What Impact Will Moderate or Severe TBI Have on a Person's Life?

Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia
What Impact Will Moderate or Severe TBI Have on a Person's Life?

The effects of moderate to severe TBI can be long lasting or even permanent. While recovery and rehabilitation are possible, most people with moderate to severe TBI face life challenges that will require them to adapt and adjust to a new reality.

Moderate to severe TBI can cause permanent physical or mental disability. Because polytrauma is common with moderate to severe TBI, many patients face additional disabilities as a result of other injuries. Even patients who appear to recover fully may have some long-term symptoms that never go away.

Challenges with work and completing tasks that were once routine can be much more difficult than before the injury. Some patients find that the skills and abilities that they used before the injury to meet these challenges are not as sharp as they once were.

These ongoing challenges can also affect the patient’s personal life. People who have experienced brain injuries may take longer to do cognitive or “thinking” tasks associated with memory, such as coming up with the correct change in the checkout line at the grocery store or placing an order at a restaurant. Family relationships will almost certainly change, and in some cases the patient will be totally dependent on their caregivers.

Despite the advances in early diagnosis and treatment of moderate to severe TBI, the fact remains that traumatic brain injury will be a life-changing experience for many patients. Helping the patient, family members, and caregivers to cope with these long-term consequences is an important part of TBI rehabilitation.

Motor Deficits and Disabilities

For many patients, the damage to the brain resulting from a moderate to severe TBI may lead to life-long disabilities or motor deficits. The term disability in relationship to TBI means a loss of physical or mental function caused by damage to the brain. Motor deficits refer specifically to the effect of damage on motor skills or movement.

Examples of disabilities and motor deficits caused by moderate to severe TBI include:

  • Paralysis
  • Spasticity (muscle stiffness) or uncontrolled movements
  • Problems walking, talking, or swallowing
  • Difficulty carrying or moving objects
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt
  • Inability to recognize something based on touch
  • Difficulty thinking and remembering
  • Difficulty with social relationships

Other challenges that a patient with moderate or severe TBI may experience include:

  • Difficulty making and keeping personal and professional relationships
  • Difficulty being part of social activities
  • Difficulty taking part in recreational or leisure activities
  • The decreased ability or inability to keep a job or go to school

During the rehabilitation and transition phases of TBI treatment, members of the healthcare team will provide information to the patient and their family members about dealing with these issues. Specific tools and coping strategies will be suggested. Examples of coping strategies and tools include:

  • Writing a detailed list of steps needed to complete a task
  • Using prompts or visual aids to help remember things
  • Using assistive devices to move around, such as a walker or a wheelchair

Learning new ways to do things is a very important part of recovery.

Other Potential Effects

The long-term symptoms of TBI can be divided into several categories, including physical changes, cognitive effects, sensory effects, perceptual effects, social-emotional changes, and others. You’ll find a partial list of these symptoms and possible effects below. Keep in mind that the severity and duration of symptoms and effects will vary greatly from one patient to another, depending on the severity of the TBI.

Physical effects

  • Sleep disorders
  • Loss of stamina (easily fatigued)
  • Appetite changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Physical paralysis or spasticity
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of control of bowel and bladder functions
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Hormonal changes

Cognitive effects

  • Difficulty with attention, focus, or concentration
  • Distractibility
  • Memory problems
  • Slow speed of processing
  • Confusion
  • Perseveration, which is the abnormal persistent repetition of a word, gesture, or act
  • Impulsiveness
  • Difficulty with language processing
  • Problems with executive functions, which include planning, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition (determining right from wrong), initiating appropriate actions, and inhibiting inappropriate actions

Speech and language effects

  • Aphasia (difficulty with talking or expressing ideas, understanding everyday language, and problems with reading and writing). Types of aphasia can include:
    • Receptive aphasia, which involves difficulty understanding the spoken word, or
    • Expressive aphasia, which means the patient knows what they wish to say but is unable to get the words out. In some cases, the patient is able to perceive and comprehend both spoken and written language, but is unable to repeat what they see or hear.
  • Slurred speech
  • Speaking very fast or very slow
  • Problems with reading comprehension

Sensory and perceptual effects

  • Difficulty recognizing and distinguishing between touch and pressure sensations
  • Difficulty perceiving temperature
  • Difficulty perceiving movement and positions of the arms and legs
  • Difficulty with fine discrimination (for example, distinguishing between small everyday objects, like coins)
  • Difficulty integrating and understanding information gained through the five senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste)

Effects on vision

  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Diplopia, which is weakness of eye muscles that causes double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems judging distance
  • Involuntary eye movements, called nystagmus
  • Photophobia, which is intolerance of light

Effects on hearing

  • Decrease or loss of hearing
  • Tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears
  • Increased sensitivity or intolerance to sounds

Effects on smell and taste

  • Anosmia, which is loss of or diminished sense of smell
  • Loss of or diminished sense of taste
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Social-emotional or behavioral effects

  • Dependent behaviors
  • Fluctuating emotions
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Denial or lack of awareness
Posted on BrainLine August 9, 2018. Reviewed March 28, 2019.

About the Author

The Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia (CEMM) is a dynamic initiative from the Office of the Surgeon General, supplying award-winning interactive multimedia for patient education throughout the Military Health System.

Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia. (n.d.). Moderate to Severe TBI: Long-Term Effects. Retrieved March 28, 2019, from https://tbi.cemmlibrary.org/Moderate-to-Severe-TBI/Long-Term-Effects

Comments (456)

Anyone have a experiences with some who try to kill themselves with a gun and survived and is now recovering? I need help on this issue and how to cope and get stronger and not hurt by the words he says.

I had a concussion 11 mos ago...so mild compared to everyone else's stories. I cannot believe the lack of care I have had through my regular doctor, a referred sports doc, various other walk in clinic doctors here in BC canada. Even the person at the brain injury society had no suggestions on how I can be able to exercise again and not have post concussion syndrome. I am at 11 mos post accident. Sometimes I can't walk and get left leg weakness and drag my leg and I get super dizzy and have to grab on to anything standing. Once again I am totally disgusted with the non support of the medical community...no one knew who to refer me to...I am now doing cranial sacral and am trying a physio...but he kind of shook my head around again to look for eye head coordination....and then the whole walking issue came up tonight..with the left leg weakness. It is hard to adjust to changes...to leave behind many of the activities you love...due to symptoms being provoked. I think meditation to get the body from pasarasympathetic fight or flight back to sympathetic rest and relaxation is one of the best. I plan on joining yoga. Being positive and thankful for all that is working. I look up to many of the posters....thanks for sharing. Thing is...every day for those of us who are still feeling ok..if we have the energy to reach out and help others even less fortunate...this is how i want to live. I am not totally debilitated...it is rough and i get the same thing...people telling me i cant blame certain things on the head injury...anyways...i plan on learning craniosacral and volunteering at brain injury society...of which my city is so lucky to have. So far this therapy has been the only thing to at least temporarily give me releif from head pressure..pain etc! Hold on to hope and be gentle and patient. Let your life be healing and kind to you. Protect yourself, care for yourself...because u cant expect that others will be there for u when u need them the most!

