What Happens to Relationships After Brain Injury?

From the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury
What Happens to Relationships After Brain Injury?

Many survivors and family members describe changes in their relationships after the injury. They may not hear much from friends, co-workers, and extended family members. Others notice that their phone calls, emails, and letters are left unanswered. Some survivors find themselves feeling alone even when they spend much of their time with family members or friends. Here are some of the things people say about their relationships after brain injury. Do any of these statements sound like things you have said?

  • I can't relate to other people. It's easier to be by myself.
  • What happened to all the friends who came to visit me in the hospital?
  • Other people don't want to be around me.
  • People seem to avoid me.
  • My wife threatens to leave me at least twice a week.
  • I wonder why no one returns my calls.
  • It seems like everyone at work has lost my phone number.
  • I haven't talked to anyone in weeks.
  • Nobody cares about me.
  • I don't have any friends.
  • Seems like nobody wants to talk to me.
  • Nobody has any idea what I am going through. They don't understand me.

Why people feel lonely even when around family members or friends?

After injury, many survivors describe feeling lonely — even when they are surrounded by other people. This loneliness may arise for many different reasons.

  • Difficulty talking to other people or understanding what others are saying are common problems survivors face after injury. Communication problems can make relating to other people and explaining your thoughts and feelings very difficult. These problems can lead to feeling misunderstood and isolated.
  • Many survivors feel self-conscious after their injuries. They may worry about being different or less capable than other people. Self-consciousness can make it harder to spend time with other people or seek out new relationships.
  • After injury, many survivors worry about what others will think of them and may feel nervous about being around other people. They may be afraid of being hurt or rejected by other people.
  • Many survivors notice they are more irritable after their injuries. When irritated, they may say or do things they regret later on. Some survivors try to stay away from those they care about for fear of behaving poorly. Family and friends may also avoid you if they are worried about what you might say or do.
  • Fatigue and low energy are common problems after brain injury. Survivors may not have the energy to do things they used to enjoy or to spend time with friends and family. Family and friends may also worry about tiring you out when they invite you to do something.
  • Pain and other physical problems often make it harder for survivors to do things they used to enjoy. You may also have trouble leaving the house, traveling, or visiting other people. Injury-related limitations make it harder to nurture and build relationships.
  • Many survivors are not able to drive or work after their injury. Lack of transportation and money may make it hard to visit others or do things you enjoy.
  • People generally make friends through work or being involved in social or recreational activities. After injury, survivors often stop working and may not be involved in sports, church, and other activities. You may lose contact with friends and co-workers because you don't see them as much.
  • Friends and family may feel uncomfortable because they don't know what to say, how to act, or how to help. Discomfort may make it harder for them to relate to you or spend time with you. Help them out by letting them know about your positive and negative feelings and what they can do to help you.
Posted on BrainLine November 4, 2008. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

From the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury, Virginia Commonwealth Model Systems of Care. Chapter reprinted with permission from the NRC TBI publication, Recovering Relationships After Brain Injury: The Essential Guide for Survivors and Family Members.

Comments (213)

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.

You have my kind regards. I am also a brain injury survivor and have had a few bumps throughout my journey of life. I had a brain injury when I was 15 I was assaulted and I am currently 19. Nevertheless I have managed to pull through and still seem to face similar problems concerning my communication with everyone around although I have managed to overcome those problems. There were times when my friends didn't pay attention to me and I was disregarded by them leaving me lonely at school on top of the fact that I went one year back due to failing my exams. This was worsened by the fact that I was bullied and also by the fact that I was a year back and could see the progress of my friends without me. I have now overcome these problems thank Allah as I am a Muslim. Although I have managed to be much more popular and more socially involved I still face problems keeping in contact with newly made acquaintances. Some people don't recognize that I have a problem and regard me as an intelligent person although I do get people avoiding me. I do believe I act a little too serious and find it difficult to break ice with new friends especially when alone with one person. I can easily be funny and joke but that depends on who I am with. I still have a long way to go , although it seems like just arrived from a long voyage. I guess I need to set sail again and this time need to be more prepared for storms ahead as well as have sunscreen if it will be sunny in the sea. Anyway I wish you the best and just advice your husband to get out of his comfort zone and find something to do in his life.

I have a TBI from the war 11 years ago. Since then I have not been the same. I PTSD and all of the problems that come with it. I'm about to lose my wife cause I can't stop lying to her. I love her more than anything in the world but I used to never lie except for little white ones. I try everything to be honest with her and I keep falling back. I've read that TBI'S can cause a person to do it. I just really need some help but I'm afraid if I tell a Dr. about anything. I have a fear that I could be put away from my life.

