TBI and PTSD: Navigating the Perfect Storm

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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.

I understand where you are coming from with this concern.

PTSD goes hand in hand with feeling SAFE. There should be more empathy and understanding. People who care about those who suffer from PTSD should always work to make their loved one feel SAFE. It is something PTSD sufferers deal with every day. We react so seriously because we perceive a threat which puts us in fight or flight mode.

You must understand this about PTSD survivors. As a veteran once said: a bag of trash is just a bag of trash to everyone else, but to someone who has served and seen soldiers blown apart, it’s not just a bag of trash. Have some empathy here - it’s a reality for I have PTSD from several traumatic events one of which was a home invasion. I am so suspicious of anyone coming to my home uninvited. I had some people who came to my front door right after my mom had come in. They were pretending to be needing oil for their car. I overheard my mom talking to this person. When I came into the living room to intervene I threatened them and ran them off. I chewed my mother out for standing there with door open talking to these people. I pulled photos from my critter cam and called police. Another guy in their group was at their car while the officer talked to me. I told the officer I was nearly taken from my home and take threats like this very seriously. I then turned to the other guy and told him that if they ever stepped foot in my house I’d be ready. I do have a permit to carry, but I prefer to avoid problems as best I can instead. I call police if I have a suspicion.

Trying to be aware of your daughter's deficits and how she can learn to identify them can help. For example, I know I tend to chat and get too personal with strangers not realizing they may not be safe. I’ve run into situations as a result, so I now try to have a “circle of trust” of guy friends and non-emergency law enforcement to help.

These comments and the body of evidence that has grown to help us understand the complexities of issues each PTSD/TBI sufferer faces gives me HOPE! Through my own challenges and discoveries, I hope my experience one day can be a beacon for veterans as civilians like me.

I was not given assistance or rehab. As a typical severe TBI victim, I lived for 30 years never realizing my injury and subsequent injuries affected my life. I constantly struggled and still do. I had tutors in school and used academic support services to graduate with a Doctoral degree finally.

I am finally seeking accommodations at work because I am so afraid of losing my job that I have started looking at my needs seriously. I always knew something was wrong since the gruesome accident, but I had poor self-awareness. My family is military, so there was no support for an injury like severe TBI that had no visible signs after the initial swelling and unconsciousness. My head was swollen like a pumpkin, but luckily the CT scan showed I was ok back in 1987. S

Rather than be angry that I’ve suffered, I try so hard every day to believe that my experience, my life is not for naught. Sometimes I feel that nothing would be for meaningful to me, more healing for my soul than to help others because I have some insight. I understand how important it is to preserve the DIGNITY and autonomy of PTSD/TBI victims.

Every case is complex, but there is overlap that can help support many related conditions -autism, anxiety, victims of abuse and neglect. I hope nothing here is offensive to anyone. My intentions are to share in our struggle, believe and hope for a life of safety, compassion and healing.

I have PTSD and C-PTSD from severe domestic violence.
I agree TOTALLY with you. I am NOT violent, in fact I am the very opposite. Too dang nice all the time! Most domestic violence victims are Empaths, which is why the abusers are attracted to them to begin with.
There needs to be WAY MORE awareness about PTSD from being physically beaten and emotionally abused.
So, so, so many CHILDREN are getting PTSD from school shootings and horrible abusive parenting.
There are way too many people now a days that should NEVER EVER have children !!!!

YES, I said it!

Well said. I suffer with ptsd it does make me quick to temper but not lash out

I agree with your statement about the assumption of violence with PTSD. There needs to be more research done on civilians with PTSD to separate the violence from the scenarios.

Hi, my name is Steven (Steve for short). I'm 45 years old. I've suffered TBI from 13 to 15 concussions playing sports or just hitting my head at work etc. I also have PTSD. Raped as a kid, car accidents, divorce, my sister and Grandma dying within months of each other, then a major car accident where my wife drove off a cliff, we survived 80 ft down. I have burns and almost lost a foot. She was trapped. I helped free up her legs, climbed out ripping a gash in my leg 4 inches long. I blacked out, woke up 20' below my truck, wife yelling "don't die don't die." I couldn't do anything. I screamed & screamed. I can still smell, hear the sounds. I have chronic migraine syndrome.