On July 27, 2013, I was broad-sided while driving my boyfriend's pick up. I was lifelined to Indianapolis, with three brain bleeds, fractured wrist, torn rotator cuff, fractured cheek and countless abrasions. I was intubated in the helicopter as I wasn't breathing on my own, which has lead to complications resulting in two surgeries to my vocal cords. I was in a coma for three days, in icu for three weeks, then sent to a rehabilitation hospital. I have no memory of the accident or most of the rehab. I was a cardiac monitor tech, vocalist, and artist. A portion of my injuries were frontal lobe, and as such, I seem to have lost the desire to create. I have proprioseptive sensory feedback disorder with my left leg. Where I think I'm stepping isn't where my foot ends up. Because of this, I broke my ankle, and fall and stumble A lot. I have double vision, and trouble with number sequences and judging time. Also, I tend to start writing a word and realize that I didn't write the first letter. That happens a lot. Stairs are always a risk, and take a lot of concentration. My family is amazing, but they lose patience with me and assume that I should be recovered by now. I hear things like, you can't use that as an excuse for everything....and....you can't blame that on the injury. I have wrestled leg syndrome that keeps me from sleeping. If I don't take a sleeping pill and rotoperole for my leg, I would easily stay awake for 48 hrs. I have days where I've taken all of my meds, gotten a good night's sleep, and still, around mid afternoon, feel so exhausted, as though each cell in my body has nothing left to give. I'm 50 years old now. I've never had to ask for help or handouts. I was the family's go- to person. ( A fixer and helper) Now, I have no job, no money, and life as I knew it is over. I've lost my home that I was buying on contract for 10 years, my boyfriend, career...you name it. Positive reinforcement is key to each of us finding our way. With a TB I, there is no room for criticism and pointing out short comings. What family and friends need to remember is that what seems normal or easy or mundane, may be big accomplishments to us! Let us have those achievements that everyone else takes for granted. I know that God has a plan, though I can't see it yet.

it wasn't l last night i decided to do some research on head trauma. When i was seven i had bleeding on left temporal lobe, from a baseball that was hit by a much older kid. I didn't say or do anything about it till the next day when i couldn't talk correctly, I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I'm 21 now and i do have anxiety, depression randomly, and communication /social problems. In school some yrs i remember i did fine academically and social but mostly iv had horrible anxiety in big group situations or socializing and going to lunch. Academically i did fine except maybe a couple yrs but i did have trouble comprehending what i read, but now i think "what if" what if i never had a TBI, how good in school i would of done. Anyways, Not thinking about my TBI till last night i always thought that's just how i was, a person who does better alone and cant socialize well. Iv gotten a lot better with socializing somewhat but its like a chore. I get depressed about my life situations and other peoples well being and it just drags my motivation down, but then i will also be happy and motivated in the same day wondering why i cant be happy like this all the time. My vocabulary seems to be worsening and also my depression, but there is a lot of stress with a baby momma and family situations but i just try to stay positive! And in my opinion exercise helps a lot i've been into weight lifting sense i was 12 and when i quit i seem to get worse. Finally, i have one question that i would like an answer too. Could high school football of made my symptoms worsen?

I must've been about 3, in 1986, when my sister was working on a school project and was left to babysit me. Anyhow, she left me alone in the house and I wandered out into the street when a suburban hit me head first and supposedly I landed about 5-10 feet from the initial spot of the hit. I'm now 33 years old, I am a male, and I was just wondering. Could that be the reason why I experience high level of depression and impulsivity? I generally do things without fully realizing consequences and I don't mean to, I just do. Anyone recommending anything I can do? I can't live life like this anymore.

I was a shaken baby. My mother shook me off and on from when I was two until I was ten or eleven. I don't know how often because my memory is full of holes. My sisters used to call them "the shakings," so they must have happened with some frequency. I'm now fifty-four years old and have spent most of my life in counseling and dealing with severe depression and PTSD. My mother died last year, which set off a whole new set of emotional issues, but I'm getting better. I'm not depressed very often, and when I am, it doesn't swallow me up whole anymore. I work as a college professor and have raised a son who's now in college. I think some of my symptoms are getting worse, but I'm not sure because I can't really remember how they used to be. I found a journal entry that I wrote twenty years ago about how frustrated I was when I couldn't remember words. I still struggle with that. I'm face blind, I have trouble telling time, I can get lost on my way to work, and I have fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain, but it's usually pretty well controlled. Sometimes, I feel guilty that I'm doing so well when most shaken babies either don't make it or have much worse problems. So yes, it can get better. I'll never be the person I would have been without brain injury, but most days are pretty good now.

I had had a bicycle accident in 96' a mac truck hit me and I hit the tree head first going 30 to 35 mph when I hit the tree. I had several skull fractures, broke the bone below my eye had broken the lower part of my nose and 2 collapsed lungs and split my carotid artery which made me have a major stroke. The doctors said I would never walk or talk again and that I would have grand mall seizers. I am walking and talking and have never had a grand mall seizer.

I had an accident similar to the first poster in 1989 I was 19 and crashed more or less head-on into a concrete aqueduct at 55 mph. I was lucky in that I had no broken bones other than my nose, which was demolished. I also had a concussion that kept me drifting in and out of consciousness for I guess several days. Now in my 40s it's becoming clearer and clearer than my brain is not aging well. I have worsening problems with attention (or more correctly, hyperfocus) and have a really really hard time transitioning between activities. I also have trouble making a plan and following though for simples like getting dinner ready or preparing to go shopping. When reading or speaking, my tongue sometimes feels like I don't have complete control of it. And I have a very difficult time organizing my speech when I'm trying to make a point - people have to wait for me to work my way through to it and I can't sustain linear thinking. Additionally, I'm struggling with lightheadedness, smelling phantom smells, and very frequent migraines. Doctors I've seen seen skeptical that my head injury having occurred so long ago could be linked to these issue. I'm not sure how to get matters looked into more closely.

I suffered a severe TBI 15 years ago and was unconscious for, 2 months... my memory is still horrible... what can be done I'm just getting worse as I age

My name is Caroline and this is what has happened to me: July 2, 1999 I got off work, working at the mall, at noon I was driving to my friends house. I was very stressed out and I blacked out for a moment. I was driving on 695 taking exit rt 70. When my 3 week, first car that was brand new hit 4 other cars spun around and hit fifth car and flipped over. Helicopter came and took me to shock trauma. I was there for 20 days. Then transferred to Kernan hospital to traumatic brain injury unit and stayed for 3 months. Coma for 40 days. My memory is horrible, can't remember a thing. My math skills are almost non existent. I broke my neck my c2, left collar bone and Left arm. I have trouble holding up my head, driving or doing anything with my upper body is very painful. My muscles have become torn, scarred and weak. My Spleen busted and they cut my whole mid section open and then stapled me shut with 24 big staples. For some reason now I don't get the feeling of being hungry or full. I don't think I digest well either. My brain bled so they drilled a hole on my head. My head hurts all the time. Im very dizzy also can't sleep anymore. I couldn't breath so they made hole on my neck. I was left with my left vocal cord being retarded. I cant yell or laugh or sing or talk sometimes. I was tube fed for 3 .5 months and my muscles in my mouth are very weak and I have trouble chewing. Drinking water is painful because I choke on the water often, goes down the wrong pipe. Also have a very hard time getting it back out. Whole body got very weak and I lost all my muscles. I went from being a very healthy and outgoing 95 lbs to 79 lbs. nothing left but bones. I have no balance I'm still in alot of pain, no endurance and no coordination. Summary is: I cannot sit, stand, walk or lay down without pain. They let me graduate high school attending only the last 6 months of my senior yr. Since then I moved out in 2001 and moved around alot. I haven't had a doctor or insurance for the first 10 yrs. It's a struggle getting by day by day. Mentally emotionally and physically. I am permanently handicapped. I have anxiety, depression and ptsd. I pray and stay positive because I know God has great plans for me. I'm his soldier in boot camp being prepared for a great fight. I have gotten a neuro psych eval and found out I am better than 50% of my peers! I'm in tons of pain and that may never go away. But I fight hard and when I do I do get better results. We will never recover. And that's ok. I think we were meant for better things. I don't believe I will be able to have children but that's ok too. Sometimes we just have to find ways to help ourselves and live best we can. We can live to give people struggling hope. I'm starting to see that I can help and aide people I meet because I have so many experiences. Don't give up. This is just the beginning. But soon it's getting better.