My significant other had a TBI in 2012 and at first it did not seem to have changed much about him other than he was slower and his memory was not good. He was still able to communicate, bath, dress himself and feed himself. He would laugh and talk, read, watch t.v., walk and work out,  just as before. He still had his sense of humor, (which is what I fell in love with in the first place) and his loving heart. He was no longer able to work, due to the severe memory issues, which was vital to his job. He still made me feel like a queen with his kind words and his loving gestures. I married him in 2013 because I still loved him just as I did prior to the TBI and while there were obvious differences, those obstacles did not seem to be so huge at the time, but in the last 3 1/2 years things have really changed. His entire family, has more or less disowned him and there are NO friends left. He has not even seen his grown children since 2013 (no, they do not care for me). Even his mom and dad have not talked to him in over a year. He has pretty much forgot them all now, which is not what I wanted, but I am too busy taking care of him too try and force a relationship between all of them. He no longer puts forth any effort to make himself better and all my attempts at bringing in outside help has done nothing for him because he will not try.  My friends do not understand the situation, although "they are sorry for me."  They think I should have never married him and they may be right, but tell that to my heart. My husband is pretty much gone now, he no longer talks to me, there is NO physical relationship and I just roam around the house while he sleeps. His day consist of eating, sleeping and reading. He says maybe 10 words to me in a days time and that is typically, " when are we going to eat"? and "I am going to bed"! I am blessed to still be able to work,  due to the fact that I am self employed and able to run my own hours. One of my disabled family members stays with him while I am out, we trade out sitting with him for room and board. In some ways I am lucky that I have the freedom to work and I know this but even that is suffering because my home life is on my mind constantly.  Here is my dilemma. My husband acts like he could care less if I am here or not as long as he is fed, and while he tells me he loves me, there is nothing to back it up and as humans we need that connection. When I ask him to share his thoughts or his feelings he looks at me like I have lost my mind, when all I want is communication. I asked him today to share one memory with me, any memory,  and he did not know what the word "memory" meant. When I explained it to him he told me he remembered marrying me and actually told me where we got married at. That is a big deal that he could remember this, so how could I even be thinking of giving up on us? I do not think family and friends realize that when they walk away, they take so much more from the TBI member than the brain injury itself does. Socialization is everything to some of them).  Walking out alienates and isolates these individuals and the effect this has on the self worth that the person with the TBI has is felt clear to their soul and it makes them feel unimportant and they give up. I have to fight daily to keep from getting sucked into his world of just existing and it is hard to not just give up myself.  There is no joy, excitement, very little laughter and no hope of a happier tomorrow. I do not mean for this to be doom and gloom but just stating the facts of how hard this is and very confusing, as to the right thing to do for both of us. I feel like he would not even remember me in a matter of a month if I was to place him in a facility,  but when I checked them out they are downright depressing and I cannot imagine placing him in that environment. He has been through and lost enough already but do I sacrifice my sanity for his benefit of staying home? We really need some better options out there. I thank God every day for my son and a couple of friends I do have left and I thank my brother for his support but I just do not know how far I let this take me down before I admit defeat.

I have a friend whose husband suffered a brain injury over 5 years ago while on the job as a police officer. They were the fairy tale couple that everyone envied! With 5 great children they did everything together as a family. They were kindest people you would ever meet and the love that burst through their eyes was enough to make everyone jealous of their relationship! He has been going through treatment since the accident, suffering migraines, anxiety, mood swings, PTSD, etc. As the years have gone on, his symptoms seem to have gotten worse! He was visibly a different person than he was before the accident. I pray for that family every day! What was the perfect little family has become a tragic story! His wife and his children have had to learn to be with this man who no longer is the person the knew and loved so much! The sacrifices they have made to help and care for him have been difficult...especially for the young children who do not fully understand! It has been so very sad! A few months ago he added salt to the wounds by trying to commit suicide. While the family was still reeling from that pain, he decided to have an affair and recently moved out to live with this woman! As I am an outsider looking in, I can see that the man she married died 5 years ago after his accident. But it is so heartbreaking to watch this family suffer so much. Everyone is in counseling which is a good thing! How do I help this family? I am not naive enough to think I can fix it...but I want to help somehow make the pain of this a little better. I have read these stories and have shed tears for each one! Brain injuries are such a cruel and heart wrenching tragedy. Sending you all prayers for healing and happiness!

I am so surprised to find this site. I suffered a ruptured AVM when I was a young, pretty, 22 years old woman in 1980. Then, there were no support groups, no one to talk to. I was popular, married almost two years and was left with left side paralysis. After 2 years of therapy, many people were unable to tell anything was wrong and I strived to "be normal." But, of course, I'm not. I've been financially secure to afford the very best of everything. I've traveled the world,  living a spectacular life, but its been without anyone my age to relate with on the subject of my illness. My children know me only as I am, not as I know I was. My existence has been doctors, physical therapy, medication, MRI scans, depression, more depression, acting out, divorce, addiction, rehab...  Now, that my career as a reporter is done and I've got time on my hands to give toward my grown family, NO ONE CALLS.  Yes, my injury has changed me as I've grown older, but what the hell, I'm still more entertaining than most people I know. Anyway, so glad to find this site. I'll return to reading your comments and wish I could personally connect with some of you.   Leslie

I feel so alone and isolated since my husband had a stroke. I care for him at home. I feel every bodies else's life has gone on except ours. I know I shouldn't feel sorry for myself but my heart is hurting so much 😢

Great information

Tank you. This writing is just how I have felt since severe brain damage 9 years ago.

