Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

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“The changes that TBI survivors wake-up to after the injury are frightening and confusing; those emotions mark the basis and the beginning of life with a brain injury. We feel like a patient coming out of anesthesia, waiting for the fog to clear, certain that it will. But it never really does. Sometimes the fog lifts a bit in one area and clouds another, casting shadows of doubt as to what is real, imagined, or remembered. Thoughts zip by before you can grab them; short term memory no longer efficient enough to save and process half of what you are used to, like all the other people around you still can. The noise, the crowds, the confusion, the panic of not being sure who you are now, questioning if you can trust this new person, yet really having no choice but to deal with it all. Overwhelmed. Alone. No one else really ‘gets it’ and you sure as hell can’t explain it to them.” “Today, a great deal is known about brain structure and function, and just about anything to do with TBI can be found on the Internet and in books. I was amazed to find the answers to so many of the questions that had caused me confusion and despair. Learning the different parts of the brain and what they do helped me understand why I had certain deficits. If you know the enemy, you can make a plan. With a plan, you can set goals, and with goals, you just keep rolling forward at your own pace. My prefrontal injury makes planning an elusive activity. Once I understood the reason why my plans began to hit a wall or whiz by before I could act on them, life opened up again. Did you know that there is a special part of the brain that allows us to recognize faces? If damaged or temporarily blocked, it will not send the messages that say ‘oh that’s mom!’ to the right places in your brain. Simple as that! Most people with TBI have PTSD symptoms, also. Learn about the difference. Make strategies for remembering routines, color code everything, go back to school or learn something new.” “My neurologist urged me to begin yoga and meditation after the surgery and it has been a lifeline to sanity. Injured brains can be easily overstimulated; they need more sleep and more periods of rest. I’ve learned to smile and excuse myself for a few minutes when I need a ‘brain break’. Very focused work, like coloring, can be as good as meditation. By all means possible, stay away from abusive people; even if it is friends and family who are being hurtful or cruel. Most people will never get what it’s like to be inside your new brain, but you can explain to them why certain things have changed. If they love you, they will listen and try to understand.”
I was in a motorcycle accident, suffered many serious injuries. From broken bones, punctured lung, spleen ectemy, lacerated liver, and a very unfortunate TBI and induced comma to reduce the swelling of my brain, I even had a tracheotomy. I have nerve damage and occasional muscle spasms. I spent months in the hospital. I had icu-psychosis. I've been told while I was there I had the mindset of a child because of my TBI. I couldn't remember who my parents where. Over the course of the following year I regained some memories. I was eventually able to remember who friends/family are. While in the hospital I very much missed my dog, when I arrived home I was surprised that she was a different color than I remembered, she growled at me because I was in a wheelchair. I remember how mad this made me, how betrayed it felt to miss her so much and then to be growled and barked at as if I was truly someone else. I couldn't remember how I combed my hair, I had to ask my mom for a picture pre-accident for help. I'm sorry for putting my parents through so much stress and pain. It was an accident - prescialla trajio hit me with her minivan if I could have avoided her I would have, I'm sorry. I'm here because I feel isolated. I've been able to hide how I feel from people. I am lucky, thankful to be alive after my accident. I had to go through all the speech and physical therapy. I went through neuropsychological testing. I didn't like/enjoy any of it. Years later. I've lost my best friend. No family friends visit me. My parents live on the other end of the country. People say I'm a different person than before my accident - I always uncomfortably play it off and try to make lite of it but I can't remember much of my past or what i enjoyed prior to my accident. I am married and have a daughter. But my wife is unkind, and cruel to me at times. She yells at me for forgetting things and says I blame everything on my head injury. She gets very mad at me when i mention I can smell things she can't, she says I'm crazy. But there are days that I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday ------ no one understand these small cases of amnesia. They are frightening and cause me to panic and pause while I search, in my mind but feel hopeless and lost within my own thoughts. Its frustrating, like having a song stuck in your head but not being able to recall the artist. I have a career in which I can access guidelines and use reference material so my memory issue is overcome with the use of these tools. That's a brief summery. I reached this website in search of help. I feel isolated. I feel disconnected. I feel ashamed for feeling sad at all because I am a father and I have someone who greatly depends on me. I feel hopeless. I feel frustrated. I feel removed. I feel a very deep sadness for the disappointment and shame I have brought to my mother and father, I could not stop my bike in time. I'm sorry I couldn't remember you, I know that must have hurt you deeply. I have felt and now feel suicidal. I feel like I let my best friend Alan down because I was released from the Marines because of my injuries, I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you. Would it have been easier for everyone if I would have simply died in my motorcycle wreak, perhaps. This is with me everyday.
thank you very much.. it was indeed a very helpful article as i myself is a TBI victim and i am doing research on it..
Thank you for helping me to understand why I'm suffering on an emotional roller coaster following what was supposed to be a minor concussion two months ago. The slightest thing sets me off, I get upset very easily and I'm having trouble with short-term memory, aphasia, writing, typing, even singing, something I was gifted at before the concussion 2 months ago. My family hasn't been too kind or understanding about it at all. They expect me go on waiting on them and helping them regardless of my physical condition. I have to take care of a lot of people in my family and our dog is dying -- the only family member who loves me unconditionally. Your kind words have given me some hope and I will try to be more patient with myself as I recover. This was extremely hard to type. I had a left frontal lobe concussion, two black eyes, I was black and blue -- all from a hard sneeze when my left forehead smashed into the wall while I was trying to carefully put on my slippers (I have a partial clubfoot) just before going to bed and I don't drink or get loaded! My doctor said sometimes it takes longer than 2 - 4 weeks for these things to heal completely and we've run all the necessary vision and brain scan tests without seeing any real damage. I need to try to be patient. Thank you for your help. Candace Mc
I am a post injury TBI survivor, 3 yrs out this New Year Eve. Coma 6 weeks, 6 weeks rehabilitation. I am having trouble with anxiety and addiction to the anti-anxiety meds. I NEED HELP...good luck getting any on Medicaid. please friend me on facebook if you can help. Stephanie Martin. ps I cared for my daughter who suffered a cardiac arrest and suffered anoxic encephalopthy. frontal lobe damage. I know more than most because I researched everything after her injury...I coulc go on and on. Thanks
One item that was overlooked other than saying "adjust medication", is that medication can make a Person with TBI to the suicide and that should be careful monitored and noted immediately to the Physician
Very helpful information and advices. Thank you.
Excellent article. I will link to it on my website on brain injury in daily life. Here you can find more reality stories about emotional changes after brain injury in more simple terms. You can visit how-psychology-tests-brain-injury.com and look for yourself. Thanks. Feri Kovács Neuropsychologist in the Netherlands

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