I suffered a TBI when I was 14, I am 41 now. To the guy that wrote on and on about his injury and how he feels and behaves even now 28 yrs later, I am feeling the same way about my injury and yes it was very bad for me in my early injury years, seemed ok for a little bit, but now it feels very bad to me again. I deal with anger, depression, anxiety, PTSD(very hard for me to be a passenger in a car, brings on heart-stopping panic attacks), sadness, feeling useless, I could go on and on about it too, but I ask myself daily why did they have to save me....death would have been so much better/easier than having to deal with ALL the conflicting emotions that having a traumatic brain injury bring with them.

Hi very glad I came across this. Around the same time n 1987 I too suffered a traumatic frontal lobe brain injury. I was 13 and didn't understand much about it. I was in an induced coma for two days then released 5 days later. Neuro followed me for one year the. That was that. My mom used to laugh about how one minute I was flying off walls then moody. My behavior growing up and and adulthood were sexually pernicious and I took stupid chances. Never anything that made me think I was more just fun crazy. Now at 47, married three kids, my I've been was diagnosed with severe ADHD at 44 and last year suffered a complete breakdown. 5 hospitalizations. My husband does not understand and makes it muc worse. I'm looking for anyone doing research on old TBI and effects later. Please anyone reading help if u can? Desperate Mom

I had a TBI when I was 7. Nowhere near the severity of some of the folks posting here. I hit my head on the road after falling from a bike while trying to do a stunt. I was unconscious for 24 hrs. When I woke up & it was like nothing ever happened except for the big scrape on my face. Except now I'm wondering if some of the problems I encounter are subtle effects of that injury, e.g., attention deficits, repeating things & being unable to stop myself, impulsiveness. The accident happened nearly 40 yrs ago & I'm just starting to figure this stuff out. My heart goes out to everyone who's had such serious injuries.

I was in a severe car accident in 88. I was a passenger and we hit a concrete, steel reinforced box culvert breaking the concrete.  I hit my face/head into the windshield at 95 mph, flipped in the air and landed in a deep drainage ditch.  My face was destroyed, 250 stitches, nose and eyelid were gone and other lacerations, some were deep. Broken right lower leg, crushed left heel and ankle, broken pelvis, ribs, torn rotator cuff, almost cut my right arm off, broken teeth, back and neck injuries, torn aorta, half of my left lung removed and more.  After 18 hrs of surgery and 8 doctors working on me I was left in a coma for 2 wks.  That was the 2nd of 5 car accidents in which I was not driving except for 1.  Head injuries in 3 of them.  This was the very worst.  I had no idea what had happened, I remember nothing.  When I awoke 2 weeks later I was so confused, they taught me how to walk and use a sliding board and sent me home.  I would laugh at sad things or at my Mom and brothers embarrassment. I could not control it at all.  Even laughed at my dear Grandmother's funeral a year later.  I simply could not control my emotions. I couldn't understand why God saved me, I was 1 out of 1000 that survive a torn aorta and the only 1 of 2 in the hospitals history to survive.  Why me?  Everyone was saying it was a miracle.  I didn't grasp the seriousness of it.  Once I was feeling better I started drinking and going out, taking risky chances, very risky like driving at very high speeds, promiscuous and I didn't care.  I gave it up in '04 after the death of my dear Mom. Here I am after 2 relationships all alone and fear relationships because I fly off the handle, argue with anyone and everyone I disagree with.  Sometimes I can't feel emotions, I know I should feel sad, or happy but I'm numb, it's an awful feeling. There are times when I cannot remember something I just read and reread it to no avail, or what I'm reading looks like heiroglyphics, and my memory goes completely blank and can't think of certain words and I lose my ability to spell words, simple ones and have to use google to spell, it's very odd.  I feel that I'll be alone forever, I live in an apt all alone, I fall all the time, recently fell and fractured my back.  Sometimes everything seems so loud and my head just spins if I'm thinking of more than one thing, my attention span is shot,  I don't want to bring someone into my life of hell.  No one suggested or even talked to me about my feelings after the accident, no counseling, nothing.  It was like ok, you're alive, see you later and good luck.  I had suffered from depression since I was a teen and in 04 I attempted suicide, like was too difficult for me to handle.  I couldn't handle the pain of doing my job as a phlebotomist, a job I dearly loved, my Mom was terminal and I was taking care of her, ended an engagement because of my anger and fighting and bizarre things I did.  I had difficulties with my brothers and attacked one, I would fight with them even attacked one, my temper is horrible. I've responded to arguments with my sis and cousin in a hateful nasty way that I'm so ashamed of and they didn't speak to me for 2 yrs recently.  I just want to be like everyone else. I cry often and feel unlovable and totally useless.  I wonder what my purpose is, nothing IMO.  My memory is horrible, it takes me forever to tell a story, I can't remember certain things that happened yrs ago, I've forgotten people, my kids get so irritated with me that I don't even want to talk because I repeatedly ask questions and forget that I had already asked.  They get upset and tell me to stop and that I'm just not paying attention, which hurts.  My son tells me I can get a job at a desk, I tried that and it didn't work out, I forgot how to type a formal letter one time, it took me 3 hrs and it still wasn't right and I was let go shortly after.  I used to be so social, even back in 04 and now I'm a hermit, afraid to hang out with people so I communicate through the phone and computer.  I feel dead inside. I feel so alone and misunderstood.  I'm scared I am going crazy and will wind up in a nursing home, my brother has mentioned it because of all of my falls.  I blew up on him and told him he better never do that to me.  I wonder if I have a form of dementia, I do have cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) and it's not good.  Most people do end up with dementia from it, add on the TBI and I'm so scared.  Sorry for the long read, but I'm wondering if anyone else has gotten worse over 28 yrs of a TBI?  Thank You for reading.

I can relate to your TBI even though I know that every TBI is different, my experience is very similar.

I had my first TBI when I was a kid in 5th grade when my father and I were driving home from my soccer game and our big heavy Ford Station wagon was hit by a speeding van. I smashed the top of my head against the steel passenger door, broke the window with my chin as I was flying out to hit something else.  Luckily my father was able to grab me by my leg to prevent me from continuing my flight and kept me inside the car. I recovered from that one, was a really good student and school was easy until I had my second car accident.

This time I was an upper sophomore in college, and it ruined my life, as well as my student life for good. Again, I was a passenger. Again, I didn't have a seatbelt on to restrain me. Like you, my trauma was also in '88. Four young men and two young girls traveling back from a party in a different neighborhood. I have no memory of the accident but was told that our driver was speeding, and the car that hit us was also speeding. Me and the second passenger in the front seat were both ejected from the Nova and both received TBIs.

I was in a coma for a week, in the hospital for over a month, and in therapy for about 6 years. My friend went crazy and all he does now is watch tv and collect his SSI. It's very sad, but his TBI ruined his life completely.

My short and long-term memory were both shot. I didn't even remember my who my sister or father was or where I lived my whole life when I was first brought home.