My husband of 36 years was in car accident feb-2013 A girl run stop sign and hit him as his speed was 55 Mph he's left with TBI the same year he was to retire and we start living out our dreams! Wrong. I'm living in hell with him seems like I can't find help for him the one place I did find help like he needs was in Chapel Hill NC they wanted 600.00 first visit and 2 visit between 600.00-1200.00 per visit we can't afford this they have him on meds yes but I don't know him Since the wreck he says he's changed he needs to be alone 90% time it's hard because when he was air flighted to hospital and in coma for 12 days and finally woke up he knew his family and co workers but he didn't know how use fork or walk or put his clothes on or walk or wipe his butt ! I done 24/7 care for him everything I done I gave his baths I put his clothes on him I went to bed every night with him at 7:00 just so he would not fall off the bed and hit his head " anyways where we stand now is yes he survived that wreck. He's up walking now driving. And taking care of all the yard work and doing about what he wants too all at same time I don't know who he is he ignores or 3 daughters. Grown ups now and our 4 grand kids is very short fused with them and only can take few mins with visitors family and poof he's gone , He's always saying I should never been here now I need help " why am I still here "On another note " 2009 he fell from a 50 ft light pole from his job few surgery and 2 yrs later he was fine " then wreck 2013 I'm always trying understand his blunt ways of talking to me and me trying figure out what's he's talking about leads to " well I shut up you don't understand " and wAlks away . He wants help But I can't find him help so needs less to say he's alone time I gave him in his safe place I. His room wasn't enough he since then stays across the rd in a ole store building he set him a bed up there and he's across the rd at the house few times aday says he's ok where he's at and now we talking about separating after he's been moved out since jan he keep saying you don't deserve to live like this go find you a man """" grrrr"""" I'm at a breaking point and I'm trying to fight for my 36 yrs with this man. But the drs said there he will get to point where he wants to be alone. I'm going put this out there if anyone close to Sanford or Siler City NC or Pittsboro Nc is going through TBI and have any info on any help I can get on how to deal with him Cause I'm at pointing need help Myself just to deal with him. This is tearing me up and to think throw away 36 yrs away for something that was not his fault I can't turn my back on him even if he's pushing me away I need help people . I seen so many stories on here I read if only I had a way contact y'all is it safe to post phone numbers here ? Just going save this site or try too watch for the comments back to me take care y'all and don't lose faith ""

I have a head injury and I identify with everything in this list. All of these complications can lead to other hardships: depression, anxiety, abusing drugs and alcohol to feel normal. I got hit at 16. I didn't understand and neither did my friends. I did drugs to feel more confident. I drank alcohol to make it easier to leave my house. To make me 'better' in social situations I relied on a high. I know this is common. I spend time being hurt and angry because none of my friends loved me enough to stay. I was just too much to handle. I try not to think about it though. It's old news. I'm 25. I still make really poor decisions and have incredibly shit judgement. I have come to terms with this. My boyfriend didn't know me before the injury. He doesn't get it, plain and simple. I've tried so hard to be with this man and I don't know if I can because he does not act on his words of kindness.. He just doesn't get it. I can't make him. I want to be happy. I know if you're anything like me, this you feel you don't deserve. The guilt.. Don't have patience for someone that doesn't have patience for you. If they hold your irritability over your head and accuse you of holding double standards - They need to have different standards. It's never going to be easy with someone like me (a person with a head injury). Now. All of us know, ok, if you can't then don't.. Go now. This is personal, obviously.. And if anything maybe this can be encouraging to someone going through the same thing  Stay strong, oh yeah and TBI for life ✌ (Silly)

My son had a stroke. He needs some friends. ..he is 21

Something feels very wrong with me and I'm scared. I am a very independent person and after my bicycle accident I feel like I'm making all kinds of bad choices. I can't remember dates or thoughts and I've screwed up so many appointments. Everyday it feels like I've forgotten to do another important thing. I have never felt this mentally dull but no one else has seemed to notice just yet. Is it possible I'm just stressed and this is all in my head?

Yep everything I can identify with.  I'm actually slipping away a little bit more day by day.  Tragic

I met my boyfriend 12 years after his brain hemorrhage, and a few months in I'm learning about his impulses etc. He is the best person I have met and struggles to believe that I want to understand more and that I want to stick around - he's not used to it. He lied to me about his financial situation, trying to paint a picture of him as a provider for me. I understand his lying doesn't indicate any malice, but I struggle to believe little things. I also want to help him learn to save money so he can plan for his future but the thought of managing his finances will make him lack self-worth. I'm happy to take baby steps but am on the lookout for tried and tested methods to help combat these things!

i kow your struggle, my boyfriend lied to me about being married, they were seperated at the time, and now when i try to talk to him or help him in anyway he always get an attitude and im to the point i dont know what else to do, hes tried talking to a doctor and everything and nothing helps. i wanna leave him but when i say something about it he jumps the gun and gose nuts.

these are all so true. i have a tbi right now from a girl who was on 3 types of drugs hitting me. broke my hip, back, lacerated my liver/ spleen & major memory loss. therapy is going okay though, i just hate it so much.

