand the frustration of when people say that they do the same thing and it is not the same when you can not find keys are the words don't come as easily. I had an accident at my place work with a metal steal I beam. I have had brain bruising/contusion, my neck got injured and my lower back. I have seen multiple care providers and it is still on going even as I type this to you. I can relate to what you have said for I have struggled with will this ever get better, will I ever live a life with meaning again, how do I go on living like this when I am in a repeated cycle of this injury and I don't know how to get out. There are so many of us out there, please reach out to me and others, from Facebook, Instagram, to even meetings with other brain injury survivors. I am not sure where you are located but we have our own stories and can relate and help one another out. you can email me crm812002 -at- yahoo -dot- com. Instagram I am @slowandsteadyandthatsokay. Also its okay to not be okay, its okay that this sucks and is hard as hell. you can take up as much space as you want, you can get everything wrong and that is okay. I think its nice to hear these things when so many say keep your head up and just keep going and blah blah blah, it is okay to not be okay and I hope you are still around to read this.

My heart goes out to you people don't understand. You were a person and YOU STILL ARE, I am sorry you feel so alone in your struggle, so many of us do. I agree it truly is debilitating, please don't give up.

This article and America is the real source of depression. If you have an sTBI, the doctors go out of their way to save your life. But within 6 months of the accident, you're FORCED back into a job or you essentially go to prison from not being able to pay your bills. But I'm starting to reach the point where I'd rather just go to prison which would be a better fitting location for me at this point.

If you're young during an sTBI accident, you not only have to CONSTANTLY work 80 hour work weeks... But you also get screamed at non-stop the entire time. So you essentially have a mental illness, however, you're not allowed to sleep, you're not allowed to take breaks and you're not allowed to have any free time or respond with any anger.

Long story short: If you're young and in the US, prison is unfortunately the best place to go if you (unfortunately) survive an sTBI. And that's sadly what's on my checklist.

I think many of us feel the same way, sad but true. Please erase that from your checklist and hang in there, your not alone in this fight, but I know it feels that way.

My son was involved in a car accident when he was 12 an sustained brain injury. He cant talk...he repeats..very intelegent. He cant walk..left side of body is not working. He has this anger outburst but its on occasions...like when he has to have a nappy change or physiotherapy..or showering...or doing schoolwork. Other than that he is always smiling etc. He doesnt speak in sentences...if he wants water he will just say the word. But when he has the outburst he will say every swearing word in the book an more in sentences. Plz give me advice...the swearing an hitting an throwing things is realy getting to me. Im totally helpless. An to take him to a psychologist is useless as he cannot respond. Plz help.

Hi sir ,I'm anjana from India.I'm 16 year old.my dad had an little accident.he injured his head.he is in hospital and he is being violent at night.what can we do for him sir.can you reply fast.please.
I'm really worried about him.

Where in India are you located. IT is very tough on you / family. Medication is the only way doctors know. Put on music : vedic chants or any religeous prayers he specially liked a series of them in a loop if needed. Get him adequate sleep as much as he can to repair the brain. Ignicar like syrups with doctors consultation can help. All of it depends on how deep is the injury and damage to nerves.

What support do you have from your family to help out appropriate to his situation matters. God is with you forever is one strong belief you should carry.

Hello I'm sarah I had a big tbi in 2004 and have never been the same x I ended up having a brain drain amongst lots of other surgeries as fell 48 foot .I feel no one really understands me anymore so I just have removed myself from society as it's easier i suffer with a personality disorder now and depression and anxiety and i just dont know where to turn anymore x

Hi Sarah, did you try any group support? Meeting with people who experience the same may help a bit.. and at least you will get more understanding. I feel sorry that it happened to you. I can't imagine how difficult must be :( Be strong. Try to find something what will make you happy. Maybe a hobby? All best

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

Hi, would you know of resource info in Canada, please? I live in Alberta. Thank you so much.

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...

Everything being written down here I feel like finally someone I can relate to and knows exactly how I feel every day

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

Hi I had hydrocephalus cyst tumor I had emergency brain surgery but unfortunately my per surgery I lost my all emotions feelings.i had many issues my per surgery my hospital and GP wrong diagnosed me I have been ill so bad .my post surgery many things gone better but still struggling some issues memory concentration I don't have emotions feelings I don't feel I am same person anymore.please anyone recovered similar situation or can I recover from this situation reply me thanks.

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.

Things are hard enough after a brain injury and life doesn't seem to get any easier. However attendong Adult Children of Alcholics and or Dysfuntion may be able to help. Try it! Call them. It helps me.

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

I wish I had died that day. Life has been pure hell. Nobody gives a shot. Insurance company cut off attendant dar again. 5 more concussions because they lied and said they would pay. Rotten pieces of crap. Nobody understands. They give you so. Can not even live anywhere on that. I am in my 60’s now praying I have my last fall and out of this hell of a life. Kids. They have no interest in helping me. I am a burden. Wow. Nobody is lucky to survive a Tbilisi your life as you knew it gone and the disabilities act well it falls very short. The government keeps you deeply impoverished. Meds or food? Food or a place to sleep. All lives should matter Wake up America.

I have had multiple occupational head injuries and each time I am unsuccessful with getting workman's compensation to take responsibility for payment. I lost everything and had to file bankruptcy. I have to keep working in order to keep a roof over my head (it leaks) but no one will hire me. My job is too dangerous for me. I try so hard not to get depressed because I don't want to go down that downward spiral. I pray the rosary every night and try to hang in there.

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!