TBI 101: Behavioral & Emotional Symptoms

TBI 101: Behavioral & Emotional Symptoms

Why behaviors and emotions can change after TBI

Depending on what part or parts of a person’s brain are injured, the individual may experience significant behavioral and emotional changes. The frontal lobe, for example, helps govern personality and impulsivity. If damaged, there might be no “braking mechanism” for self-control. A person may find he cannot control his anger or aggression. He may also make inappropriate comments to friends or strangers not realizing they are off color.

Or the opposite might happen … someone’s personality may become muted or seemingly emotionless. This is called “flat affect.”

Some of the most common behavioral and emotional problems people with TBI can experience include:

“Mood swings”

Some people call them mood swings because for people after TBI, emotions can often be hard to control. Because of the damage to the brain, a TBI can change the way people feel or express emotions. A person may feel she is constantly on an emotional roller-coaster — full of glee and excitement one moment, devastated the next. Another person may experience unpredictable bouts of laughing or crying, which have nothing to do with how the person is actually feeling or what is going on around her.

It’s crucial for people with TBI and their families to understand that these behavioral and emotional changes are a result of the brain injury; they are not the injured person’s fault. That said, dealing with these issues can be even more difficult, especially for family and friends, if the person with the brain injury is unaware of the fact that he is different from how he was before his injury.

What to do

Consulting a neuropsychologist or behavioral therapist is a good place to start. They can help with strategies like learning to breathe deeply when you feel you are getting angry or intolerant or like redirecting your thoughts and actions to more positive choices.

With support and patience, people with TBI can learn to take action to regain a sense of control over their moods and behaviors. Here are some practical suggestions for people with TBI who experience emotional highs and lows:

  • Let friends, family, and coworkers know about your difficulties with behavior control. Enlist their help and support. For example, they may be able to help you better understand what triggers inappropriate behavior or emotional responses and help you learn how to avoid those triggers.
  • Confide in friends or family members. Sharing your worries helps lift the burden.
  • Clean up your messes. If you have acted inappropriately, apologize.
  • Tell people to walk away from you if you have an emotional outburst. They can talk to you once you have calmed down.
  • Avoid people, places, or situations that trigger inappropriate responses.
  • Join a support group or find a peer mentor. Talking to others who have “been there” can help.
  • Get regular exercise. It’s good for the body and calms the mind.
  • Try learning to meditate to keep your mind clear.
Posted on BrainLine June 13, 2017.

Comments (143)

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.

It’s refreshing to know I’m not the only one dealing with this. Though my walk is alone because I can’t bear to put anyone else through what hell I live in. I crashed on my bike without a helmet at 22mph. Got a ct scan and 3 staples in my head. Never saw a doctor again, I’m a millennial, health insurance isn’t something I can afford. I don’t have treatment I just have to deal… I had a major concussion as a 3 year old. I feel so messed up I have 2 major TBIs and other health problems. They’re not noticeable to others, I Dont like being called disabled. I suffer through fits of Rage after my last TBI. It fundamentally changed me and exaggerated all of my worst qualities, it’s been 4 years. I can’t blame people for not want to be around me, I distance my self from others. It’s hard cause I’m not an ugly woman, I do get hit on frequently but I Dont want to put my hell on anyone else. Noise is the worst for me, as it trigger a rage in me. I go ape shit, the only thing that’s calms me is putting ice packs on my head and my chest. It’s slowly getting better but I’ve never been the same since the accident. It changed my inhibition. Caused depression and anger. I have a hard time remembering names I’ve never heard before or repeat stuff, keeping a job, or personal relationship are near impossible to maintain. I’m not the same as I was before, not that I was perfect before. I’m just 100x worse on all my bad qualities. Its hard, but I’ve accepted my loneliness. Nobody know just how much every day is a struggle for me. I try so hard but always fail. Everyday the world around me gets worse and worse. I feel we’re all lost in sea of loneliness, unable or unwilling to reach out.

I am so sorry about your accident! It is hell. My husband crashed his motorcycle (no helmet) after a neighbor's dog ran under his wheel. He was going about the same speed as you. It has been so very hard the last 4 years. He is definitely better, but still is easily angered and the mood swings are hard to keep up with. I walk on eggshells and try not to trigger him. Thank you for sharing! I hope you can find someone that will be there for you....just be sure to explain your issues so that they know it isn't them. Know that I said a prayer for you!

I am completely thrilled for finding this site and to read all of these accounts about dealing with a TBI. I don't feel like such a complete monster from outer space. 40 years ago, I was thrown from a horse and landed headfirst onto pavement. I was in a coma for two weeks, the hospital for 2 months, and therapy forever. The biggest issue for me is that most people don't understand the handicaps of someone like me. Even if they know of the accident, they think it happened so long ago and so much recovery has taken place that I'm back to normal. LOL. I have to write everything down in order to remember it, and I only remember things I've been told about my childhood. I loved that I read somewhere here that "it seems as if TBI symptoms get worse the older you get." I agree! All of my life, I've had a hard time finding jobs and keeping them. I've been married twice and divorced twice. I've been a caregiver at home for my mother for the last 6 years. Now I need to get back out there and find a real job so I'm going to a job agency for help. I'm prepping the agent with all of my character flaws, and she keeps saying, "Plenty of people have that problem!" I don't think she understands. She is of the opinion that I should go back to school. No! I know for a fact that the large crowds, rules, and requirements at the community college set me off and hinder any learning. It took me 5 years to get a 2-year-degree. That degree is outdated now so it's obvious that I need more education. My brain just can't deal with that. I'd need a job to pay for school expenses anyway! At 55, I feel wrong going back to school. Even though I'm not a fortune teller, I feel like I know there could be some potential problems. How do I convince this job agency employee?