Agreed. In my experience, he was attempting to cheat even before the stroke. Its low self esteem.

At this time I am recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Everybody has different symptoms. but cheating, I don't think that has something to do with the injury. That's who he was as a person.

I met by boyfriend about 6 months after he had his tbi in a car accident. He was not shy at all, and told me I was pretty. He even started holding my hand 30 minutes after we met. I thought he was funny outgoing and sweet and he is, but I knew nothing about TBIs. We eventually started dating and I started to see the negative sides of the injury that I thought would be easy to overcome since we had already formed a tight friendship. His mood would change super quick, his happy was super happy and his angry was infuriated. He started to message my girl friends on Facebook and I was hurt by it. He was and is very impulsive and I know he had a hard time controlling it. He would call me (no joke) about 20 times in a row if I didn't answer. He would show up at my house when I hadn't invited him. He got really tired and we would have to stop what we're doing at times so he could take a nap or we could lay down. My friends didn't like me dating him because he would message them and told me I took care of him like a baby, but I shook it off. He was unable to get a job, and had a hard time making friends. We hung out every day until he went to Bakersfield for treatment and to learn some basic skills in order to live successfully with a tbi. He was gone for months and during that process I had time to think about whether I wanted to live like this for the rest of my life. I loved him so much but I had so many goals in life such as getting my nursing degree and traveling the world studying medicine I felt they were unachievable if I were with him. I also pictured myself having lots of kids and to not work all the time, I couldn't imagine leaving him alone with a baby or toddler and knew he couldn't get a job to help out with future finances. I broke up with him because I figured he had staff and support in Bakersfield that could help him cope and move on. I was sad but kept busy through school and work. When he came back he got a new girlfriend and we didn't talk until one day we decided to get lunch. We had fun and talked for hours. After that I thought in my head that if I loved him that much and we had this great chemistry I could make everything work out. We got back together and I even went to counseling and therapy with him but a month later he (physically) cheated on me. I was so devastated and sad, I knew he had impulse control issues but never saw it going this far. I felt like I could have gotten past the effects of the brain injury, but this was too much and too painful, it felt like a slap to the face. I broke things off for good and that was about 2 years ago. I still think about him and recently found some of our old pictures. I don't talk about him to anyone because I feel like no one understands me. I miss our friendship and think about the good times we had. I feel bad for him too, I want him to be successful and happy but I know what demons he faces every day.

Valentines Day 2015 changed our lives forever. My husband was rushed to hospital having seizures. What was happening, he has never been sick apart from the occasional cold. Then I was given the news no partner wants to hear " We found a large tumor on his brain" Our relationship has changed tremendously and I always wish somehow we could take it back. He now struggles daily with chronic fatigue, lacks motivation to do any activity. He has bursts of frustration and most of all for me we have lost our intimacy. He is living his own private hell and I am on the outside watching and feeling very lonely. We dont converse as much anymore. Date night is a bygone memory. Our marriage is extremely hard but I would rather it be hard than not have him at all !! Now we just have to take a different journey and learn to enjoy this new life with all the new highs and lows. I would much rather cry a few tears than cry a river if I had lost him ..

In the last year my boyfriend got hit by a car while walking.. Our relationship has suffered tremendously and I always wish somehow we could take it back. He has had anger issues and a close relative of his passed away only six months after. Things have been terrible hard but I would rather it be hard than not have him at all. We were together for a year and a half and now going on three. He was put on mood stabalizers to help his anger, and since then has been able to control it a lot better with slight bursts here and there. He is an angel and always remember that they don't mean to be what the brain injury caused.. they can't control it. If you are concerned go to a doctor or therapist and ask for help, they wish the accident didnt happen as much as us loved ones do, so always encourage them to be the best person. I know I will never be without my boyfriend, he may be different, but he's a love and always will be. 

Everything changes, nothing is the same very hard to trust, he angers easily, forgets what we just talked about, accuses me of not understanding or supporting him. It's a very lonely life because now I'm the caregiver

My god i agree with every word written here, in Feb 2013 I suffered I'm told a severe TBI as a passenger in a car. I was a driven successful person before my injury but hell this impact has removed a lot of my personality to the person I now am however I'm so glad that my previous driven personality remained and it's that determination that has helped me but I've been in some tough times since my injury. I wish all with head injuries a blessed future with happiness and hope. Gary..