My girlfriend at the time stuck with me for 3 yrs. after the accident and I have to give her credit because I was a nasty s.o.b. most of the time because it was like I had fallen back to Earth with so many problems. I was mad at the world! But now that I look back on our relationship at the time, I wonder why my ex-girlfriend stayed with me that long knowing that I wasn't going to be able to finish my part of our deal of us both completing our higher educations. Was it that she truly loved me, or was it just for the long nights of great sex being it was like I was a virgin a thousand times over? LOL

Well, she completed her part of the deal and finished her degree and just left me and went on to become a lawyer, and I continued with therapy for another 3 years until ...

being that I didn't want to apply for SSI or medicaid because that's just the way I was raised, when the insurance companies decided that they weren't obligated to pay for my visits to the NYU-Rusk Institute 3 times a week for my cognitive and psychological therapy anymore, the "team" which included a neurosurgeon, cognitive therapist, psychotherapist, job placement therapist, and group therapist all decided that I had reached a plateau and there was nothing else they could do for me, they showed me the door. Thank God for that, had I gone on SSI, and Medicaid, I would still be going to therapy like some of the other patients in my group therapy have been doing 30 years before I got there.

I also apologize for the long read, but I wanted to lay the groundwork before I answered your question if anyone else has gotten worse over 28yrs of TBI? Well sorry it looks like it's been 2 years since you asked this question, so I hope you will check back and see my answer someday, but now It's been 30 yrs since my TBI and personally, I haven't gotten any worse, only better.

Now don't get me wrong, I still have plenty of cognitive deficits like in the Talking Heads song-As the Days Go By- I think it is. Every morning I wake up asking myself where am I and how did I get here? But I have a family, a house, a decent job, and a couple of cars, so I consider any day that I'm still above ground a blessing!

Also, I'm an avid reader, and I think that has helped me a lot and maybe built some new neuromatic pathways in my brain; I think that's what they are called; because once in a while, I can still remember things from my past that I wasn't able to remember before.

Now, some people may not understand the significance here, but considering how low my life was 30 years ago and the only thing that prevented me from committing suicide at that time was my religious faith, I feel that I'm still getting better every day.

Life is still a little more challenging for me then it is for people without TBI, but considering where I was then and where I am now, I still consider it to be a blessing. But I can't be sure if I'm still getting better, or just coping skills still getting better, or maybe I have a form of dementia and I just can't tell the difference.

I received a TBI as the result of being hit by a car while riding my motorcycle to work 14 years ago. I also incurred damage to my spine resulting in a paralyzed left leg. I was an athlete and a mechanical engineer. I designed and fabricated parts for SPAWAR, NASA, and other government and private entities. When I woke in the hospital I found all of my math processes were gone. I could follow math with someone walking me through it, but on my own, it was just inaccessible. The rug got yanked out from under me in the biggest way. I can no longer do anything I trained to do. My processing speed is slow, I can no longer think on multiple tracks at once, I have limited short term memory. It's like the worst parts of "Flowers for Algernon" because I remember how easy it used to be but even 14 years later I can't find my way back there. It's caused major issues in every aspect of my life. My wife wants me to move forward with my life but disabled, with chronic pain and memory issues the best I can tell is I'm unemployable. Anything that interests me is outside my grasp. I have no idea where I'm supposed to go from here, and all I get are platitudes about not giving up, and pushes toward religion. I need help from someone that's been where I am and made it through the other side.

I'm so sorry to hear that you have a brain injury also. I'll pray for you and your child. It'll be ok. Keep your head up, please.

My nephew who is 14 months old fell from the terrace on 1st floor and fell on his head. His skull is cracked, head is swollen, he is fatigued and keeps falling asleep, he vomits continuously every few hours and his left side of body is responding slow. Is there any way he will be able to live a normal life. He was very hyper, and ran around a lot always trying to talk. Now he is the opposite just tired all the time. The injury happened 2 days ago.

That was simply amazing. You told it like it is. I tore the left frontal lobe brain and severe bleeding on my brain however I did think every person with a TBI had seizures. Guess I was wrong. I hate my change in mood now. My psychiatrist has me on 6 different pills. I go from angry to anxiety to worry about every single thing and then the next minute happy again too fast. It's like my brain is moving so fast. How can I slow it down? It causes me problems. Would you mind if we speak via email?

I sympathize with you. I was reading what was on the internet because my daughter had a brain bleed when she was 4 and is now 28. And I'm worried. You should go to a good Dr and get that cat scan and tell them what you wrote here. Good luck and get well. I know you can do it J

Hi, yes, I'm searching for info with others maybe in a similar situation. I wonder how my thinking has been affected? Unlucky in misdiagnoses for a long time despite coma. I found neuropsychologist the best help but have so many worries regarding quality of self after, but I have to accept I am as I am now. Such a loss but working on the good bits and bad. Tough call.

I'm diagnosed with PTSD/anxiety after an assault and head injury at work.  Now, my thoughts repeat and review a memory centered on being beaten over the head with a brick by a boy when I was 5 years old.  I also have memory of sexual assault at age 5, and sexual behaviors which may have been the reason I got beat by the boy with a brick!  I think I had a concussion at 5 yrs old, and a TBI, because I went through emotional symptoms like an anxiety disorder, and I couldn't learn.  I was irritable "always crying", angry, moody, learning disabilities, unable to read or communicate fluidly, and my mom was angry at me for it.  None of this was ever brought up with my Dr., or critically looked at by my mother.  I developed inner ear aches, and missed a 1/2 year of 2nd grade. My memory informs me that my injuries were not healed adequately because I lived my life with social anxieties, early onset substance abuse, learning disabilities and eating disorders.  And now, at 48, I have PTSD, no job to return to and difficulty learning new skills.  I’m stuck rationalizing and normalizing my behaviors and life path.  I am experiencing great internal conflict in my relationships with difficulty focus on a plan to get back to work.  I'm jumpy and unfocused.

Generally my life has been a struggle and a grind.  I've never acknowledged the difficulties I experienced as a child, as though "denial" my family's coping mechanism, would make it better.  Now, I'm looking at the assault with the brick as the root to my problems, but it doesn't matter at all. I need to get over my sensitivities, anxieties and difficulties - heal and go back to work. 

When I was 10 years old I suffered a subdural hematoma. I am now 41 years old. I was in a coma for 3 days my parents were told that I would have to learn how to read write walked off again I never had any of those problems. My life changed a lot I was very aggressive and mood swings lot of fights my school work was less than average when I was very capable of carrying a straight-A average. I had a hard time focusing my parents took me to the doctor and I was diagnosed with add. My parents came from the old school did not believe that I'm just thought it was my attitude so I was not treated for it. Now after reading some of these articles on 41 years old I cannot stay on task and anything I do my mind is always racing thinking about 10 different things at once. I still have a lot of aggression and for no real reason add is worse than it ever has been I also have become very unmotivated to the point of laziness and I am not a lazy person I just do not have the energy or the desire to do things that I know I need to do. I've never had an MRI and Cat Scan sense my operation and I was a life-threatening operation they actually had to bring me back my skull was crushed can I have had many concussions to my life over 10. I am just wondering if any of this has anything to do with my traumatic brain injury what I am I just truly destined to feel and look like a loser. I've had beautiful houses is marriage with a beautiful daughter that divorce massive depression which put me back in an aggressive confrontational state. I just want to live my life without my my always racing barely sleeping but always tired and unmotivated. I just want to know if any of these things can be reversed cuz it seems like the older I get the worse all the symptoms get. I recently also had a seizure my parents look at me like I'm a failure I was talking with someone the other day and they said if you go back and be any age you could be what would you be everyone's answers were 16 18 I said 9 to see if I would be somewhere different in my life. I'm to the point where I don't really care about anything set my daughter I recently lost my job my insurance I'm just at a point with no answers and I need help. Everyone thinks I'm just lazy and I'm a good Father but that's about the only thing I'm good at. I just don't see my life going anywhere if all my symptoms are just getting worse. I've never discussed the traumatic brain injury with my phone because they would just send it I'm using it as an excuse for my problem but I really feel that that day changed my life. New Hampshire region everything on this article and a lot of other articles all the symptoms they fit me like a glove I'm afraid because all they're doing is getting worse. I don't know if anyone can come up all these post but if you could and you have any information that could help me I would be more than appreciative I just feel lost and confused and I don't have family that I can ask for advice or help they would just say I'm making excuses. Sincerely confused and lost!