I need help. I'm losing my memory. I feel like I going nuts. My family is falling apart. Substance helps pain, thoughts, memory, ideas, yet makes temper worse. please help. steveamore12@gmail.com

Hang in there. You’ve had enough. keep the ones who understand you close. They do care about you. Spend time with old friends doing something relaxing or creative. Painting like Jackson Pollack is fun or fly fishing.

I too suffer from a TBI/PTSD associated with a tragic violent event. It has been almost 8 years now since mine. I can tell you reach out for brain injury support. Or PTSD support.... i attend a group called Point Man it is a support group for PTSD sufferers. For the first couple years after my injury i was basically a shut-in. But i sought after rehabilitation....
My advice is SEEK OUT support and help through the welfare office, dept of aging, mental health office, health insurance company, a good bible based church.... anyone that can provide much needed healing.
I suffer from symptoms even 8 years later.... but I have come along LONG WAY. I hope this is encouraging to you and that you choose to HANG IN THERE.

Interesting read

I have TBI and PTSD from a car accident. The doctor told me I'm going to have seizures when I get older (but) in 2000 I was shot plus my son was killed. I have a hard time remember which was first and the dates? I'm homeless and my HISS social worker is prejudices and/or discriminative which amount to gross negligent. An administration appeal judge has ordered the county to reevaluate my case and my social worker denied benefits and closed my case so I reappeared. This new administration judge is making me prove my disability now. I was given SSI benefits for PTSD in 2000 well that when I applied. So when my epilepsy seizure started I told SSI and IHSS about my new disorder, now this is 2018 I have to prove my PTSD to the administration appeal judge and social worker, my TBI and PTSD disorders, Chronic kidney disease and TB is the perfect storm, now my special needs are being denied I need compensation for court orders denials, mental abuse and physical abuse, I'm in Los Angeles Ca. 90013, Crocker St. Skid row my case now is in Rancho Dominguez office 75 case number 0661533, I think my memory cognitive abilities are gone, I've stressed out to the maximum no families support couple with I fine it hard to trusts anyone. Please help with any ear.

I read this with such a heavy heart.."Navigating the Perfect Storm, a more perfect title does not exist..Our lives have been destroyed..I often get the question, "Why don't you just leave, why do you stay?"...I always say because I love him and I want to know that I did everything that I could possibly do to help him...Sometimes we have to learn to let go and let them make that decision of help on their own..I often cry knowing that our youngest child has never known what an awesome, loving and caring father he once had but those memories have long faded away for him..I often wonder if it would be easier for me to let go if I had never known that kind, caring, wonderful, full of love person that was so great...

I want to say it just breaks my heart reading of all the suffering people are enduring. My youngest son, a Veteran, suffers from PTSD/TBI & it has been a difficult road for him, however, there has been improvement over the years. I'd like to offer one bit of info. I've been a volunteer with therapy horseback riding centers for several years and my horse is a therapy horse at this time.  I have seen such dramatic improvements in Military people who have tried this, and some have never  touched a horse ever in their lives. Find a PATH center in your area and just give it a try. Military are NEVER charged for a session. Negative, even suicidal people have come out with a whole new outlook.  Not a guarantee, just some possible hope.  

This is a great read and information, thank you very much. The "wave-tops" are definitely hit on this read, and answers many targeted questions for many that can relate. It gives a great foundation for those who can connect these pieces to branch outward in getting the rightful assistance, treatment and help.