While working I was doing an Outside Event for the General Managers Daughter B-day party unknown to me that the Owner of the Company chose not to put the Mandatory Security crew on that day this Mandatory Security crew have always been there when doing Outside Events. They are the crew that Blocks off the surrounding area of the Tent,set-up to show the Customers and Employees where the Exit and Entrance of the tent they are the crew that block off the Upper Level of the parking lot and make sure that all areas of upper level parking lot is blocked off around the areas of where to go and not to go.
They make sure that the items needed for the Event is under the tent for safety. The Large Trash can are in the corners of the tent underneath the tent. The make sure that the Customers know where to go and not to go and they help set- up signs and other things needed for this Event. I was the party Coordinator that set up the Theme as requested by our customers. On this day Taylor- Rental who were never to setup the tent unless I was there to show them where to put the tent due to the fact that it is not always the same place at every Outside Event. When I was starting to take the dirty plates from Customers and tables I went to throw them out in the trash can however when I looked they were outside of the tent area. I went and threw out the plates and as I was walking back to go into the tent I tripped over an unblocked off parking curb and flew into an 8ft banquet table and hit the right side of my head on it and then I hit the Left side of my head on the Asphalt.
When trying to get up with help as I was holding my right side of my head.
I saw the person helping me have this look on her face as if she was Freaked out. When I went to ask her what is the matter Nothing came out of my mouth. I immediately lost my speech and also my memory. I woke up at home 16 days later with a severe headache, sick, dizziness and in a lot of pain and I had no idea why!!
I got into my car and drove around and ended up at a Hospital.
After that I don’t even know what happened to me I was sent to live with my Ex and our children I was unable to understand what people were saying to me. I started Months later Driving around self-harming and self- medicating myself and doing things I would never do
I was trapped in my own head for 10 years to get my memory back to find out That I was lied to and I signed blank papers. My Employer did not file an accident report for 3 months later.
The companies Lawyer submitted Fraudulent paperwork from a Hospital I never went to saying it was pre- existing condition. I got my memory back while going through paperwork with help. I remember what really happened to me to find out that I lost everything. I forgot I had Aflac accident and Aflac Hospital insurance. The Birth mother who had given me up when I was 12 years old took over everything she had my address changed to her address and was faxing paperwork to the lawyers as if it was me. She rented out my house and never paid for mortgage. She signed paperwork saying that I was giving up my house to foreclosure.
I had paid her all my own medical bills or she did with an account that she had opened in my name and hers. The personal injury cases against the 3 different companies I was Blackmailed into signing due to the fact that they videotaped me driving around and said they were going to show my children I signed a paper and got no money from that lawsuit. My older sister that I didn’t grow up with took all my appliance out of my house and I was made to give my birth mother $10,000 dollars she said it was on her credit card. I lost everything and since my memory came back past the statute of limitations nobody will help me and I have all the paperwork and proof that it was not pre- existing condition.
I have proof of the Real Hospital I went to from the accident site. I still have no memory of the 16 days. I suffer every day in pain I have a Subdural Hematoma and had bleeding in my brain.
So I Thank everyone who has told their stories and I am truly sorry for all we all go through. Our system needs to change for people who suffer from a brain injury or the state is going to run out of money and we are not going to get the help we all still need
I am angry and upset all the time I cry every day and I don’t even want to get out of bed
I have speech problems sometimes and I got pulled over and arrested because they thought I was drunk. Unbelievable

My 35 year old son was seriously injured last year in a motorcycle accident. He suffers from TBI and his dad and I have been his primary caregivers. My son has rages that are terrifying. Nothing you say or do will help him calm down. At first it was mostly verbal abuse of the worst kind, but he turned violent this past weekend. We had to call the police to save ourselves and him from injury. We have tried so hard to avoid doing this because we know he cannot control the rages. However, the things that trigger him are so numerous and change everyday, making it impossible for us to regulate him at all. Everything is always our fault and if you logically and calmly give him evidence that shows he is wrong, it makes it worse. He is now at a behavioral health facility because the psychiatrist deemed him a threat to himself. We can’t get any information about his treatment because he wont sign a realease. He calls me and his dad and says he hates us and how could we put him there, but we didn’t. We were just trying to protect him and us. I am going to call a therapist for my husband and I to talk to. We need help to be able to help our son.

I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2005.. and began feeling sick-er 2012 while working at the hospital… I got a high fever and sore throat and my adult children said I was not making since. I do not remember anything from 12/15/2012 on. They brought me to the ER. My blood oxygen was 60. I was brought into the ICU UNIT. I ended up being put into an induced coma for 2 weeks obviously intubated. Doctors said I was decompensating.. at this point doctors took biopsy revealing a rare lupus related lung disease ‘Bronchitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia’… they woke me on January 1 2013…. My memory has severely been effected… and my personality went from sweet unassuming to I’m not afraid to say anything… I couldn’t walk, use my phone… and even though this was where I worked I felt abandoned and lost in my head…

My husband suffered a DAI TBI from a motorcycle accident 3 months ago, he was not wearing a helmet. The ICU doctor told us he was a walking miracle due to the condition he was brought in to the ER in; he had a GCS of 3 upon arrival to the trauma bay. He sees a neurologist and has OT/PT/Speech therapies scheduled for the next 3 months to help him overcome the dizzy spells, vertigo, blurry vision, severe headaches, unsteady gait, etc etc. He is refusing, however, to see a psychiatrist for his untreated bipolar schizophrenia that he has had for decades. Add to that the damage done to his brain pre-accident from drug abuse, and we are stuck inside a tornado that doesn't seem to be ending. Since his accident he really has no desire for alcohol or drugs, thank God, and I am grateful for that. But the angry, paranoid, accusing, verbal and emotional abuse that he dished out pre-accident are back and stronger than ever. We were on the verge of divorce when he had the accident, but as soon as I saw him laying in ICU all of that disappeared. I forgot about the past, the only thing that mattered was him and that he was still alive. I stayed day and night with him while he was in the ICU for 2 weeks. He was supposed to then go to IP rehab which he refused so we came home. From there, I had to return to work. I have spent time out of every day getting his disability application submitted, keeping up with all of the medical bills and making sure they are accepted and paid by the insurance company, keeping a binder of all his medical records, calling and making dr. appts. It has been emotionally draining taking all of this on, in addition to being the only income and managing the household expenses and chores. Don't get me wrong, I would do it all again in a heartbeat, I love this man and would do anything for him. But it would be nice to at least be appreciated for all that I have done, instead of being verbally assaulted every day. To be told daily that you are a failure of a wife, there are so many women out there he could choose from, and being accused of the most ridiculous things as saying I am meeting a "boyfriend" every time I leave the house. I've never cheated on him, ever, yet this goes back to the good ol days pre-accident of him deciding to literally destroy his brain cells and turning into a paranoid violent angry person. Everything I have found to read about TBI says that personality change is inevitable and is out of their control. Yet, the things he does and says now are the very same things as before, only now they are worse and more often. When I try to explain to him that he shouldn't talk to me this way, he gets angry and says that he is brain damaged and he can talk however he wants. He was the one that wrecked and is going through this. My point is if you can acknowledge the fact that you are doing something wrong, and you know what you are doing/saying as you say it, then don't use your injury as an excuse for your behavior. I love my husband, we were high school sweethearts and married for 30 years now. I just don't know how much longer I can deal with the stress of all of this. I was at my breaking point before, but now feel like I would be this horrible horrible person if I left while he is still going through recovery of his TBI. Thanks for listening to me vent my frustrations, it helps a little bit even typing this out.