I suffer from a TBI due to a gunshot, .357 to the back of my head, point blank by my late husband. I spent weeks in the hospital learning to walk and talk all over again. Initially I went through much rehab, but then they said I was fine. I thought I was. The last 24 months I have had migraines, balance issues so much I have broken an ankle and both wrists and shattered my humorous and shoulder just 9 weeks ago. I am fatigued all the time and I have a hard time remembering, I have to write everything down. I did great in the beginning. but my seizures have increased and my balance is so off I started using a cane. I'm only 50, so I cant go on disability and I am the breadwinner, so I have to keep working. I just missed 8 weeks of work and its killing us. Is there any organization that can help? I want to feel "normal" again. 

Ma'am,

I totally understand your problems you mentioned.

12 months ago I was nearly beaten to death by 8 gangbangers. I received a duel TBI that required surgery to stop the bleeds on my brain. I also required a stay in a rehabilitation hospital for a short time.

I now suffer from a migraine headache that can only be stopped through the use of medical grade marijuana. (I'm not suggesting that you use marijuana. I'm not a doctor and wouldn't recommend any type of an actual treatment.)

But I will tell you that if was suggested that I take 1200 mgs of Magnesium to try to lessen the migraines that I suffer from now. Which does help a bit.

So ask your doctor what his thoughts are about Magnesium as a treatment for you.

I'm horribly sickened by what happened to you. No one deserves to be abused in any way.

J.

Hello.  Last November (the night of the Rousey fight)  I had a bad fall in a handicap restroom with tiled walls.  I don't sit on toilets.  When I was bending down to pull up my pants, I lost my balance.  I couldn't brace my fall because my ankles were tangled in my pants.  By time I threw my hands up to brace myself it was too late.  I would say I hit my head full force at a 45 degree angle.  It stunned me, I felt a vibration, and I just dropped to the floor.  I felt like I was swimming while trying to get back up.  I could feel myself about to pass out, but I fought it.  

It's weird how you can think of all these things within seconds.  Well I just laid on the floor for a guess about 5 minutes.  I finally got up and left the room.  I was not walking well and seeing triple, but thought it was just the alcohol kicking in, but I've never seen double and definitely not triple.  But I still just kept quiet about it. I felt like an idiot.  I got back to,the table laughing and my friend could see a slight splotchy spot on the front right of my head.  It kind of turned into show and tell.  What upsets me is that I had a little voice telling me I needed to go to the hospital, but my friend's a nurse didn't pay too much attention to it, so I figured it was no big deal. 

After about 45 minutes I made it home safely but stopped to get something to eat.  The following morning I threw up was dizzy and couldn't walk right.  My head neck and shoulders were killing me.  I say I was like a test car dummy.  The rest of my body was still going forward and squished against everything.

Anyway later that day I noticed a large red spot on my head.  I showed it to my nurse friend and mom, but they didn't seem like it was a big deal so again I blew off going to the hospital.  Later that night I noticed red in the corner of my eye, by the next morning the red showed up on my lids and under my my eye.  Then my other eye started getting the red.  I consulted with Dr Google and four that the blood was draining in my eye sockets which saved my life.  If the blood kept collecting in my head ..... The red spot did go away once my sockets started to fill up with blood.

After a three day period my eye socket were completely full of blood.  Just draw a circle around you lids to where you feel the cheek bone and the crease of the eyes.  Color and fill the circle with purple color and that was me.  

My conflictive functions were so messed up.  I couldn't put the drip plate on my stove on the right burner.  It took me 15 minutes to figure it out.  My speech, memory, concentration was messed up.  I was snapping at people.  I couldn't remember when I ate last-----still haven't seen a dr. 

There are some other things I went through but after 3 months I started feeling better but still having issues here and there.  OMG!!!  My anxiety was through the roof.  I was already dealing with anxiety before the incident, but after I was having to take so much more than normal. 

Well here I am 8 month later and feel like I'm having somewhat of a relapse I guess.  My bump is starting g to fill with fluid, headaches, severe exhaustion anxiety emotional.  Thursday and Friday I could not get out of bed because I'd get that motion sickness feeling.

Now I'm finally trying to get into see a neurologist.  At night when I get sleepy I freak out thinking I'm going to fall asleep and not wake up.  I've been up for 36 hrs or more.  I'm so emotional and I can't stop crying.  My brain feels like it's tearing away from my scalp.

I just feel like such an idiot for not going to the hospital when this fist happened and not getting treatment.  I'm afraid I've allowed more damage to happen by neglecting my injury.

The really sad thing is that my friends and family think I'm "milking" the issue.  I don't have anyone to talk to about it.  It really sucks.  People don't understand how I'm still having issues.  Its like the if you don't look screwed up, you're fine.  

I have to wait another day to try and see the neurologist my np referred me to.  His hrs are weird so I kept missing him Thursday and Friday.  I hope I can get some definite answers. 

Wish me luck. 💞

Hello,

My husband was "blown up" in his time in the Army. He received frontal lobe damage. Back when this happened the military was still very against anyone being treated by a psychologist. He received treatment for the main injury and was sent back to his unit. He never received treatment by a behaviorist. The stigma was there for many years. He functioned as best as he could. He hid everything. I think without knowing it I ended up "covering" for him a bunch way back then. I took over the finances, managed our home, and made most of the important choices for our family. Then in 2008/2009 he was deployed again. He was deployed back to the place where he had been injured. He came home from an "easy" deployment a completely different person. He was verbally aggressive, had every PTSD symptom I have ever learned about and was just angry. He needed to be right even when he was wrong and was forgetting things. I had started school during his time away to keep myself going. I chose Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis as my choice for my degree. I kept up with this education until I received my Masters. I did this to understand him. The VA doctors have called him a "Shammer" because the National Guard seems to have lost his files. Every medal, every single paper surrounding his injuries has vanished. I have tried so many times to find them and nothing. The point is that no one there is treating him. They have thrown pills at him and left him untreated for over 11 years now. I am the only one that has done anything. I set alarms, leave notes, and try to keep the stress levels down. I am just a wife here. I know that he has been injured. I was there when he came home from that mess. I was there and I have been there. I wish that less time can be spent trying to pick apart these Vets and more time was spent on their on their treatments. Most of the symptoms listed above and in every other article I have read or studied are present. My question is this; If treatment is delayed for this long, is there ever a chance of these behaviors lessening? or is the damage permanent? Thank you!

I don't know the answer to your question, but I do know the Bob Woodruff foundation has many resources that might be helpful. Their foundation does a lot to help injured veterans and their families navigate tough challenges. My 19 year old son sustained his severe TBI 2 years ago, and we discovered their amazing organization after reading "In an Instant." - I admire that you sought out higher education to learn more about what your husband was going through-- hugs and best wishes to you!

When I was 4 I fell off a top bunk onto my basement floor and had a subdural hematoma and had emergency surgery. All my life I thought all the things that were wrong with me were normal. I would read a book and not remember it. I still did pretty well in school but it was a struggle, I just thought I was dumb. Now 22 years later (I'm 26) I've started getting headaches and my memory is terrible! I've had a headache for 12 days now and they think it's just migraines. Anyone else having symptoms 20 years later?