You have got to educate VA mental health! Thanks so much for opening my eyes!!!! The VA in Illinois has had me flying blind! Well everyone! It's a sad damn day when I can look at this article and read it, and learn more about my dual diagnosis of TBI / PTSD in a few moments, than any mental health or medical professional at the VA has ever tried to explain to me in my 8 years in the system! Explains why the CPT therapy was a failure and why I am having these problems/symptoms that some of the VA so-called professionals keep trying to downplay! Like it's an issue of attitude or something I have the ability to control. Sorry but after reading this, Yes, I am here to rant about the VA! They are either horribly under-educated or just want to push meds! They downplay everything so when it's time for a re-evaluation they can try to get your rating reduced! Seems like everyone who is good and understands is fired or let go! Replaced with someone that tries to convince you that there's an ordinary explanation for every individual symptom you have other then being real with you about your condition! Like trying to cover up the fact that military service, blasts, and fighting in Iraq had everything to do with it! I was always told horror stories about the VA but I never would have dreamed that I would be experiencing it firsthand! I thought these people were here to help us! I guess in Illinois they are setting us up for failure! Sorry for the long vent!

The same thing is going on in WV with the Veterans Administration Hospitals. I have been apalled at the treatment my son in law recieves. He is type 1 diabetic. He needs insulin each and every day for survival and always will unless a cure is developed. The VA pharmacy frequently tells him his insulin is being held for physician approval and that process may take up to a week. This is his regular, same prescription every month insulin that I am talking about. Unfortunately, he will not throw a fit, raise a ruckus, or do whatever is necessary to correct this unacceptable situation. Its not that he hasn't tried. He has repeatedly called and spoken with representatives attempting to fix this. I personally want to call local news media when the VA pharmacy knows he has only 2 doses left and is holding his life sustaining insulin hostage! Since Covid, I have also personally witnessed him being turned away and unable to enter the building because his name wasn't on a list security was basing entry off of despite having the appointment letter in his hand. I am disappointed in the medical industry overall. It is indeed an industry meant to pump patients in and out with less personalization and actual care, and with the profit margin as the heart of the business. This is an unfortunate reality that we are all facing. The impact that incompetence and neglect has had on veterans care is an impact that will continue to spread and be felt by all members of our nation. Frankly, our government should do better and we as a people should hold them accountable!

I have a TBI and PTSD. Something that the VA and many other people do around those of us that suffer from this is insane. They treat us like we’re defective. They talk about us and at us. And like our opinion isn’t valid. Which is crap.

Its all VA's and dr's are set to follow a strict guide line to not help and not to document the TBI and ptsd and mdd completely to the T. Any who do help are fired, quit, or move. Many would be va dr's are at the bottom of the latter for med school with fake degrees

I have experienced the same thing. They keep denying my tbi which is in my records. They finally approved me for ptsd after years of denials and me being pretty much homeless and broke and lost. Bad enough dealing with ptsd after a 15 months deployment where you left the wire daily, but then we have TBi which they downplay and are trying to blame a mood disorder like bipolar which i never had before. My cognitive functions have been getting worse and worse over the years after multiple blasts and concussions to the head. My head even swells up. They also employ trainees it seems or people who can't get jobs in other hospitals so they come to the VA i believe and take the lower pay. Something really needs to be done about our VA healthcare. They frustrate the veteran to a point where they feel hopeless and just give up altogether. I can imagine what the ww2 and nam vets went through. ptsd/tbi is not something new but finally recognized by the medical community. Keep your head up brother and stay strong. US army combat veteran. 10+ years.

I totally agree if with what this man is saying.

In 2006 I was denied treatment. Evidently, the hospital was not prepared to handle The National Guard and reserve coming home from tours from Iraq and Afghanistan. Their automatic reply in the ER when they found out you are National Guard or reserves was "sorry we can't treat you, you are a reservist." They could not comprehend nor can they until today that reservist and National Guard are the majority of troops to deploy overseas in these 2 wars. And it is my opinion today that the general lay personnel and nurse practitioners primary have the training to do what is needed for these dual diagnosis. Plus the other physical ailments (compressed spine, TBI, dislocated shoulders). VA will say only one diagnosis for every 6 months which has been my case. I received my wounds in 2005 and I'm still just starting to get treated for some of them. But the TBI and PTSD have made me homeless, isolated, and embarrassed to show my face to anybody that I once cared for including my children and family. I do have the fake world of Facebook though.