I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! Don’t give up hope. Your going to be blessed god has got a plan for you. I’ll put you in my prayers. I found this on researching my daughters friend had a dirt bike accident and also injured that part of the brain 14 days ago while we was following him home a deer jumped out and knocked him off the bike. He just got off the ventilator yesterday. It’s so sad and tragic. He’s only 19yrs old How long did it take your husband to talk where you could understand what he’s was saying? God bless you I’ll put you in my prayers. Never lose faith god’s got this

I feel very bad for you that you have been going thru this! I pray that Jesus gives you special grace and heals your husband!

Hi! I hope you are doing better.
I also had a TBI, about a year ago, after it happened I would lash out at friends, family and my gf. I would overreact and not be sure if I overreacted or not, it took a long time to realize that many situations had been blown out of proportion by myself. Throughout all this I always apologized after each outburst, even I wasnt sure if it was the concussion or not, as soon as I realized what I had done or said. Some things took longer to realize than others but every time my gf, friends or family members brought it up or seemed distressed I apologized, at least almost all of the time. My point is, it is not OK to treat you like this or blame a TBI like that. Ofcourse it can explain the behavior but it is not a green card to act like an asshole.
You would not be a horrible person for leaving.

My husband had 3 brain surgeries 7 years ago. He is frustrated angry and hostile verbally frequently.He won’t hear anything I have to say. Blames me for everything. I have no patience. I just walk away. I am exhausted and can’t stand being around him

Divorce him. Get rid of him

I’m reading this article because I know my personality changed after a bad car accident. I just read your comment randomly and my heart hurts for you, I’m going to pray for you and your husband. I know you said your husband was an addict and is bipolar schizophrenic, .. I am not advising this as a medical professional or anything .. but, smoking weed might really help. Or eating it in some form. I was with an alcoholic addict that struggled with bipolar, ocd, schiz, and when we smoked so much of that went away. I know it makes some people paranoid but it sounds like he is paranoid no matter what. Maybe. I don’t know. Either way, I hope you respect you and find happiness and purpose again.

Hi I'm at my wits end with my boyfriend he is 55 years old and he has severe trauma head injury his behaviour is so bad that he has been in trouble with the law. His relationships with other women have failed he was in 3 different relationships with women in the last 10 15 years and they did not last long. I'm in a current relationship with him his temper outbursts behaviour problems is getting out of control. He has regular support from support workers and social worker both from lincolnshire and Sheffield. He has been in very serious trouble with his manager at support housing association council property he goes around threatening people neighbours and ringing up his manager at this housing for disabled people intimidated and threatening them over the phone. He has had one written warning after another his housing team been around to see him to have words and he has had his manager from the housing team to have serious words and fill in behaviour orders he is on his very last warning now from his housing team he could face eviction if he continues doing this intimidation and making threats to his neighbours myself and people in the street. He been to see his gp and his support workers also reported him for abusive violent aggressive behaviour in the past. He is saying he cant controll his behaviour and that sometimes he doesn't know what he is saying doing. He is now on last warning now from his housing association and from the police. He reduced his eldery neighbours to tears and in some of them in really fear of going out opening the door to anyone no kidding here the police had had words with him and gave him so many warnings now I've lost count. The way he goes up to his neighbours and threatens to punch them hit them he been told about this so many times I've lost count now. His neighbours are in their late 60s 70s 80s and 90s. I'm really at my wits end with this very aggressive very nasty and offensive person my boyfriend as become he never really used to be like this he used to be so loving and kind then overnight he changed and it's scaring me so much what he can do. My boyfriend has reduced me to tears so many times lately I have considered leaving him but I cant because he not got any family they died he is ostracized by from the local community because of him constant swearing making terrible remarks commets to others and making threats to people no one wants to speak to him or go near him. For the last 2 and half years my boyfriend been reported by his neighbours because of his behaviour. Its embarrassing mortifying and very humiliating at the same time it me his girlfriend and his neighbours having to pick up the pieces and explain to strangers that he cant help his behaviour. It's making me depressed and my well being isnt very good dealing with this 24 7. I would love to get advise or help please thank you

Honestly Lisa, i really feel that you need to get out of this relationship. Its not safe. I am sorry but he is not well. You cant fix that. Sometimes we think if only .... or maybe over time... maybe if I can get him help or do this... but you are not safe. I can tell you that all of the symptoms you are expressing means he can snap and then what? Please get out of this. All of his behaviors including the threatening disabled people is a very very serious sign of not being mentally well. Please get out and stay out of this relationship. You sound sweet an naive and i only want you to be safe. You deserve better in your life and maybe this will force him to get the help he needs. In the meantime you cant be with him while he is in this condition. Please take what i am saying seriously.

Leave him.