I had a tbi when I was 16. My life was great. I was getting offers for college football and looking forward to my senior year. It was March 31, 2009, and just a normal day going to school. The temperature was 26 degrees that morning but 70 the prior day and also later that day I found out. I had a 2004 Chevy Colorado. Only 6/10 of a mile from home I hit 72 feet of black ice that had formed from a water main break. I don't remember the accident. I hit a tree and suffered a diffuse axional brain injury. Basically shaken baby syndrome doctors told my parents. My life is great now I'm 23 married with an 18month old daughter. I work on the railroad and have a college degree. I do have a great life but very often feel a sense of depression and wonder of what my life would've been. My high school sweetheart broke up with me and I can't get over that. And I feel very anxious that I can't remember the actual wreck. Everything else I remember even better than before. Can anyone relate or give me advice on why I feel this way? I feel strange.

Perhaps written for those who have not been affected as much as the severely ones. We can't give compliments, babysit, go for coffee, etc. if we are unable to leave our home. For the ways we are affected, much of this list  is 'simply' not doable. My comments are meant for positive clarification. I respect those who write, and I am thankful for forums such as these.

I can tell you that I am severe brain injury. I lost my wife because it's a long story.we left my dear camp and that funny feeling I got was a warning from the LORD I just shook my head ,it has been and will be the opportunity it just overwhelming that I wish I had somebody to make my progress it was like I had a wife but before my progress. My life is lonely and having one that you care about ,it makes me real happy and my wishes go to her happiness it's my ability to make sure that my two kids are happy, and they are it makes my healing process go quickly, I am lonely it make the process get harder .I wish I had a woman to make the healing process to go a little easier. I'm OK I don't need anybody, it helps being able to talk about the trouble that it help thank you .

I had a severe traumatic tbi from a horse accident, the saddle didnt fit right enough, I take my actions as my own, forgot all about to make sure the saddle fits, wasn't my first blow to the head but it certainly was the last.  at least I hope. 

I hope that strategies are important enough not to be forgotten.  I go through these cycles of learning, then unlearning, or at least not having the information in the blink of an eye, its usually a slow process.  Like there is a storm inside my head and the storm has to settle down before I can accurately navigate the area of my mind that is needed. 

If I can remember what i was looking for before the storm that is.

its like being distracted from your job, takes a good couple of minutes to get back on track, well sometimes is can be longer.

I dont think this process is taken into account during an emotional experience.

Everyone is different, try to allow your focus to the most important, but life is so much more than that, I believe we can successfully regain most of our natural behaviors and though patterns, we have the opportunity to make it better. speaking from a place where I have not yet accomplished this task, as it seems to be overwhelming.  I try lots of notes to remind me, because when i forget, the tax man still collects, this time with compound interest.  I knew I should have taken it slow and easy after surgery, but I didn't, now here I am.  still have a bit of fight left so to speak. Its tiresome at times, obstacle after obstacle, it doesn't take long to get tired, then after fatigue comes depression, and i hope you guys can see that fatigue is the prime reason we have problems.  the more we sleep the better we feel, get a good rest everyone. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

It's been 15 years now since my brain tumor was removed.....life has pretty much sucked. My ex left me, my sister and father kicked me to the curb, my Mom has been my only bright spot...and God, People do not accept those whom are somehow different, whether that's memory, emotions, attention, personality, etc...whatever.. Best just to learn to live alone happily as possible. Learn to do fun things independenantly 

My husband had a TBI from a car accident in 1989.  Our relationship changed and things got really bad until six years ago when he died in yet another car accident.  We had a lot of trouble trying to get help for him.  The insurance company fought us every step of the way, trying to blame his situation on his previous military experience, which was years ago.  Now I'm stuck here trying to live with the aftermath of all this.  I miss our life, I'm very lonely and no one understands what we went through for 20 years.

There are many support groups out there, hun. You are not alone. Please reach out. Remember, you matter. Love being sent your way

I had a catastrophic TBI a little over 20 years ago , had a handful of friends , they disappeared  , so I've been almost 25years with nobody at all .I suffer with clinical depression & once self harmed so severely that I almost bled to death . That was 20 years ago - now I feel like a facsimile ,not human ,without hope &staying alive so's to help care for my dear Mum who's stricken with Alzheimer's .

My TBI occured to me in February of 2011. I was driving south on I 15 and I hit a car that was going the wrong way on the freeway, head on and the speed limit was 75. The wrong way driver died on the scene and I, for better or worse survived. I am not a negative person, before or after the accident, I feel, but the TBI has wreaked havoc on my personal life since nearly day 1 of being released from my 2 month hospital stay. I have anger issues with my now 6 and 10 year old boys and my wife has continually commented on her not understanding me and how she feels like she is now married to a stranger. To the point where we have had to separate and she moved out.

Her moving out is not only a huge financial cost to us both, but an emotional struggle for both of us too. I will not comment on her self disclosed stress but my stress has become abruptly clear.