I do understand all these symptoms. I am a very "to myself" person. I was treated terrible in service with an attack. I have always suppressed this and it took 23 years before I was even aware of the help I might seek from the V.A. I was diagnosed rather quickly with PTSD and started council. The first psychological council seemed to help but she retired and I was left with another that seemed to not understand. The next was group therapy. This only onset more of my depression.One-on-one worked a little better but she has been out due to her life threatening challenges. I'm back to myself with no help with council. I do not feel suicidal and try real hard to stay positive but looking at medical records the headaches that are debilitating for few days at a time. The headaches have increase with physical and or mental stress so I just do what I can to stay calm and try not to push. I do not and cannot work but I could use a more steady councilor that is more in tune with head trauma and PTSD. I also have a neck injury that leaves me with plenty of reasons not to do too much. After 6 years with the VA no one has helped me understand this. Thanks for your article. Have a nice day. The VA could use more councilors trained in this area.

My Daughter is post severe TBI (3 months coma) From auto accident 9 years ago. She has developed possible p.t.s.d. From the voids in her life she wants badly. Her delusions seem to be caused from her desires and scary night terrors.( A year ago she had a Neuro sych / (insurance co. Said we had to do this or they stop paying) that was more like an interrogation..she dropped 17 lbs in a month) I was told even though I am her legal guardian, I could not be with my daughter during the testing/ I regret not walking out with her. She was happy and easier for 7 years and now personalty changing to depression seclusion and combative. Meds? Anxiety? PTSD? Difficult to trust anyone (docs) anymore. Support? Recommendations? We've come so far and to just let go is not an option, I don't want her to get hurt or hurt anyone. Reply if you have advice or support, thanks! .

Just curious, been dealing with a TBI going on 9 years now age 48.. how do you ignore it ?  Get so fed up with it sometimes constant  hissing  noise, post trauma vision syndrome

My wife suffers from both.

I have PTSD and TBI I don't see my life getting any better. I am in a wheel chair I can't take it anymore. The drugs the VA put me on for PTSD aren't helping, the TBI and PTSD wore me me down. I'm not sure why I'm commenting here but I'm sorry to bother anyone just wanted to say I'm not unbalanced just lost in the VA system

I have been diagnosed with PTSD a moderate TBI with bleeding and contusion in the grey matter, Depression and anxiety. And you are right you have to earn the right to hear about my PTSD and my TBI I'm going to tell you every time. Depression is death when and how. The only thing keeping me alive are my heavy medications. There is too much to say about all of this and it's hard finding people that understand the extent of these injuries.

Hi my is Joe I have TBI and PTSD as a child I was abused woke out of bed and yeld at for nothing . I felt so ashamed and so alone at tines . I couldnt do enough to make my moms boy friends happy enough .I was hit by a speeding car when I was 5yrs of age beat with a 22 cal pistol when I was 20 . and from the time I was I was labled unstable from the stat of California. I've attempted suicide I've atenpted in 2012 and thank God the chamber had locked up. Thoughts of depression and suicide run thorough mind everyday uncomfortable feeling . I don't like it . December 7 2012 scares me . I wish there were support groups for those who struggle with this same thing I do .

I am a 52 year old male.. I found out i have lived with ptsd and tbi for 27 years . i just fond out in 2013 . Thank god i went too er was having hallucinations unrelated to tbi but was found then. I was an explosion in 1987 in  lav.. with 2 marines lav  battalion in 1987 at Fort Benning, Ga.  To my knowledge now was first time used in our unit. I was a test dummy so too speak . i was dummy in side who lived .I was medic at time . Treating others and unknowing my self.. Im lucky im alive and back in Va care. It helps me every day make a difference in a positive way.

PTSD is recognized by the World Health Organisation as a comparison of a physical injury such as quadriplegic. I have suffered since 2007, had 5 hospital admissions & my 6th tomorrow. I am a person who was assaulted. After the assault I was a functioning alcoholic. I have now been clean for 6 years & 11 months. How easy it would be just to pick that bottle up again, to feel safe & happy! I know too well that would be catastrophic! I am on loads of medication, have had years of therapy & sometimes I just want to be dead! I never asked for this life, however I have two options 1. Keep fighting or 2. Give up! I was a high achiever that lived a very successful fulfilling life! Lately hence my admission I fail to eat, shower, isolate & hate my life! One thing though the choice is mine to keep fighting or give up! I truly understand the battles each any everyone of you face! I have joined a number of support groups on Facebook which have validated my illness! I am building the 'guts' up to so a 12 week program at one of the most successful programs in Australia. I accept I will never have what I had but I need at least half of my old life back! Keep self soothing fellow warriors & remember there are people that do understand!