I fell onto street pavement in 1964 at age 12 during a backward skipping race. I hit the back of my head (Occipital Lobe), vomited blood for 5 hours, then went into a 3 day coma. I had to stay in bed at home for 2 weeks before returning to school. From age 15 on I suffered severe mood swings and learning difficulties. In 2010 at age 57, I was diagnosed with Type 1 A Hepatitis C, which was acquired at age 16. I was DOA from a suicide attempt when I was 21, and came to a day and a half later in ICU where I was observed for 3 days. At age 47, I was diagnosed as Bi-polar II and have been treated for 18 years with Depakote, which has improved, but not eliminated the severity of mood swings and suicidal bouts of depression. In 2014, when I was 61, my husband of 25 years began openly sleeping with another woman every night. This lead to another suicide attempt, DOA & 3 days in ER, before a 2 week transfer to a psychiatric hospital where my medication was withheld for 8 days, then severely altered. I suffered another concussion when I hit my head because I fell and lost consciousness during that suicide attempt. My medication alteration left me extremely disoriented and lacking balance. I had another 5-6 falls that lead to concussion with brief loss of consciousness for the next 6 months. In 2015 I was diagnosed with encephopathy caused by concussions and hepatitis. I'm 63, completely alone since my divorce in 2015, and handicapped with severe osteo-arthritis, spinal fractures, neuropathy (nerve damage), and multiple auto-immune disorders. Prior to my handicapped situation I was a teacher of learning disabled students for 30 years. Between 2010 and 2014 I was fired from 4 teaching positions, after having taught at the same school for 25 years. My only child, with whom I was very close, is now 23 and somewhat estranged be caused of the trauma of the divorce, and the personality changes I went through. I miss our former strong relationship horribly. I am unable to form and maintain any real relationships and hide from the world, further isolating myself due to intense feelings of inadequacy, hence deepening depressive moods. I suffer mobility problems, tremors, daily headaches, and extreme fatigue. I am glad to read encouraging comments but I feel the die is cast for me. So much more research is needed to help people with long term brain damage from concussions, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, or whatever the latest moniker is for all of us who experience it's difficulties. So little is known despite the rate of medical advances. We do our best. Right? Some days are better than others. The loneliness, especially around holidays, birthdays, etc. is torturous.

My husband is 15 days away from his 1 year Severe TBI anniversary. I could use some input on how I can be a better caregiver. What is good for me to do and what is contrary to his improvement. Is 1 year too soon to expect much?

Thank you for sharing. I had a TBI about a year ago from a slip and fall. I know exactly what you mean. I have a hard time with many things such as concentrating, focusing, understanding what I read etc. No one will understand because we all still completely what they call functional. Unless you suffered one you will never know how draining this condition is :(

To everyone who has had a TBI; severe or not. Make sure you see a neuro endocrinologist and have your T1 growth hormones checked. This often becomes a major issue and leads to overwhelming fatigue, confusion, the list goes on and on. Also make sure you see a neuro optometrist as TBI's lead to blue light spectrum issues causing extreme headaches, fatigue, confusion, again the list goes on. I suffered a major TBI in 2012 as result of a car hitting me. 14 broken ribs, broken sternum, broken arm, broken wrist, crushed hand and five broken fingers. Then released from the hospital. Major TBI issues started 7 days after being released from the hospital. Three months of going to dentists, doctors and emergency rooms complaining or loosing my sight, throwing up often, passing out - yea they were seizures and I didn't know it. Add to that the extreme pain my hole body was in along with major headaches and just a feeling that death was creeping up on me. I finally had a stroke and was rushed to the ER in a different county. An intracranial hematoma had ruptured and was the size of a large grapefruit. Then brain surgery. I'm living but I suffer all the time. I'll never be the same again. Please make sure that family members monitor any facility your in for speech and occupational therapy. Most of them suck and have a great deal of nepotism. They tend tend to send large groups on outings so they can get internal training, all at the cost of your time, money and overall effectiveness you're seeking. Anyway I'm working at being positive and making something of a new life. Not sure if I'm making any sense though I wanted to give some advice.

I'm 48 years old and suffered a moderate TBI from a fall and skull fracture about 9 weeks ago. I have been out of inpatient care for 3 weeks now, and struggling hard with some of the many symptoms. Total loss of hearing in one ear, a sense of loud ringing in my hearing that makes listening to talking people hard unless they talk loud. Constantly dizzy, easily induced vertigo. Just recovered a sense of balance enough to avoid using mechanical assistance to walk about a week ago. hard to concentrate sometimes, the headaches can be horrible at times. insomnia strikes randomly. I don't notice it but my wife points out a lot of the time my reactions are verbally aggressive when the topic of discussion is quite bland. My last post - injury seizure was 6 weeks ago, it was a partial - onset seizure. Lost my driver's license from it all, not that I care to drive anywhere - riding in a car for more than an hour or so becomes annoying and painful. A lot of physical aches in my hip from the fall.  A slow process back - that's what the neurologist and neurosurgeon tell me. The fall caused two subdural hemotomas and intercerebral bleeding in the frontal and parietal lobes - ie a very bad concussion. So now I get to deal with a whole slew of medical issues, and its frustrating, sometimes you write down what the doctor tells you and then 2 seconds later, you can't even remember what color the paper was you wrote it down on.  a long process, that's what everyone tells me. okay... sure hope it lets up sometime, though. even just a little.

Firstly thank you everyone for sharing their stories, it makes you feel that you are not alone. 

I suffered a TBI resulting in a subdural heamatoma in August 2012. It was a complete freak accident, went to the toilet in a small restaurant on holiday and have no recollection of anything until I woke the next morning in hotel room. 

The hospital care was non existent but when I returned home, I was admitted to hospital in England and escaped surgery but was monitored over six weeks 

I tried to get back to my normal life straight away, went back into work as a motivational speaker in schools. Our family went through a sudden bereavement at the same time so I tried to push it to one side. 

Almost four years on, I still suffer short term memory loss, lack concentration and feel tired. Aside from that life is great but there are times when when my self esteem totally hits rock bottom and I have to put on a brave face and brush it aside.

I am a really positive person, happily married, love my wife and family. I'm a fit, healthy athlete who runs middle distance road races and cross countries and run a business with my wife so on the face of it, things generally go really well on a day to day basis. 

We do lots of personal development by reading inspiration books and watching videos.  Setting goals and travelling plus fitness play a massive part in the feel good factor.  

However, because I am that type of person, nobody seems to understand when things get tough. It is frustrating when I cannot concentrate or forget what someone has just told me. Most people think that the injury is in the past (mainly because I don't let it own me) but it can feel very lonely when it hits back. 

The worst part is when it frustrates my wife and sometimes she doesn't fully understand how I feel. When I try talking about it, I feel stupid and pathetic and that it should all be in the past. 

All that aside, I do feel extremely lucky to be able to deal with it the majority of the time. 