We seemingly had a great marriage before the accident. Rarely, if ever, fought, had the same outlooks on life, seemingly got along fine and fit like two pieces of a puzzle. That all changed when the wrong way driver struck me and ultimately gave me a TBI amongst numerous other inflicted traumas. The TBI, as I have said from nearly the 2nd month out of the hospital, is the one ailment that no one can see or understand. To me it is the most traumatic injury that has a lasting effect on me and those around  me.

My two sons, who are now 6 and 10 probably feel the 2nd worse effects, only preceded by my still current wife. The boys feel the wrath of me from dealing with sports to nightly homework. I really wish I could change and therefore this is day 1 of my transformation back to who I was before the TBI. Will it be easy? No. Will it be quick? No. Is it the most important undertaking I have ever attempted? Yes. Without a doubt. I liken it to conquering Mt. Everest. It seems like an unsurmountable task, right now, but there is nothing more important to me than keeping my family together and happy. I love them all and want them to be happy. Happy with me. That would mean more than the world to me. This is why I am embarking on this surely tough journey. They deserve it and I do not want to let the guy that hit me define who I will be for the rest of my life.

Man this is such a spot-on article. My mood swings are the most difficult part of it all.

I had a Brain Injury from an ATV accident in 2011.  I was released from the Hospital after a week, and had a few follow-up appointments with a neurologist.  I saw double for 8 weeks, so I had some appointments with a vision specialist.  When I stopped seeing double, all health care was over.  No one mentioned to me that there could be some residual, ongoing problems.  I lost the love of my life, estranged my family, and felt very alone and depressed.  After reading a novel last week that involved a couple of people with TBI, I read the authors' notes on research for the book.  I now understand the anger, depression, and other emotional problems I have been having. I am not me anymore.  I  am trying to educate my loved ones about it now so maybe I can mend the relationships.  It seems to be helping, but will not fix the behavior over the last 4 years.  I have a Dr. appointment today with a Dr that prescribed a mild medication for depression to me about 9 months ago.  I did not think it was relevant at the time to talk to her about my Brain Injury.  I do now. 

My brain injury happened 12/08/14 i got robbed by four guys and beat in head with shovels i underwent an left hemicraniectomy i was on life support for two day my whole right side of body is weakeness and i have glaucoma and i live a lone and feel like i have no help noooo where thats not good at all

I recently started back too work, 1 year, after having a tumor removed (partially), then radiation, and left deaf in one ear. My co workers, seem too be almost afraid of me. I used to be the 'class clown'. I almost feel like my body has been violated in some way from the surgery. It's now 13 months later. It should get better right?

Wishing everyone luck & recovery, healing on here. Makes you feel less alone. It is a struggle. July 14 I had a slip, trip & fall hit back of head, then speaker fell on head as well & think was concussed. Had nausea, vision, just staring at wall..Had mild tbi/pcs since- Then reported SV very traumatic need to complain re that. Feb waiting in neurology got hit in head as well. Very unlucky then helped a shot teenager & frightening. I live with preteen daughter & hard for her as gone from calm, happy & upbeat to angry, frustrated, depressed. Try tho to be more upbeat but can be volatile and she can as well. Parenting hard as makes so much noise & does not listen. I have had very little help & actually find pple nasty as seem to be narcissists and minimize & deny anything wrong & want to talk about themselves & too much. Also I don't drink & realize most pple do. I have become more spiritual and mindfulness, meditation, mantras, gratitude help. Relaxing music on you tube. I Have been very angry about lots of things & still am as reminded me of other traumas & being violently hit as a child. I like online stuff a lot now. I am at risk of losing home as unemployed on sick. Depressing & also how treated in UK. Praying this will change. It is hard having a hidden disability but pple think am not. I am still multilingual and can do a lot but before was super able. Cannot cope with light, noise, interaction. Pple & family have been abusive to me especially as am speaking out on these forums & on social media. Free speech. Also nasty because am poor. Just trying to do the best I can which is hard. Need to look at how can earn from home. Relationship wise don't think can meet anyone with this. Slowly get better 2 steps forward 1 step back. Be kind to yourselves & anyone helping you. Baths with lavender oil on head help as well, good healthy, raw food. Take care Namaste share your stories

I suffered a t.b.i when i was 19 was clinically dead 5 times had a t.i.a 1 month after leaving hospital no family nor friends could understand the change in my personality i lost all then my father kicked me out of home told me not to return until i was who i used to be,"i wish"after surviving on the streets in Sydney for 4 years as no family was allowed to help and after many years and 3 states i finally found my place and my gorgeous wife who accepts me with my faults so to any of you who may read this don't give up another day holds hope.