The man I love was recently given a PTSD & TBI diagnosis. I'm not surprised as I picked up on some cognitive issues, mood swings and withdrawal. His injuries were sustain while serving. He called to tell me and he is now pushing away from me. Telling me to move on with my life. He is fearful he will harm me unintentionally, or be a burden. My position is I love him...good or bad. Advice?? Should I give him his space to sort out the implications if the diagnosis. I can't imagine being with any other man; I love him deeply. Am I being foolish??

When you love someone so much, you have to listen to your inner voice. He is pushing you away because he doesn't see himself as the man he once was, but he still needs to be loved regardless of his ability to live you back the same. It is up to you whether or not you can live with his partial love, the balance will always be off. As for me, I had already loved my husband for 15 years when he got a TBi with PTSD and I have learned to accept this new personality that looks like my husband as I vowed in sickness & in health I could never leave, that would be torturous to him. We've been to support groups & that was the common denominator among tbi survivors is that no one understand & they just leave them. It's certainly not marital bliss but when you exchange vows you know it's for better or worse. I'm just glad that I can still love him & he is still with me in this world. I do miss the old personality but if he wasn't here for me to love, my life would be so lonely

The man I love has Pstd & TBI. I can't begin to imagine what he is experiencing. I just know that he needs me to be there. Sometimes you can read articles like this one in an attempt to understand what she or he is living, sometimes are you trying to convince yourself that you can love them enough. I think it's a testament of strength and loyalty to have the back of your beloved vet. Given the sacrifice and the emotional and physical that may constitute the new version of your amazing person. Don't take it to heart, be proud them and yourself. He tells me to go away and leave him alone..... Like that's going to happen.... Love him to much.

I was diagnosed w TBI and PTSD 19yrs ago. I've been a serious opiate addict from '99 on! I left hosp.,after 6 mnths, ama, w 2 grocery carts a month,of every type of morphine u can think of, that's correct,2! Last xmas the woman i've lived w died. I found my best friend August 8, after 2days and it wasn't pretty! I think about suicide practically every day! I don't take chemicals (pharmaceutical) anymore,...i smoke weed n it helps keep my mind in check!

Vet Centers are the best things about the VA. I am a female veteran with PTSD and TBI. No big surprise I'm single. Those who have significant others... do what you can to love and appreciate them. They know you have problems but they love you away. That's a blessing. Don't jump on them for not understanding... be thankful they'll listen. We all the PTSD and TBI combination sucks but that doesn't mean life has to. I know finding enjoyment in life can be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack but keep digging. It's there. The process will keep you alive and the findings will keep you grateful for life. That's my spill. Keep fighting the good fight friends and comrads. And when you can't fight take a nap and when you can't take a nap tell someone you who loves you and knows you that you need a hug. I don't know yall but I love you all and you're not alone. Take care.