I suffered a TBI in 06 from an automobile accident. I have struggled concentrating and am much slower than most. I found nothing to relieve my pain and had no idea I would have lasting effects as I do. I had short term memory loss for 6 month post accident. I went on with life thinking it was just normal to be the way I am. My headaches have gotten so severe I have had numerous trips to the hospital. Botox, surgery and meds. I tried avoiding and still try to avoid my issues. I found out in 2015 that I needed to be seeing someone not only for my neuro defects but my PTSD as well. I started treatment for pain that is still being researched and I am currently having infusions once a week. I can't sleep, concentrate, feel normal or enjoy life right now. My infusions are the only thing keeping me going and providing some relief. I throw up daily I am on shots at home. Pills don't stay down and it's a struggle to tell doctors that and show them your life struggles. I graduated from college and my head got so out of control I haven't been able to work I am a vet tech and my life is my pets. I am very down right now and struggling. I can't get anyone to truly understand that I am suffering and I too like y'all have said don't want to wake up and I wish I didn't survive my accident. Living this way is terrible. I try to stay positive but Lately I can't be. I am hurting so bad struggling to hold food down I can't even go shopping without being gone for several hours I do projects and hobbies I work out and push myself but my meds have caused weight gain. I don't sleep I make myself move non stop to avoid feeling pain. I am on so much medication that would knock most people out yet I am never sleeping. I am getting about two hours of sleep at night with my meds. Every one I see is unable to help bc there isn't much research and knowledge on TBI patients. My family say "you look good". Pain isn't always seen especially when you voice your pain and nothing is done about it. I am having seizures that are "dizzy spells" flashing lights throw me into a seizure. I have tried no meds and it doesn't change my sleep either. I have ringing in my ears, numbness and tingles. I feel every doctor winds up giving up on me. My doctors love to say I am young and it will get better but I am to a point where I am depressed I am irritable and not myself. Honestly I am struggling to even know of trust myself anymore. My husband and I fight bc no one can understand what we live with. TBI is not past it's you forever. I feel stupid, misunderstood and feel I have no-one that believes how hard living knowing what's going on and trying to explain myself to doctors is the worst. We aren't typical "migraine" patients if we were we would have better lives. The pain is unimaginable and the suffering is awful. Memory is terrible enough but to add in pain, anxiety, stress, depression and daily struggles to do tasks that are easy to most are our hardest struggles. What do I do to be me again and to get family , friends and doctors to see and understand? I do dumb things at home and feel like a problem and liability to everyone. I just don't know what to do anymore.

To the person who has got TBI 11 years ago. Hello I don't know if you have any interests to read my comments as I have got TBI about 5 years ago, so it's still much shorter than you. I'm not from an Eng spoken country and my Eng is not great (though my major was Eng at uni) but hope I can express my thoughts correctly here and get through to you. Though everyone is different, I know your feeling and really struggled for a while. I felt disappointed to be awake in the morning, feel "Oh, I lived 1 more day and now have to live 1 more day.". Though I still have pain & abnormal sensation even after healing other physical injuries, I look totally healthy person to other people. They don't see it. People never know what it's like and the problems. Only you know exactly but I leant from experiences that it's always someone else's problem, for other people. Sounds tough but I wanna say just keep going. You are trying and that's great. You are trying really hard. I cry a lot and hate myself & people often, no friends really.....but I just keep going. I'm also fighting everyday with people's eyes. Cant sleep well, used to imagine if I was dead the next morning... Everything seems no valuable. But pls keep going. Do u try to communicate different new people? And try to greet them with a smile. Say thank you and if u help smth u'll b told thank u by someone. Sometimes just tiny conversation will make your feeling lighter. Sometime for sure. You then be more aware and "notice" some plants are growing. You can write down all your thoughts-anger&editors. Sorry it's getting too long(it's one of my issues) but I can listen to your thoughts if you write. Some days I get so tired and no energy but if you don't mind I will be here.

Hello. Other people are telling their BI stories, so I will add mine.

I received a TBI in 2005, when I fell off my bicycle, when we were on holiday, in France. Thankfully, I was wearing my cycling helmet - if I hadn't had that on, things would have been far worse. Our travel insurance paid for a Lear Jet, to fly me home to an intensive care unit, in England.

Apparently, my husband kept reminding me of things.

"Ooh, you've cut your ponytail off!" "Yes darling, I cut it off years ago."

"What a cute little baby. Who is her mother?" "YOU are. I told you that yesterday, and the day before, and the day before...".  I knew our toddler, but I didn't remember our second baby, or that we had moved house to have space for her. Whenever the Occupational Therapist took me home, I am told I argued with him. "We don't live here, we have a flat in Surbiton!"

My day-to-day memory was bad for months. It is fine now, but I guess I will be missing 2 years forever (18 months before the accident, and six months after). I still have awful eyesight - I am officially blind, although I see OK for everyday stuff, but there is *no* *way* I could drive! I am still seeing small improvements in things like my balance, and the neatness of my handwriting (which was illegible, for months and months. It still isn't as tidy as it used to be, but it is not bad at all, now).

I was off work for 18 months (most of which was unpaid), but they did eventually let me go back. I am a university lecturer, and my memory of all the stuff I teach is fine.

However, those 2 years of memory are still missing. I don't remember my second pregnancy, or what she was like for more than a year of her life, but I love her to pieces now. (She is 11 and a half - so, it is 10 1/2 years since my accident).

I just think, all the time, "Well, I am very lucky. I could easily have died!", or my 'blindness could affect me far worse than me being unable to drive, and occasionally bumping into people or things...

I have many of the same feelings of being terribly annoyed when I actually wake up in the morning. It has been 10 years since my TBI- Motor vehicle accident, 6 weeks in a coma. Good times. I think the first few years were so focused on therapy & healing and there was such progress that it kept me going (not to mention I had 3 young kids I was raising as a single mom). But the past few years I have had serious depression & hatred for life. I often think everyone would have been better off had I died in that accident (like ripping off a bandaid) rather than this slow, hateful, depression my life has become. I constantly feel guilt that my youngest son has gotten this crappy excuse for a mother and my older sons remember the 'old' mom and are constantly mad I haven't just bounced back! I have been in therapy- I have tried several different forms. Yoga, Reiki, anything! But I jus hate myself too much and am not sure why my body has betrayed me. Anyway- I get it. And with there was a fix for it as well. Life sucks. then you DON'T die!  Ugh!!

In response to the person who is looking for others with TBIs 10+ years ago: I am in my 11th year now, and I am on the same page as you. I dont know what else to say, though. Yes, you get used to the anosmia. Yes, you accept that your intellect is still strong, but your ability to retain new information is limited. Yes, you can still function fairly well in social situations, but it is now a concerted effort when it used to be second-nature and you were a social butterfly. Now it's just easier to keep the distance. And it's sad and overwhelming and causes you to question who the hell you are and what, if anything, you want in life. But you generally stay silent, because no one will understand anyway. It's been going downhill the past few years. Maybe it always was, and it's just more obvious as of late. Either way, it isn't getting better. I feel lost and without purpose. And I'm more fearful of the future every day.

I was hit on the head so hard by my now x that I did not remember it happening until twenty five years later . I had a flash back of it. I then had two more head injuries. I have found playing solitaire , all of them, helps memory. Play until they are not interesting. Medication from a Parkinson's diagnose had helped a lot. I have more ambition, energy. I wish this medicine had been used on me earlier in my life. I am now 67 my first injury which was hidden by x was when I was 21. My dad noticed I had lost my sense of humor but could not figure why. I learned this later in life and maybe I could not remember him asking me anything. He died in an accident soon after. This article has been so enlightening to me. I do not feel alone now or crazy.

I had a severe TBI 14 years ago when I was 16 and still suffer consequences from it. My memory is horrible what can I possibly do to improve it?

