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 (607)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I also had TBI Christmas Eve 2016. I understand how hard it has been for you. I'm an electrical engineer, past international business owner and general contractor. Like you stated, it seems like the entire accident was very much made more difficult because of stress and money. I went to work in 78 days after accident, when I was in the hospital for over 50 days. All I can say is that I sincerely hope things get easier for you. Life is so short, and with everything we have, let's try with all we got to embrace it. God's speed Brother.

What may I ask helps you when you are going through all these feelings? Have you tried yoga just for yourself to find a peaceful place that you can control and relax yourself. I’m learning as much as I can about brain injuries as my best friend is suffering memory loss and trauma to his head from an accident and the more research I have done about helping cope with everything and it’s so important your support system provides you with new opportunities now don’t look at the past because this is a new you and there isn’t anything wrong with that. There is so much people don’t understand about how your feeling and I suffer from memory loss from MS and seizures- i have to set alarms for appointments on my phone every week, i have a calendar plus daily planner with appointments highlighted, i learned how to mediate to take the edge off because I’m frustrated when no one understands how I forgot about something yesterday or last month and I started painting which allows me to express myself and no one can take that from me. I can’t say I will ever understand what anyone is going thru because everyone has their own emotions and feelings but it’s ok to express how your feeling and you have to keep positive people in your life only.

Hi Tiffany. I understand how your feeling. I also have M.S. And having memory loss. I was diagnosed 22 years ago. 3 years ago my husband fell and hit the back of his head. He had an MRI. Nothing showed up. He is now having memory loss and anxiety. I feel bad because he wants to retire but he keeps working so we have medical and prescription coverage. I will be praying things get better for you and your friend. Take care.

Is hearing things and seeing strobe like lights things experienced by patients who had TBI of the brain stem? During rehab therapy, reading gave me a mild headache. What neurology specialist should I follow up with?

I have a friend that had brain surgery and almost died from being hit by a car at a young age but i care so much about him. i need some information to help him. i can tell alot of changes every time i talk or see him.

When I was 3 years old my mom and I were involved in an MVA. I was asleep on the seat (this occurred in the early 1970's). Long story short, my mom had whiplash, I was in a coma for 3 days. From what I've been told, the doctor's weren't sure that I would wake up.
I had heard that I had to relearn everything.
Now I'm 47 years old, and I suffer from bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD.
My dad says that I've been "off" in a sense since the accident.
Maybe that would also explain why I've been married 5 times already.

At 36 I was completely disabled by a Severe TBI at 16. I was athletic, educated with a nice job. I have, after 4 years finally reached the "disconnect" stage and holy shit is it punishing. Im on 4 anti seizure medications, still having seizures and have become a Type 1 Diabetic now(?) assumed to be due to the brain damage. I have almost no interest in my "past life" and am not really sure I even remember it!!! TV, talking about day to day events with people is now a "task". The I go home sit in the yard with my cat, the birds, the squirrels and relax, usually have a nice cry alone. What a change in 4 years and must have sucked for everyone to watch, no golfing, hiking, seizures, nothing to talk about that can cry at the sight of a butterfly!!! I was a chainsaw operating, tree falling athletic guy that grew up playing Canadian National Baseball as a kid. I feel free and completely restrained at the same time, no time, short term memories but can sing a thousand songs and read a book in an hour. I have had to tell friends "I just can't be around you anymore" and yikes the terrible feeling and looks you get. Ahhhhh always wear a helmet or your seat belt or this could be you.

So thankfull someone else feels the same!

I received a TBI in 2005 from a serious car accident that almost took my life. Unfortunately I was driving & not wearing my seat belt. Loss control of car & hit a tree. My head hit steering wheel knocking me unconsience . I suffered many broken bones & crushed femur. I was under ventilation for days & knew none of my family for weeks. I loss much of my memory & lots of what I had learned. 12 years later & dealing with my TBI daily due to my memory loss. I was in a neuro rehab facility for months. Persons with TBI change to a different person once received & must be strong & willing to deal with the new person they are.

So glad i found this site, I thought i was the only one going through this hell.  Back in 2005 my horse and i stumbled coming around the third bend and found a spot of mud, I was not wearing a helmet and experienced my first KO.  Which brought along a full blown TIA a few weeks latter.  

At the end of 2005 the same horse ran me into a tree at full gallop.  Cannot tell you anything of the real world for 7 days.  Woke up to 18 inches of metal in the right arm.  Right leg one inch shorter than the left and could not remember the year date and so on.

For 12 years i have fought the symptoms everyone here has described here.  However recently they have overwhelmed me i cannot handle any out side pressure without having a terrible headache with the lose of vision.  Frustration abounds.  I honestly thought i would make it back to the man i was before, i now know i have to admit that will never happen.

Do no know who i will be but knowing i am not alone helps.

Thank you, all, for sharing. Mine happened in Oct 1977. Hit by car. Crushed my pelvic bone & broke my femur. Pin drilled through calf to put leg in traction. Two wks in coma. Half body cast.Three months in the hospital. No rehab, only some physical for my leg.  Reality is a blur. Life... is precious. Flowers bloom in the cracks of my heart. Fire refining, moment by moment... Crying out, my soul is comforted of God. Yielding to the lonely echo of my voice, it warmly comes back to me, He is. Love..