I've been out since 2008. I've been dealing with (what I believe to be Both, TBI and PTSD) on my own, since 2003. I just cannot get myself to go to the VA. I hate that place so much. I hate everything about them. I get one to two migraines a week from an injury sustained in Iraq. When I was in the Army, I never had an issue getting my meds, they were always on time, and as I grew immune, they would change it up. When I ETS'ed out of the Army, and the VA took over, I was without meds for 3 months. They messed everything up and what really bothered me the most, was their apathy for the whole situation. I finally walked out and never went back. I've been struggling out here on my own with migraines, anxiety so bad that I throw up in the morning if I know I have to leave my house that day. My memory, and thinking are shot and I am just burnt out. I am afraid to tell the VA about my condition in fear that they will use it against me and treat me like I am some kind of liability. I am not a violent person. After the war I had to unplug from anything violent--I can’t even hunt anymore. I would never harm another person or animal. I just don't trust them and I don't know how much longer I can keep doing this on my own. Civilians could care less about my injuries, and its hard to keep a job, and keep an employer happy with 1 to 2 migraines a week. I get nervous, and at times I have to be alone so I can calm down and steady my nerves. I am sick of apologizing for my condition and working through the pain day after day. I won an award for the last company I worked for. I was one of only a couple of reps in the nation (this is a Forbes company) to achieve this goal. I couldn't even go to the dinner with the top leadership because I was afraid I would not be able to handle it and look like an ass in front of them. After all that effort and working through all that pain, they still made it very clear that my migraines were "interfering with scheduling" and I could be fired for missing days. I even asked if I could use my personal days for migraine days (instead of vacation days like everyone else uses them for) and my manager said no. "We would have to make that exception for everyone if we did that". I was new to the company so I had to wait one year before I was eligible for FMLA. How am I supposed to live like this? I have no choice but to return to the VA and everything inside of me cringes at the idea of that. I am no longer near Detroit though, so perhaps a different location will be better. Sorry for the babble… just need to vent sometimes.

I feel as if you are wrong in part. I have both PTSD and a TBI I spent 2.5 months in a coma. I have been a fish out of water since. I have spent over half my life this way. I am very intelligent, and find most of this life a bore. I listen to everyone, but find most to be myopic. People who are supposed to help are to busy trying to label you, for then they don't need to spend time thinking about me, or more often they want to give you more medicine so you lose free thought. They want to manage you as if you are a pet that can learn tricks, and point to as a success. I want more, and in fact need more. This life is becoming a waste of time.

To all are hurting. It is not you , It is those who do not want to help you. 

Selfishness and Greed. That is the way of Human nature ! It has nothing to do with suffering  TBI and PTSD. They use it as an excuse to not help you!

Please understand what I'm about to explain. We  might suffer from TBI and PTSD.  I ;myself; did undertake  "Journeys for Answers" and came up with all different reasons that don't even have nothing to do with this conditions. It is simply the attitude of some people towards folks like us.This has always occurred in the past and present for all war vets and regular folks with no combat time. It is a phenomenon called "Selfishness and Greed!" The people who work for the different levels of our government such as city,state and federal :WHO! do not have not one minute of Armed Forces Service and who control key positions where a job can be given to a veteran and yet they hold those positions from being filled because THE GOV gives them a bonus for doing the most work with the least employees. This the main cause. People Factor is the Key.NOT YOUR CONDITION,CORRUPT GOV> There is a lot of bad people out there wheeling and dealing with vet benefits! So to all my fellow sufferers It is not you ,it is the attitude of the people above you that just don't to give what you need; just out of greed and selfishness. Eventually it will catch up with them. I have met them all. IT IS NOT US IT IS THEM> YOU GOT NOTHING TO SUFFER FOR NEEDLESSLY. IT S NOT YOUR FAULT,IT IS NOT OUR FAULT! They are the perpetrators! From all nationalities and races. Corrupt to the max!Nobody monitors them!

The only thing that helped me was antipsychotics at first....and only one out of seven helped but it stripped me of my sense of connection and spirituality...it literally caused me to stop believing in God due to a chemical change in my brain which subsided when I discontinued taking it....was the strangest most empty feeling I've ever had...weird to say the least. Anyway...I suffer mostly from night terrors and major night sweats...avoidance and flashbacks...one thing helped....prazosin. It is a blood pressure medicine that makes it hard for your brain receive signals from adrenaline that increase with nightmares and flash backs...night sweats stopped for the most part and so did night terrors and flashbacks were decreased... Thought this might help you... Getting decent sleep is the corner stone to combating this illness and Prazosin has had a tremendous positive effect for many suffering like us... Ask your doctor about it if you haven't already been offered this as an option. Regards, Holly