Without making this a long post, someone very special to me had a tbi a bit over 2 years ago.  Not as "serious" as some others, as he attempts to work.  This past Dec, he had a mini-stroke.  I only met this man 2 months after his tbi.  We were friends, and things started to grow from there.  After the mini-stroke, things got worse.  Meaning as far as his irritability, stm, concentration, depression, etc.  He started to shut off (which I begged him not to), as we are currently in different states.  Point being, this is a man with a LOT of pride, and was determined not to let this get him although his head was like a "shook up snow globe".  I think he is now starting to accept he may not get the old him back, but it is not liking it.  I could have taken some things he has said personally, and the behavior as such, but instead, I started reading up on survivors of tbi/strokes.  Everything was so on point.  To read what the survivors have said about their life, changes, thoughts was enlightening. His family doesn't understand, as no one seems to want to inform themselves.  They believe this is something the survivor chooses and can control.  I know things will not always be good, but it's the knowledge, understanding and love for him that gives me the strength to support and be there for him. 

I had a TBI 3 maybe 4 years ago, from an assault.  No doctor would ever help me and I struggle still.  I lost all my family as they found me too much to cope with I guess, they never actually said, just slowly disappeared from my life.  I avoid leaving my room, I have no facial recognition now which makes my life so very lonely.  Everyone is a stranger.  Every place I have to venture out into is strange and unknown to me (although I have been there before).  Am wondering if others also struggle with recognition of places, faces and writing?  Doctors are of no help, just shake their heads.  There are so many of us struggling and I hope we all find the peace we so much deserve.  Namaste.

I have one. I have lost my family and my marriage is in serious trouble..this injury is the worst.

my husband suffered from two sub achroid brain heamorages and he is home from hospital but no one comes to visit I have to work to keep a house for us to live in but his mood swings are starting to tell on me. I go to my work knowing that hubby is looked after by carers but when I come in after work my life is hell asking why those people come in and i go out then he has a good old rant about things them maybe after an hour he has forgotten all the nasty things he has said to me I have no support and really now think I cannot take anymore but he is my hubby in sickness and in health

I was hit in the head by a throw playing softball going on a year in September. Since my concussion, I have been living at my parents house recovering and sleeping alone. I have not given this much thought until recently. You see me and my girlfriend have decided to move in together and I am terrified of sharing a bed with her. My fear is that I could accidently be hit in the head again, on accident. I am doing much better but I certainly do not want to be hit in my head. This is new territory for her. She is a good person given my condition she still wants to move in together and be there for me. I don't want us to fight if by accident she bumps into my head or elbows my by accident. Can anyone relate? Any help would be much appreciated. I pray that we all heal over time. God bless you all!

I have noticed since my last brain surgery for my hydrocephalus my moods have been affected. I am more short tempered. My employer I feel is treating me different since I had my surgery. I used to love my job but have now got to the point where I dread going into work. Things got so bad I actually banged my head off the wall at work a few times.

Hi, my name is chad L. after reading this page and seeing all the people struggling with tbi, and seeing me struggling with the same issues, mainly relationship issues, my girlfriend i dont think understands the whole TBI. i try to send her stuff on it im not sure if she really reads it or what, but i know that maybe she will see if she just reads this whole page! maybe she will see how hard she is making it on me! i was in a coma for 8 days life support, really lucky to be alive of course thanks to God. but i had to re learn everything, walk, talk, eat, ect. now the first couple years after the accident are kind of fuzzy, most due to the injury, but eventually i did turn to alcohol for my answers, survivor guilt i guess is what they call it! well ended up just throwing my life away, went to prison at 18 got out at 23, i went to different times, but thats irrelevant, now i went to rehabs, in different states,  am from arizona! really but i just went right back to prison the second time, now ive been out for almost a year! which to me is so great, but really i can do so much, im very blessed the injury you cant see so much when you look at me or not really even talk to me! i have read and seen some terrible stuff for people with TBI. and im very blessed, but her is my problem, sorry it took so long, my girlfriend, she tells me like alot like 2 times week, maybe more, that she dont love me, im not her best friend! never going to be her husband! its ok i should be able to tell its a lie, beacuse she always commes back, but part of my brain, when i say ohhh she loves you she will come bacl, well there is a part man she tell you everyday how she isnt happy that your crazy, your mind is crazy! but to me, she doesnt even try to read about it or help, just expects, and you know thats good! i should be able to do anything i have God! but i just am looking for some answers, beaucse she i dont think is! she just wants me to change over night! and yes i guess it could be done! but really this injury is crazy, its hard to understand, what it does to some people it doesnt to to the other person! many problems in feeling alone, befre i went to prison even when i was in home with family it was different, i feel like everyone that knew me, looks and treats me different! the hardest part of this whol injury, was coming home and hearing from my whole family how much i had changed, how different i was, it shouldnt matter right? what anyone else thinks, not my family not any old friends, but it played a big factor in my life and my choices, for this reason, i blame going to prison on the injury, i couldnt accept the fact that i was different, i just drank and thought since i been through so much at such a young age, the world owed me something, but really so many people go through so much more. just its God's will for eah person, now idk why but its what is suppose to be, did i get mad that a friend died in my car i had to be the one walking around school, and everyone saying thats the guy, felt horrible, but i let it destroy me! i have now like i said been out of prison, for almost a year, i actually got my first job, and even though i am on probation i was so happy, i still am happy yes of course, but i have had a couple relapses, about 3 actually, the 3rd one was really bad, really bad. but its ok. i got through it now i just have to get through the rest of my life with nothing, which should not actually which will not be a problem, this relationship though is really hard on me she is in another country but i really truly love her, and  i feel the same, just my biggest problem, is maybe she dont read none of the things i send her it doesnt seem like it, but maybe she doesnt understand its a life long injury, and im not going to need her to walk me around holding my hand, but sometimes i am going to need her help! really i need it sometimes! but i guess i its not her God has another angel to look after and help me, or maybe just my mom, but really just wish she would read and try just try to understand, that is all thank you! 