Leave him. What caused his brain injury

Hello and prayers to everyone who has posted! My son is 27 years old. He has had multiple head injuries. He was unconscious for a few minutes after 2 of his head injuries. The last injury was in 2015. He went through a car windshield! He is struggling daily with voices he hears. He is taking antipsychotic medication, anti-seizure meds and phenobarbitol for the anxiety that the antipsychotics cause. He is very sensitive to most medication now. He has suffered tremendously and has lost all but one friend. This one friend rarely comes around because my son, reportedly, slapped him one day when they were in a restaurant having lunch. My son was most likely agitated from alcohol because he reportedly drank 3 beers, even though I asked his friend to refrain from taking him around alcohol because my son now tends to want to self-medicate. The voices he hears are negative mostly. He has been to about 7 or 8 psychiatrists. It seems none of them agree with a diagnosis. One says, TBI, PTSD, and anxiety disorder. Another says TBI, agoraphobia, and addiction issues. That one wasnt board certified but we didnt realize this at the time my son was seeing him. Yet another diagnosed my son with Schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, and possible TBI. Another said schizoaffective disorder and anxiety disorder. He was diagnosed with TBI by a physiatrist/TBI specialist. He said my son has all the classic symptoms of TBI. I think that most psychiatrist want to throw in schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia because my son began showing symptoms (hearing voices) shortly before his 21st birthday. This is the usual age of schizophrenia onset. We do not think he has schizophrenia because his symptoms began abruptly within 6 months of going through a windshield. We also have no history of schizophrenia on any side of our family. It is so frustrating not having a definitive diagnosis. To make matters worse, my son was only given a CT scan at the hospital, right after the auto accident, then he was sent home. I wasnt allowed to even speak to the hospital staff, only a police officer at the hospital. My son was drunk when he crashed. Thank God, no one else was involved in the accident, except a cousin who had his seatbelt on, who was also drunk. The cousin reportedly begged my son to take him home, knowing he was drunk. Both are to blame but blame doesnt make anything better. The cousin had a few scratches but he is fine. My son now will suffer from now on for his poor decision making. He had ADHD prior to the accident which I’m told can cause very poor decision making. He had taken ADHD medication on and off for several years but hated the way it made him feel. He still has ADHD now, of course, which further complicates his condition. He said he has wished a million times over that he had never drank alcohol but he cannot change things now that happened then! I am stating this in hopes that someone else might read this to their teenaged kids and that it might have a positive impact on them so they might choose to refrain from drinking alcohol. We recently had neuropsychological testing done in hopes we can find some treatment that will help. My son has done short term counseling in the past but never stuck with it. Shame on the hospital staff for their negligence in stressing what we needed to do after my son’s accident. He should have had immediate care and followed a strict protocol for a year but we didnt know at the time. We are still praying that God will help him find the right physicians and the right treatment that will help him in the near future! This has been devastating to our family! Our son had a fling with a woman on drugs and she had his child 9 months later. We have custody now and our grandchild is such a blessing to us all! He wants to raise his child but he cannot! He wants a family but he isnt well enough to have a family yet. This is one of the hardest things to accept! Please pray for him and for all the others who have posted on here and I will do the same. May God bless us all and help us find the best treatment available for our loved ones. I have received many frustrating comments from others regarding my son’s treatment or lack of treatment and I am still trying to help him! I am his best advocate. My husband tries to help but he hasnt read enough on TBI, in my opinion. I urge others who have a family member or friend with TBI to keep researching, keep trying different specialists, and above all, to remember that your loved one is still a person with their own voice and they are still a very valuable human being to us and to God!

My heart goes out to you and all those caring for a loved one with TBI sequelae. I am a physician parent with a son who has ADHD, multiple concussions/mTBI that led to abusing alcohol and then to a psychosis at 18 yrs old. It was (appropriately) diagnosed as Schizoaffective disorder because of the mixed features of Bipolar Mood Disorder and Schizophrenia-like symptoms, and the persistent impairments between episodes of psychosis. I'd like to share with you some important things to know about psychiatry, mental illness and TBI, in case it is helpful for you.
1) TBI is one of many risk factors for developing Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorders
2) In my 37 yrs of experience caring for patients it seems clear that many with TBI have a heightened sensitivity to medications (much like they develop sensitivity to sounds and bright lights). This is seldom appreciated by my psychiatric colleagues, unfortunately, resulting in the prescribing of typical dosages of anti-psychotic medications which may cause unbearable side effects (in anyone, but especially those who are extra sensitive).
3) Treatment-resistant psychosis, such as my son and your son have, can respond to Clozapine. It has been extremely helpful for my son, so long as it is prescribed in a very low dose and is ADDED to another antipsychotic (in my son's case, Aripiprazole a.k.a. Abilify, which is one of the best tolerated, especially for those with ADHD).
4) ADHD can and should be treated, once the psychosis is optimally treated and IN REMISSION (voices MAY remain to a degree, but they are recognized as hallucinations by the patient and they are no longer troubling).
5) It is very under-appreciated how frequently those with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders also have ADHD. Sadly, the ADHD is almost never treated in this population of patients.
6) Remember that in psychiatry diagnoses are based solely on the patient's symptoms. There is no other field of medicine that does not use lab tests or medical imaging/scans to assist in the diagnosis. For this reason, many patients get different diagnoses from different psychiatrists.
In summary, I would gently make the following suggestions for you to consider:
1) obtain a functional brain scan, such as a SPECT scan. This shows the areas of the brain that are under-functioning or over-functioning and can guide diagnosis AND treatment. The Amen Clinics offer SPECTs and provide a holistic approach to treating based on these scans. (Sometimes, as in my son's case, there are underlying causes of the mental health symptoms in addition to TBIs - such as chronic Tick-borne infections - which may have specific patterns on SPECT scans).
2) Ask your son's psychiatrist about Clozapine. It is a medication with potentially serious/life-threatening side effects, but these can be detected with regular blood tests and monitoring, and are reversible upon stopping the medication (so not to be feared). Also, ask his psychiatrist about the newer antipsychotics aripiprazole and it's "cousins". Ask if they would consider ADDING a low dose of Clozapine to one of these, rather than switching one for the other. (There is preliminary published evidence from psychiatrists in Calgary, Alberta that this may be helpful.) Hopefully, his psychiatrist will be open to "treating the patient rather than the blood levels" when it comes to this or any other medication.
3) A physician trained in Functional Medicine should be able to do a comprehensive assessment of your son and recommend both medical and nutritional interventions, etc.
4) Neurofeedback training should be strongly considered, once his Schizoaffective disorder is stable, as there is an abundance of published science to support this intervention in TBI, seizures as well as many other conditions.
Finally, thank you for not giving up on your son! It is so very challenging and heart-breaking at times, but there is always hope for some improvements - large or small. May God's love give us the strength, courage and compassion to continue to support our loved ones who have suffered so much trauma, including TBI.