I'm now 32. at 16, I was "awarded" a TBI with frontal lobe damage and damage to basil ganglia. Very generic response here, cant list all info or would take a full website. It was the result of a car wreck, I was not driving. I also suffered a DVT in my left leg. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, TBI, and a few other issues, but still do not qualify for disability when it comes to the US Government. I was considered a disabled student, but that's about it. Since the accident, I've been able to find work for a total of maybe 3 years out of 16 years. I've graduated college, with honors, but no one wants to hire me. I try to do my best, but every employer views me as a liability because I'm not like everyone else. Talk about feeling completely useless! I've kept to myself and held in 96% of all of my emotions over the years, but I'm almost to a breaking point. I just want to let others that have TBI's know one thing.... Please don't ever give up. Life may suck, but it is still life and something to complain about. Not a day goes by that I do not think about taking the easy way out, but I found an understanding and loving girl and have a wonderful family to keep me going. Without them, I know for a fact that I would have ended my life long ago. I guess I'm just still struggling with dealing with the fact that it probably will be all I ever have... I want to work, I want to design, I want to market, I want to live. I've lost my "go" button and need tons of help, but I cannot seem to find any place willing to help. O how i curse the dreaded TBI. Subarachnoid hemorrhaging, not a day goes by that I do not feel your presence bulging through my mind; preventing me from living the life I obsess over each and every day... Ehh.. it could just all be in my head! If anyone reads this and wants to help out, then please by all means do. nickwarner17 @ gmail. com

I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and TBI in 2012 about 4 months after my head injury. My family and my therapist are my support system. I am not a veteran and am paying out of pocket for my treatment. I have done exposure therapy, bounce therapy, EMDR, talk therapy and do lots of cardiovascular exercise. I have two dogs that help me motivate even on really tough days to get out and move. They are also wonderful for loving me unconditionally. My family is supportive but they still have times when they take my "episodes" personally. I would never wish anyone to have to live with this combination. I dont know if I would say navigating would be the way I would describe what I and others like me am living....I would call it SURVIVING. 

Remember not to take it personal if your loved one has TBI and PTSD. Have a plan in place as a family, a "go-to" activity to get the mind occupied, be sure the whole family has access to the therapist or a hotline. 

Got a comment/question for the brainiacs. If you stigmatize PTSD as the article does (anger, confusion, anger, suicide, blaming the Veteran for the loss of intimacy, ETC) do you think that may contribute to:

The Veteran being isolated by others, furthering the isolation?

The fear of talking to brainiacs, who can institutionalize you, resulting in losing of RIGHTS, ETC, the Veteran fought for?

And that has a negative effect on all the rest!!!

So, brainiacs, maybe getting input from actual combat veterans, who also might have also have an education (not to mention COMMON SENSE) just might help?


I have met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with but he unfortunately suffers from both tbi and ptsd. I have read in other articles that not only is substance abuse something that happens due to ptsd but infidelity is as well. Do anyone else know anything about this?

Just a few weeks ago, I met the man of my dreams. Sadly, he suffers from PTSD and TBI due to an explosion that he was victim to while serving. He has depression and social anxiety, so it's been difficult getting through to him lately. But just during the few wonderful times we've spent together, I truly know he's the one for me. He's had a hard time dating because a lot of women don't see past his challenges. I do. I can see straight into his heart. And there I see the most loving, kind, intelligent, funny, creative, gentle, brave and handsome man I've ever met in my life. I know he's going through a very hard time right now...I pray for him every single day, morning and night. He's always on my mind. I won't ever give up on him or ever stop praying for his full recovery and restoration. I would give anything to hear him laugh, see his amazing smile and stare into his beautiful brown eyes again. One day with him would be worth a lifetime of waiting...

Ashley A.

I am in the same situation it is very hard and I do not want to give up because of his good loving side. I do not have no one to talk to about this no friends so I feel it is affecting me as well.

I was injured in Iraq and i have both tbi and PTSD. I take my meds but i still get wild moodswings. I completed my TRP group, i dont know how my wife handles it. It can get rough somedays.

Crazy thing is tbi and ptsd combined reading this article describes my hubby who doesn't have a tbi but has MS and combat ptsd very similar its crazy. bless you all that care for your vet!!