I am 10 years into TBI from a semi rear ending me. I was at a red light on a highway, and he did not brake. My husband took me to Drs but nothing was helping the lack of word recall, dulled experience of life, physical pains, seizures, severe depression and anxiety etc. Until he started taking me to see alternatives. I responded immediately. I trained and love learning about ancient ways of healing, I still experience some affects of long term TBI, but I have the tools to help myself when I get depressed or angry, don't give up!! I have my own clinic in northern bc now and I work with First Nations to move through trauma. My clinic director is another TBI survivor, and we are working with 20+ practitioners to create a reduced rate or free medicine clinic. I love these herbs and remedies: arnica, ashwaganda, chaga mushrooms, green smoothies, probiotics and enzymes, (gaps diet if you have gut issues) (gut and brain are connected, cleansing is amazing) looking for a practitioner? Look for someone that uses a protocol and is guided by muscle testing:) our bodies can do anything!

These stories are endless, please join us for support on Faecbook: The TBI Tribe. Good luck and please continue to heal.

About 11 years ago I was diagnosed as having a TBI after fracturing my skull during a bicycle accident (18 mph, no helmet, slammed on brakes to avoid a pedestrian, handlebar flip -> landed on the back of my skull). Sense of smell never came back--no big deal--but lately I have lost all joy in life. Outsiders assume I have it made: professional success, no family stress, no apparent ailments. The dark reality is that I fantasize about not waking up in the morning and get really irritated when I realize I am still alive after my alarm goes off. I had considered myself somewhat intelligent up until about 4 months ago, before things started to get really bleak, disjointed and extremely awkward in social situations. I'm trying to do everything right to get my brain stimulated in positive ways: exercise, graduate courses, eating healthy, gardening but the bouts of joy are brief and fleeting. Best case: after 30 minutes of positive emotions I am back to wishing I would just drop dead and be done with this miserable life. Anyone else with similar experiences after having suffered a TBI over a decade ago? I'm very scared this is only going to get worse and I have little to no trust in most medical professionals. 

To the person who is trying to get her daughter a job, I suggest getting her into volunteering.  Many times it leads to a job or it can be listed as experience.

Recently my mother, age 92, fell and has a TBI.  2 months later she is unable to feed herself and doesn't have a clue who we are or where she is.  We have no idea how this will continue, this may seem strange, but one day we had a mother, the next day she was gone.  Yes, she is still breathing, but living in a nursing home, unable to care for herself , talks but makes no sense at all.  She has no long term or short term memory.  Anyone else experience this?  We have no idea what to expect, other than we have been told she has little chance of recovery.  My brother who lives closest to her is feeling the affects of daily visits that are getting worse.  This all happened 7 days after my 61 year old Developmentally disabled brother died, we are reeling from PAIN.

Wow is all I can think right now. I was reading this for a friend whose son is right now unconscious from a TBI for a month now, but found it very eye opening for me. I was in a car accident when I was 16 and was in a coma for two weeks with a TBI. Doctors told my parents that when I woke up they shouldn't expect the same person as I was. When I woke up I felt normal. I did see white dots floating and had headaches for about a year, but other than that things seemed ok. I went on to get my Masters in education and have been teaching now for 13 years. After reading this I am now thinking that I might have long term issues due to the TBI. I have very short attention span, if conversations go to fast I get so confused, and I just can't handle more than one thing happening at a time. I thought it was because I was ADD or I just wasn't as smart as some. I act like I understand what is being said, but I have to get alone and rethink what was done or said in order to comprehend. When I am in a meeting or have to learn new things I am silently freaking out inside. I am happy that I read this because just maybe I do have TBI problems and I'm not slower then those around me.

Veterans with brain injuries/PTSD need more information about their brains so they (we - I've lived with a brain injury for 39 years) can better manage the consequences of our brain injuries instead of just reacting to it. Information about what is going on between our ears after a brain injury is long over due.

The biology of brain injury needs to be better understood if we are going to effectively treat brain injury and the consequences of the limbic system fight or flight response.

Learning about the Sympathetic Nervous System is important because the limbic system is where the fight or flight response and many of the problems (anger, memory, processing, etc.) people with brain injuries are centered.

I have found that long walks (over an hour) help me deal with the consequences of fight or flight and improve my anger, memory and processing issues. The key seems to get the blood flowing and oxygen to my brain. Sometimes just sitting and thinking about problems only makes them worse because once the fight or flight gets triggered it prolongs my body’s ability to regulate the hormones that are part of the limbic system.

Bad memories play a role in this too because the stress triggers the fight or flight response. When we set around hoping things will get better it only gets worse because our muscles remain tense and the glucose that should be going to out brain are diverted to our muscles - Institutelearn.fi.edu/learn/brain/stress.html and

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2GywoS77qc

The bad memories and problems continue just like a dog chasing its tail. The fight or flight remains in place because of this - we are victims to its consequences.

Exercise and mindfulness-based stress reduction work better than meds because exercise and mindfulness-based stress reduction controls the fight or flight response - meds only treat the symptoms. Becoming more pro-active in our recovery process instead of reacting to the consequences of our brain injury is important. Finding a sense of purpose and meaning is the key to recovery and will lay the foundation for building a new life after brain injury. Having a sense of purpose will also make it easier to get out of bed in the morning. Getting enough rest, worrying less and eating good food also de-rails the fight or flight response. The answers too many of our problems after our brain injury is with controlling stress or we will stay stuck in a life of turmoil and chaos caused by the limbic system fight or flight response.

This was my VISTA Project:

You might want to look into the Uhlhorn Model for people with brain injuries and veterans. This very successful supportive housing model should be replicated throughout America!

http://www.educationviews.org/ken-collins-reflections-recovery-head-injury/

http://www.beyondthemind.com/extras/meditation-the-brain/frontal-lobes-the-limbic-system-meditation-mental-silence/

http://liveanddare.com/negative-emotions/

http://www.genesisprocess.org/understanding-relapse

http://www.metrodirect.net/traumasurvivorssupport/neurochem1.htm

http://lissarankin.com/meditation-as-a-self-healing-tool

http://www.hearingreview.com/2015/06/mindfulness-based-tinnitus-stress-reduction-unraveling-gordian-knot-tinnitus/

http://www.wynmag.com/issue/september-2013/the-limbic-system-and-trauma-2

http://wesa.fm/post/those-traumatic-brain-injuries-yoga-might-provide-some-benefit

http://whenyouputitthatway.com/negativity-bias-brain-hack-reduce-stress/

http://creativepathtogrowth.com/effectively-stabilize-your-emotions-dont-let-your-amygdala-hijack-your-brain/

http://www.effective-mind-control.com/limbic-system.html

http://www.dfwcfids.org/medical/limbcsys.repatterning.htm

http://www.holistichelp.net/limbic-system-retraining.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/uncategorized/healing-power-yoga-brain-injuries/

http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-HYPERLINK "http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email"disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholicHYPERLINK "http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email"&HYPERLINK "http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email"utm_medium=email_thisHYPERLINK "http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email"&HYPERLINK "http://peacefulwarriors.net/neuroscience-student-shows-how-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email"utm_source=email

http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/this-nifty-infographic-is-a-great-introduction-to-neuroplasticity

http://www.how-psychology-tests-brain-injury.com/emotions-stress-brain-injury.html

http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=emailHYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"&HYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"utm_source=themightyHYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"&HYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"utm_campaign=Email_ShareHYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"&HYPERLINK "http://themighty.com/2015/07/17-offbeat-ways-people-relieve-their-anxiety1/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=themighty&utm_campaign=Email_Share&utm_content=story-header"utm_content=story-header

http://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation/

www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-HYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"cynthiaHYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"-HYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"morenoHYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"-HYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"tuohyHYPERLINK "http://www.clairemckinneypr.com/rein-in-your-brain-by-cynthia-moreno-tuohy/"/

http://wakeup-world.com/2015/08/06/meditation-as-a-self-healing-tool/

I had a severe TBI in 2001 and still have severe memory issues I am trying to look for ways to help it...My memory is shot

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