I just wanted to reach out and say I am so sorry you, your son and your family are going through all of this. God bless you.

I feel your frustration totally. Hi, I'm Laura, and went through a windshield in 2004 also due to my drunk driving. My then husband was with me and only dislocated his shoulder, thank the Lord. I pulled in front of a van that was loaded with people and going 60 MPH. My small Saturn (brand new) vehicle flipped 3 times resulting in my TBI. There was minor damage to someone in the other car and thank God no one was killed.

After months in the hospitals I went to I went through the Challenge Rehabilitation Program at the TIRR Group at Herman Hospital in Houston, Tx (my wreck happened in Galveston, Tx) and their number is 1-800-447-3422. I had great car insurance with Aetna at the time so they paid for my rehabilitation. The main gist I remember from it all was learning about Compensatory Strategies-how to do things to compensate for TBI shortcomings. I especially had a problem with my memory so I used stickies profusely around my house to label where things were located, etc. and I use them to this day still. I had a great job at The Boeing Company in Clear Lake, Tx then so had a wonderful support group who said my job would be waiting for me, but I, of course, never returned there. Instead, I worked at Good Will and Walmart, both of which are required to hire a certain percentage of handicapped employees. I worked there 4 & 1 years respectively. That helped pay some bills.

I hope your son is doing well. My heart goes out to you and your family.

I had a head injury from a motorcycle accident. Doctors put me on anti-seizure meds afterwards and it gave me auditory hallucinations. It was very scary hearing things and voices that were not there. The medicine was causing these problems!!! Thank God I found a good doctor that helped me out so much. I also did my own research to find out as much as I could about brain injuries. Unfortunately you have to fight sometimes to get the care you need. I had to do that with my head injury and it wasn't easy and I still struggle with things, but I have come a long way. Also help him to get connected to a life changing therapist, and don't just trust anyone because they have a degree. I also was diagnosed with PTSD but I had a great therapist that used EMDR as one of the treatments. It helped out immensely!! Just wanted to share this, research it a find doctors and therapist with great reviews not just anyone. Sending prayers for his healing and freedom from the torture he is going through. I pray he comes out stronger. He is still here for a reason. ❤️

Living with someone who suffered TBI just over 20 years ago. Unfortunately his TBI has never been fully explored, treated or to be honest barely acknowledged by anyone in the medical community.

He is getting progressively worse yet he doesn't see it nor recognize his behaviors. The main issue is he's flipping things constantly scrutinizing everything I say and do but changes what actually happened to fit into his narratives. It's gotten so bad that I'm starting to think I'm losing my sanity, maybe I am the problem.

This is something you can't really discuss with friends and family. Plus he also has very bad anger and aggression problems. He's always had a tendency to play the victim and most conversations with anyone he manages to always twist them around where no matter the situation it's happened to him or it circles around to focusing on only him. It's as if he has to be the center of attention to gain sympathies but he's adamant he doesn't like to be the center of attention.

I'm at my wits end and don't tink I can handle much more. I have lots of medical problems of my own and I refuse to live like this the rest of my life. I don't want to be miserable and completely pessimistic and mad at the world like he is. I am and always have been a complete optimist whose motto is stay positive.

Any ideas to help my situation?? Anyone else gone through this??

First of all you are not alone in this struggle. As i read your concerns, I felt like I was writing this instead of you. I am in the exact situation. My husband went through a semi truck windshield when he was 16. I do not know what his family did as far as TBI therapy as they all refuse to discuss it. He is now 63 and I have been with him for 20 years. They have not been good years and I find myself wondering why am I still here. I can bank on everyday of getting yelled at or a " talking to" normally first thing in the morning. My husband refuses to go to therapy or tell his doctor he is having mental issues. I am blamed for everything. He calls me names, breaks things etc. He does have some good days where he is " nice" but they are few. If he runs out of his cannabis it is hell for me. He does not drink or do any other drugs but has a huge need to be high to be nice. I do not drink or do drugs and I hate to fight. He is exhibiting narcissism in the worst way and turns his wrongs on me and says it is me not him.
I am an EMT and recognize his in abilities to cope with life in general. So please dont feel alone. I am sure there are a lot of women and men going through the same things. I hope you can find peace and happiness.

I’m going through the same Situation myself right now not knowing though what to do so if somebody could help us to understand what to do in the situation it would be greatly appreciated thank you

5 or 6 years ago I suffered a TBI. I was visiting my neighbor house. I was sitting on a white lawn chair and it might have broken, I’m not sure. When the chair broke I fell backwards hitting my head on the concrete driveway making this the fourth time hitting my head within 6 months.
I didn’t go to the hospital because it didn’t hurt, I felt no pain at all. I remember hearing someone saying my name and it sounded like it was really far away when in fact they were right over me. When I started to open my eyes I saw the world in shattered pieces, not fun at all. I did not understand what was going on in my head. I had vertigo, headaches, anger or cry issues and memory problems, which I still do.

Are you familiar with narcissism, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Listen to Dr. Ramani and see it that fits your situation.

My ex-husband caused me to live the same way. But I would never have left him, as per the other person's comments regarding our responsibility to God, to be the kind of steward he wants us to be of each and every person he places in our lives. I could see why God had chosen me for my ex, so I stayed. But he ended up leaving for another woman. He sinned, but God turned his sin around for my good, to be freed from him of his own volition. (Romans 8:28)

I was enlightened and really understood the situation much better after learning from Dr. Ramani. If it applies to you, I hope it is helpful. I pray that our generous and gracious God bless you abundantly with healing from all wounds, wisdom in how to handle the situation, strength to endure it/long-suffering fruit of the Spirit, and great blessings and reward. Amen.

I totally understand where you're coming
from. My ex is the same he had an accident in 87, long before I knew him. Anyway to make long story short, notice I said ex I divorced him a few yrs back we were split up a year and a half before divorce then 6months after he convinced me to try again this time. The whole time he was constantly calling, emails,, texting, running into me everywhere. This is why I decided maybe he really did want to try again. This is when I learned of his head injury and that he was in a coma for a while after it happened. After talking with some of his family members they informed me of alot of things he has done that fit right into the syptoms of a traumatic head injury.
His behavior has caused problems between me and my family, him and his children, his job and his friends.
Like you I'm at my wits end. I'm 67 and have my own physical medical problems to handle. It's like you love them and want what's best for them. But if you stick around you'll go crazy.
I was just letting you know you're not alone.
I just wish there was a cure for them. I knows there is help, but getting mine into a doctor is almost impossible.