I am 25 years old and 2 years ago my partner who i've grown up with had a bike accident. He hasn't been the same since, he has been physically and mentally abusive and has done some really horrible things, the physical aspect is becoming less although when arguing in the kitchen he has recently picked up knifes!! But much more then the physical he is so negative minded, if i suggest anything or show him things he comments negatively no matter how offensive! He is always on the defensive. Its hard for me because other people don't notice the difference or if they do they ignore it! No one understands what goes on behind closed doors and to what extent things actually get to! I know that it's nobodys fault but yet I cant see myself living like this for much longer! I love him so much but I am becoming depressed, we used to be best friends but I am starting to resent him! I just wish things could go back to the way they were!

As I read every ones postings it is as if I am reading a little about myself in each one. The same but different. Every TBI is different and has different levels of outcomes but at the same time are very similar. It has been five years since I too was rear ended by a 'distracted' driver at a speed somewhere between 50 and 60 mph. No way to know for sure because he never hit his brakes as I sat at a traffic light. ( for you math enthusiast he was going 88 ft per second per second with a 6000 lb vehicle, Ouch!) The ER doctors never considered a TBI and did not refer me to a neurologists. I actually had physical brain damage and now face a life with Epilepsy.  I know that I should not yell at my wife when I 'lose it' but like everyone else that is easier said than done. My emotions are all over the place due to those brain injuries and the AEDs I have to take to to control the seizures. I did not know I had PTSD until I was told so by a doctor 5 years post injury! I too lost my career which I loved, my high salary income, ( I loved that too) my friends, my sports, I can't drive anymore and that is hard to deal with. I am chained to my house until my wife can be here to drive me to from doctor appointments. Love ones, talk to your injured spouse about how they hurt you emotionally when you act out or say hurtful things you don;t really mean. Don't let it build up to a "I can't take this anymore" moment.  I have watched my wife change over these past 5 years and it is because of me, my actions.   I am just now realizing this!! We are finally seeing a neuropsychological therapist together to 'work' on my/ our many issues due to the TBI. I am still in mourning for the person I /we lost that moment in time I wish I had back. But had I not been there at that spot at the exact time a 25 year old man would have been killed. With that knowledge even if I could travel back in time I could not bring myself to save myself nor live with myself.  We have been married 47 years and I don't want to lose what we have worked so hard to accomplish.  The chronic pain from all of the body injures add to this problem of along with Chronic Insomnia, hearing and eyesight problems, speech and language and cognitive deficits just like everyone else suffers from. When you write all of this down on paper and look at it you say dang that guy is messed up! Yes but I still have my sense of humor. You and I must always keep that as it is one our the best medicines.  But I have to refuse to let all of my problems ruin my/our lives. Easy said but it has helped me through this and I hope it can help at least one of you.  OK now, Visualize a stork next to a pond with a frog in his mouth he is trying to swallow whose head you cannot see. BUT the frog has both of this hands around the storks throat and is choking the stork. The caption reads, "NEVER GIVE UP". Thank all of you for sharing your stories as they help me know that I am not alone in this struggle to be normal again. One Last Thing. What saved my life that day was simple. I always stop a full length of my vehicle behind the stopped vehicle in front of me, ALWAYS! I teach everyone this same lesson. Pass it on!   God Bless. TRN

My husband has a brain injury after bacterial meningitis ... Yes it's lonely... Everything has changed... Everything. Sometimes I wonder if there is any relief. He is a lot older than me.... I use to love that...but now I see him aging and I see the long road ahead. I think it's important to take stock of what's happened.... I am a full time carer for him and I love him.... But sometimes like tonight and I just keep crying... Because its hard and lonely. As I say to others 'never mind' it is what it is

My marriage has suffered as a result of my concussion :(

It is nearly ten years since I survived my cerebral haemorrhage. The comments/narratives in this forum conveys the sometimes overwhelming challenges of attempting to thrive instead of just surviving/existing with an acquired brain injury.

Since 2006, my life working as an Occupational Therapist ceased. Am still grieving the loss of work role, loss of friends, loss of self, loss of meaningful living. No-one can really understand until they have endured the experience. Not to be recommended.

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