Lash provides an excellent description of emotional issues I have witnessed a loved one dealing with after multiple accidents, including one that caused skull fractures. Most difficult of all, however, is getting THAT person to understand the likely cause, especially when you live in an area where all the so-called healthcare agencies and social services DENY the existence of TBI and refuse to read anything like this excellent article. Extremely frustrating to KNOW this and not receive the help you need to help your loved one -- on the contrary - we are being assaulted by local agencies - I am in particular, simply because I believe what I see and what has happened - because I am the only one NOT in denial in this scenario.

Amen, brother. I had issues accessing the VA system after I got hurt. Went elsewhere in the meantime. They had no clue how to assess me. I was directed to the Vet Center in my area. They took me right away. It was maybe 2 weeks until they'd figured out that I had both and started treating me for both. They even assigned me to a counselor who'd had similar experiences. Probably saved my life. To anyone coming home and wondering if they might have PTSD or TBI or just having trouble transitioning to civilian life, there are folks out there who will help!

I can't emphasize enough, if you are or know a woman or man who is a combat veteran, please guide them to a Veteran's Center. These are NOT the VA. Though they are Federal, they have a level of confidentiality for help issues that the VA does not AND you will be among other veterans who KNOW the 'theater of war', which is very different than what a stateside or peacetime veteran can really comprehemd! The reps and cpunselors at the vet center's WILL help ypu! I suffered for many years with increasing isolation and a boatload of other negative stuff I am still trying to get through. The VA hospitals can help up to point but...srsly, get to a Vet center. I wish someone had bothered, including my caregivers at the VA's to be more positive about and point the way but truth is, most VA's don't really 'like' vet centers because they can't bully them. So many war vets suffer...SO mnay...esp females cause there's a lot of sexism by male and female staff cause up until the last few years even women who get legs blown off under attack were not thought of in 'heroic' terms as their brothers, EVEN if they were the same unit, squad, team! So you women war veterans don't fall for that MST game they try to lay on the sisters in arms. That's the few 'old brass' dude's in the DOD trying to get political. The old men who still living with WW2 mentalities. I ain't talking about the vets, I'm talking about dudes who live in a time gone by and want everyone else to as well. But if you did suffer MST, and that happens to ALOT of dudes too btw, then say so cause any POS that would harass a brother or sister in arms don't belong with those who 'stand strong'. They offend our dead. And ANY vet can go to a VA ER if need be, so long as you have your dd214 and were honorable.

Don't find reasons to die, find reasons to live .Those who fell are with us always. Let their lights shine above you when it gets dark and don't stay alone for too long in that dark. It won't help. You do NOT have to talk about n e thing too tough at a vet center, so don't worry about feeling over exposed. But the reps at these places can help make sure you get in safe housing if you need or want it and help with just Life stuff. 

AND btw, PTSD is horrible. Ignoring it for years for whatever reason, could result in it becoming entrenched and trust me when I say that is a bad, bad thing. Combine that with a brain injury, and even the people you think would never leave your back, will. It's imperative you get help to put a buffer, neutral zone, anything between your symptoms and your friends and family. I won't ever tell my fam all the bad ðetails, but I might tell an objective party, see? So, just don't be the lone wolf. There's nothing sexy or romantic about it and NO ONE is waiting to give you a medal for suffering all alone. And you'll find that out all by yourself too. Don't bother. Get your physical done at a VA and the rest? Get to a Vet Center. Nothing's easy about this my brothers and sisters in arms. Nothing. But, it might be more bearable if we watch each others six.

One more thing...the 'theater of war'? You either been in one or you ain't. Those of us who have might respect you peacetime or stateside support service, but don't you even try to front. I put any female in a war up against any stateside peacey bro in a ny minute. If you can't muster respect, keep your yaps shut and go play golf. Heads up to all my war fam. We're survivors,so let's survive together! And don't vote for any punk clown who tries to subtract or sneak on the VA, VBA, or vet center budgets!

Yes I agree, I go through it daily and its not a nice thing have. I'm still waiting for the perfect storm to cease.