I have a double brain injury, the first at 13 months old i fell 17 foot out of a window though a disfunkshenal mother. Landed half on the grass and half on the concrete + a fractcherd Skull. I had problems though school then got shipped of to boarding school that lasted 3 years. I left at 15years old. Bed sit after bed sit. I had my nan which
Was my mum" my nan was born in india and could speak fluent hindi. And moved to England my nan and grandad. I
am now 46 and i learnt aĺl my life skills from my nan. The most loving and caring nan + mum i will ever have. It was not about gifst money. It was about garding walking the dog over the fileds cutting up the fire wood maintaining the cycles cleaning out the fire place baking cooking playing board games. My nan worked for the red cross and was incharge. Moving on to my terwenties i was mixing with the rong people drink drugs, i have nothing in comon
With these people. Just like my nan said fair weather freinds! There only about when you have money. In 2010 i was at a party same old turn out drink drugs. I fell off a thirty foot wall. And can not remember what happend! I have made a freach start i dont have any freinds or partner people who concentrate on there own lifes live far happier one,s.

My husband hit his head at work and has a TBI .
He has said the most horrible things to me and leaves me repeatedly, cheats ,lies and definitely twisted everything to fit him .
It has been a year and a half of hell .
Since the accident he has obsessive thoughts all night about killing 10 different people very specific people. Now he is having obsessive thoughts about harming me hurting me as bad as he can .when I was in Mexico and had surgery and was bleeding out that is when he told me the horrifying things I've ever heard him say in my life. That was a month ago and he just told me that he felt so horrible and guilty because he actually enjoyed it. He tells me he loves me and he wants us to have our marriage back the way it was right after he told me about wanting to obsessively hurt me. I love you more than anything and he was always a really good man and a thousand percent trustworthy now he twisted turns everything so that he can have everything his way but still wants me to be sweet and compliant I don't know what to do anymore.

It is like you have just described what I have been trying to articulate. My husband had a head injury just before I met him so I don’t know what his personality was like before the head injury but the characteristics that you mention seem to be becoming more pronounced as the years go by. It is nearly 30 years now and I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up the unconditional love. Where can we get help?

My son has endured several head injuries in his 20s. He is unable to support himself. He has severe anxiety is working. He has anger outburst. He turns everything on me and makes me out to be the bad guy. I try to avoid confrontation but it just never happens. We can’t live in peace. I’m totally supporting him. His father is deceased. And there’s no one else to help him, he has no friends he has severed his relationships completely, he can’t even have a work relationship without coming home super stressed and full of anxiety and full of anger. I’m at a loss what to do with him and if I even mentioned that he needed help he would be furious. He’s waiting on some miracle to happen to get out of my house, but we can’t stand each other. And he’s constantly making me out to be an evil person all the while I’m helping him. He can’t continuously bites the hand that feeds him and conversations never go in a good direction. I’m at a loss what to do so I can certainly relate. I need my sanity too I am almost 70 would love to retire but where to go for help and who to talk to? I really don’t have the answers. I wish I did it’s depressing, frustrating, negative, makes me feel bad about myself, and bad for my son, and it breaks my heart. I pray every day that God will give us an answer. It seems there’s more of us out there dealing with the same issue. I pray for all of you that you have answers to your own family issues. Peace.

There are therapies that are successful in treating Post traumatic stress disorder-
try finding an EMDR therapist, also Cognomovement, even BioTuning can help calm symptoms long distance. Check to see if there are any EEsystems in your area, they are not very expensive. Keep an open mind, all these therapies are new, and work with techniques that may not make sense initially. But participants report many positive results. Consider Al anon meetings for support, it is not uncommon for people with untreated brain injuries to turn to alcohol to self medicate.
Trudy Scott has a book (the anti anxiety food solution) on helping brain behavior with Amino acids, sometimes the brain can be supported by adding natural supplements that are needed to help it respond to stressors.
I hope some of this helps, Much love to you all

I am right there with you. I deal with this daily from my TBI husband. I have no advice but I wanted you to know you are not alone.

Hello, I've been searching for this link
This is the first time I feel like I've connected with others in the same situation as me. I'm having a tough day.

I feel the same way. I’m frustrated every trying to care for my tbi husband. I have no one to help me. He’s always negative and cause me pain. I’m praying that he gets better.

I can completely identify with your situation. My marriage has been destroyed by my husband's tbi. It has been 2 years, he's in excruciating pain everyday and he is a completely different man. Modern medicine seems to continue to throw mounting doses of medication at him which I believe are making him worse. He has moved out, is living in a trailer and left me with all the expenses (not something he would ever do before his accident). Every discussion is an argument that has now put added stressors as we are a blended family. Although I am happy to know others are struggling this silent struggle, I would really enjoy advice as I'm not looking for commiseration. I am looking into a TBI clinic. Anyone have thoughts on this?

My marriage of almost 20 years was destroyed by a TBI. I'm certain of it... and my ex husband has gone on to prove me right. He went from a pretty normal guy to someone I didn't know, who had no empathy for me or our kids, who would hit the kids and do inappropriate things in inappropriate places. He destroyed his career by watching porn on his work computer. He was supervising a kid who died by pulling a table on top of himself. He was married a second time for about a year and she divorced him when he was fired from another job. Recently he resigned after being charged with assault and child endangerment for touching a 16 year old students butt... these are things I would NEVER have believed 25-30 years ago. He played football in school as a lineman. When our youngest daughter was about five he fell off of a roof and cracked his head open above his left eye in the hairline. There was a bone ridge. He REFUSED to get an MRI or Xray. He was never the same after that.

I have TBI, my wife has built up the same defenses as my brain did to deal with the symptoms. We end up fighting for one simple reason, her own ignorance and righteousness has gotten in the way. I’ve actually got a handle on the symptoms using yoga and meditation. Takes a lot of work.
She has decided the change in me is too drastic, now I seek the love and peace angle, but stand tall when she says I’m too dramatic.
You have to work together on solving the triggers. Only then will things get better. My wife won’t research anything really about my TBI. She says she has too much going on. Understand this, the number one cause of death for TBI patients is suicide 2nd is drug overdose. This is mainly because people do not take the time to truly study mindfulness.
That is the “cure” for everyone involved.
Once you’ve both dropped this outer shell of self and start looking in, you’ll realize your life will never be the same. And the anger and doubt is silly.
Since I’ve started learning this, my anger, headaches, anxiety, almost all symptoms have returned to manageable.
Essentially, you wouldn’t get upset at a turrets patient. They can’t help it
You wouldn’t get upset at an ALS patient because they’re moving too slow.
You wouldn’t get mad at a patient with Down syndrome. I hope this helps, look inside. Work with him to find peace. He’s a human with an invisible sickness. He needs you.

First of all I wanted to introduce myself my name is Joseph I live in Florida years ago over 30 years ago I suffer from traumatic brain injury due to a car accident it was not my fault someone ran into me he put me in the hospital I suffered very much from severe headaches seizures I didn't even know did I hide brain injury it wasn't until seizures and vomiting it was awful at one time there was a place here in Florida Brain Injury Association of Central Florida I believe now they're all closed I was a member for a while now I cannot even get ahold of them people who suffer from brain injuries have severe change of moods I can talk about it myself when I was first diagnosed has traumatic brain injury I was like a yo-yo one day I was happy the next day I was sad crying Beyond My Control I cannot stop my emotions it was horrible it still is from time to time they put me on medication one of them was Dilantin which only control the seizures my wife have helped me tremendously I've gone through hell surviving this I felt many times like I wanted to give up but I believe in God please do not give up on your spouse or a loved one just like anything else is there a condition that's beyond the person's control a lot of doctors all they want to do is give you medication it's some kind of medication makes it worse I've gotten a little bit better I went to a neuropsychologist there are received biofeedback therapy meditation still after all that play just the two of you living 30 plus years being injured it's been a difficult Journey if you can try to find neurologist because brain injury affects the mind and the spirit it affects your emotions depression they had me on so much medication at one time it was ridiculous. Sometimes for no reason either I'm angry or severely upset for no reason news makes it worse everything that normal people can handle when you have a severe brain injury it makes it worse for the person who has a brain injury I speak for myself about it it's hard for me to watch the news on TV to see the chaos in the world I become isolated from time to time thanks to my wife who has been very patient try to help me the deal with these situations sometimes you take it off on the closest person to you so I advise you as someone who was in Survivor of traumatic brain injury to Never Surrender and let that person know do you're there for them no matter what I wish there was more research out there to help people who are suffering from traumatic brain injury without being judged it's something that you cannot control something that happened to you so you have no control of I hope you find a good doctor also counseling can help I had a good doctor get retired a few years ago this injury happened to me when I was on the job getting hit by another car the car must have been doing to be 75 miles an hour I'm lucky to be alive sometimes I have real bad vivid dreams sometimes I can't sleep I have up and down all the time I want to stay locked up in the house I don't want to be hanging around a bunch of people 4 people make you upset because of some of the things that comes out of their mouth seems like everything is Amplified 100 times so you become overwhelmed with feelings and emotions severe depression not wanting to live these are all normal feelings when you suffer from traumatic brain injury at one time back in 93 I went to a place called the Florida Institute for neurological Rehabilitation en wachula Florida I went there for three weeks it was a quiet place where you can think he tried to meditate the best you can right now I'm living in the city it didn't used to be this way when I first moved in here in this little town in Volusia County it's become more hectic environment has to do a lot with the condition he could be easily have a relapse do to the environment it takes a long time for your brain to rejuvenate itself and to heal itself there's so much to learn about this my blood pressure has yo-yo back and forth and I know it's got to do with my brain injury also some of these medication they put you on do not help the condition sometimes it makes it worse I myself am looking for someone that can help me more to help me with my mood swings it might even cause you to have bipolar affective disorder also a d h d where you want to do multiple things I never get nothing accomplished it is very frustrating I'm glad I found this website to be able to share with others what some people are going through I will have you in my prayers know that God loves you I know they're reading the Bible has helped me alot but sometimes I suffer from horrible dreams I don't know where they come from I've also become more sensitive two things that didn't affect me before not long ago I lost my son to suicide that took a toll on me tremendously top of the brain injury I lose my son to suicide this has been a real difficult situation for me I hope that me writing this information down can help somebody no that is always help out there so you can reach out to people in talk about these situations it always helps to talk someone I hope that you find someone that can help you and help your loved one because of Survivor or traumatic brain injury it has been one heck of a Journey but I will continue to fight forward never giving up ever since the pandemic hit being locked up in the house didn't help the situation also the doctor that I was seeing at the time retired he was located in Winter Park Florida dr. Falcone a very good neuropsychologist unfortunately he retired now I'm having trouble with the insurance company because this happened to me when I was working on a company truck already has suffered from severe depression previous to the injury and a broken back now on top of all that came to traumatic brain injury please never give up always know that someone's out there to help you if someone who cares there for some reason I found this article that I was able to write to let you know that I have you in my thoughts after reading your article I wish nothing but the best for you and your husband he has gone through a lot and so have you my wife has been a gift to me. Sometime for no reason the smallest things in affect me and I'm making her upset I catch myself always asking for forgiveness because that's not the way I am traumatic brain injury it's a serious matter one moment you could be happy look for me you can be furious so we could say the wrong thing to you you can go off the wall also difficult managing stress sometimes Hotmail expressing yourself sometimes you can become confused sometimes you might have memory problems difficulty managing stress problems learning or speaking may become agitated for no reason know that you're not alone forget the grammar and all the typos I'm doing this voice activated I have trouble writing stuff sometimes I have to be in a complete quiet environment and sometimes you get severe migraine headaches you think you're having an aneurysm lately I've been having severe headaches had an MRI found out that I had a little bit of white matter also sometimes I have serious heart palpitations sweating like never before just know you're not alone may God bless you and keep you safe Especially Yours Joseph

Hey there,

My husband has TBI and was a service member. I COMPLETELY understand how you feel. I am going through the same exact things. I remind myself that I married this man for better or worse, through sickness and through health. It gets scary, exhausting, and sometimes I think it would be easier to walk away but I wouldn’t. We have to stay strong. I didn’t realize that there were others going through the same things until now. Sending hugs your way!

My husband of 20 years has TBI and I totally agree with you. Our wedding vows said in sickness and in health, for better or worse do death do us part.

Keep going its not easy I'm from England and I have cptsd and tbi rely on yourself it's a tough battle and life changing but you'll never know how strong you are until strong is all you have God bless take good care :)

hi my name is Dean Arnold and I have cptsd and a tbi study it take control as best you can I've been living with cptsd for 46 years and a tbi for 3 years
I'm from England and were very behind with the above keep going rely on yourself and don't give in
With the life changing experiences be strong and keep going you will thank yourself to study it.
I wish you all courage peace and positivity never let it define you huge hugs to y'all :)

Hello. My name is Cristi and my husband has TBI. I also have a form of it as I was in a car accident where I hit the windshield of a car and damaged my frontal lobe. I never realized that head trauma caused aggression. Every story and comment here assures me that I am NOT alone. After 17 years I finally understand that these things are 1. Not my fault and 2. I really need help with these TBI issues.

On January 5th of 2020, I was homeless at this time unfortunately, I was asleep in my tent in Tent City in downtown Houston by Minute Maid Park when a man, during morning rush hour traffic at 8 am, was texting and driving and ran a red light, hit a car, then a ruck, and then t-boned another vehicle and for some reason made a sharp left and ran up under the freeway and ran over me in my tent. I was immediately awakened in horrifying pain, feeling like my legs were being ripped to shreds and twisting and rolling everywhere. I thought a bomb had gone off because of the smoke and fire from the undercarriage of the truck setting my tent and belongings on fire. It lasted I'm told for over 2 minutes because he got hung up on trash cans and wood and fencing. When he finally stopped his truck, I was at the bottom of everything and had to be dug out by other folks there.

My left leg was broken in 6 places with the bones protruding from my leg, my left knee was shattered and my left ankle was so shattered that my left foot was turned around facing backwards. My right leg had a huge hematoma that would eventually within a month, turn into a very large hole that went more than half-way into my right, inside of my calf. I was in a wheelchair for months. I spent almost a month in the ICU and hospital and was then transported to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Houston where I spent almost all of 2020 learning everything again. Learning to walk, bathe, dress, etc. It was devastating because I have always taken care of me.

Almost immediately, I knew something was not right with me though mentally. I would look at pictures on my FB that I had taken at Christmas in downtown Houston and of other places and could not remember being there, however, I know for a fact, I was. There was something else though that was going on that took me a minute to put my finger on and it happened in a weird way that I figured it out.

You see, I was that mom. I did, went, what, where, and didn't matter how, but did everything I could to make sure that all 3 of my children had a childhood because I did not. Every morning and every night, I told my children I loved them. I was always there. Now, on the day of my accident, no one came. The hospital staff and doctors as well as the patient advocates called all my family and left messages, no one showed up. But whats weird is that when I woke up 4 days later and they told me this, I was completely unemotional about it and did nothing to reach out to anyone...not even my children. It was after I went to the nursing home at the end of January and was there a week, I finally realized that I was seriously fucked up in my head. Mothers don't just stop caring or loving their own children, that is not normal behavior. I know this but I remember a few of the nurses asking me if I had any pictures of my children and I pulled up my FB on the computer and began showing them but I realized I didn't care about those people, my kids, my family, my friends...it was as if I had some sort of "emotional amnesia"?? I can remember that I had feelings for these people but its like I don't anymore at all. I haven't reached out to anyone really in my past, not my children, my siblings, even my best friends. Its like I don't care about any of them and it doesn't matter to me where they are or that I am not involved in their lives at all.

I reached out to my PCP and she told me that I needed to get over it...this was a month and a half after my accident. I talked to my nurses about it and they told me to leave it up to God...I put my fist through the wall I was so angry with them. I reached out to my health insurance, my attorney, moved and got new health insurance and talked to them. Got a new PCP and was begging them to send me to a freaking neuropsychiatrist or forensic psychiatrist, and its like I am fucking talking to myself. I know I need help but what the hell happened to my head and my emotions? Its like I have completely disconnected from who I was and I am a completely different person. I don't have the same favorite colors, I dress differently, and one thing is that I don't put up with shit from anyone at all. I am extremely unfiltered now and I wasn't this way before. Does anyone know anyone who has this going on with them after an accident or TBI? I am completely lost here and have completely lost all faith, hope and belief in the medical community as a whole. I don't know what to do or where to go now. Can anyone point me in the right direction or maybe to a website that has information about symptoms like mine because I've started self-medicating to get by and that's not the person I am or want to be.

Thank you for any information or direction in advance, Kimberly

Kimberly, i dont know if you will get this as you posted this article several years ago. I have recently suffered from tbi and have experienced the same symptoms. Please reach out to me. I have questions and would like to talk. 4015166599. Or j.e.morin13@gmail.com

I HIGHLY recommend you look into getting an "MRI with NeuroQuant". The MRI with NeuroQuant includes a "Triage Brain Atrophy" report which will provide much insight into various regions of the brain that may have atrophy or inflammation which are indicators of brain injury and/or neurodegenerative processes. I can't get into my personal story now since I'm in a rush but God willing if you explore that route it will help you get clarity as to what happened to your brain and the prominent behavioral changes you've experienced. God bless.

I hear you, sister! I have been dealing with a TBI for 7 years. Lost all my friends. Talk to three family members and mostly feel unseen, unheard, unknown, not understood. I get frustrated with myself because i have outbursts with my no filter and I quickly go into a rage if i see a change in a person's face or body or vocal tone changes. I end up feeling guilty and apologize- I know they are thinking I am crazy. I am in an extreme fight or fight and catatonic shut down loop. All I know is self medicating is not the answer. I'm struggling with that as well. You are not alone. Breathe. Take a bath. Listen to prosaic, sing-song music, get a weighted blanket. Take walks. Its unfortunately 101 basics for a while.