AC april 17- 19- 2017 your comment is remarkable.  We have been chosen or selected as odd as it seems.. Anger is of NO use what so ever.  Live every day,

I am awaiting my MRI of my optic nerves and my brain.  I was assaulted at work, I worked in a maximum psych hospital.  not any more. I am anxious to hear of my results and hope for the best.  I admit, i have been ALTERED. for lack of a better word.  The world is a different place, loud noises, attention disorder etc.. and it will be two years this september that I had my first concussion, and november of this year for my second concussion which resulted in my TBI.  Some PT but it just takes time,, and energy,, keep busy,, do stuff, exercise walk, lift weights, yard work etc,,, don't get hurt again and life as long as possible...
this forum is great,, good luck everyone,,,

Fifteen years ago, I was involved in a serious accident on the way to work. I was unconscious for nearly an hour. When I reached the hospital, my wife was told I was being moved to another hospital due to the severity of my injuries. Ten or so days after the accident, my wife explained the injuries to me. To this day, I'm not sure if I knew how serious they were. Most of the damage was to my head. I had a fist sized fracture to the skull above my left eye, and it was causing major concern. The break continued down my eye orbital socket, under my left eye, thru my lower jaw bone. The lower jaw bone had pierced thru the skin. Later, I found out that my nose and both TM joints had multiple breaks, as well as my right orbital socket. To this day, I remember almost nothing. If I do think I remember something, I'm not even sure if it's a factual memory or not. After about 4 months, I had to try and return to work, otherwise we would lose everything. On my way to work one day, I suffered a partial complex seizure. Once I came around, I nearly rear ended a young lady and her infant child in the back seat. I had just enough clarity to avoid the vehicle, but didn't understand what was happening to me. For 2 weeks prior to the close call, I was complaining of a foul taste and smell to my oral maxillofacial surgeon. A week or so later, I was referred to a neurosurgeon and neurologist. After some simple tests in the office, I realized I no longer had the sense of smell. So, more tests followed. Eventually I was diagnosed with seizure activity. Then, the seizure meds followed. It took nearly 3 years and a multitude of med mixing to find what worked for me. It helped with the seizures, but I had no life outside the home. I was sleeping 12-14 hrs a day, and had no appetite at all. The weight was dropping off rapidly. I tried to force the food down, but no luck. While all this was happening, my PTSD/survivor remorse was in full swing. I tried many antidepressants, and found one which seem to be helping. About a month on the AD drug, I started to hallucinate, and became suicidal. After repeated attempts, I realized I needed help, and lots of it. Fast forward to May 2017, 4 medical reconstruction and 3 dental surgeries later, I'm still here. Over the last 18 months, I've noticed my cognitive/mental abilities are deteriorating. I'm getting fed up with the usual response, "You look fine". It's so far from the truth, I get angry. I've read so many other stories, and I feel like it is an autobiography. All this has nearly ended my marriage of 25 years. I'm thankful for the first time, I don't have children. It's hard on her, and I'm not sure it's fair for her to be stuck in my mess. To the people who say, "Oh, you look fine.", please educate yourself before comments like that. The internal struggle in TBI patients is very REAL. No, I'm not an idiot, or using it as a way out. I excelled in sports and academics my whole life. I was labeled a workaholic, and had a photographic memory. Now, I'm lucky if I can piece together the previous day. Don't judge until you know the facts. CTE and closely related problems are real.

Good evening, my name is Gilbert and I'll be as clear and concise as possible. I just turned 34 years old at midnight tonight, I'm male and live independently, so a lot has been on my mind. I was hit by a car when I was about 3-4 years old, which was back in 1987. The car must've been traveling about 20-25 miles per hour and I was wandering in the street when this happened. Anyhow, I can still see the indentation on my forehead from that injury although I don't believe I received the proper care for rehabilitation. I've now experienced that I suffer from alcoholism and maybe I am just an alcoholic or not, but I've always felt that the injury created the impulsive person that I've become today. I'm very emotional, I find it difficult to concentrate for periods of time, I've had temper tantrums in my previous relationship with my ex-girlfriend, etc. Is it possible that this brain injury is still affecting me 30 years later? I'm looking for guidance as to where to look for help. I'm tired of being this way and feel that I deserve a higher quality of life. My first instinct has been to locate the records of my traumatic brain injury from 1987, but I suppose that would be more for my own self justification purposes but then again, I'd like to have evidence for whomever may question me. I'm aware no one can give medical advice but, what is it that was suggested to you to have done? I was thinking an adult neuropsychological examination and x-rays may reveal if things have returned to "normal" or not. I just simply don't know what to do, any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, goodnight. 

You can request a EEG in order for the doctor to determine if your brain is working properly.

I am in month 5 of this nightmare. I get easily frustrated when i try to do the things i once never even thought about. It has been really hard and i feel so alone at times. I try to explain to people but they just don't get it. My struggle is real and i keep fighting. My thoughts go out to those in my shoes. Have a TBI really sucks.

Starting with unusual symptoms like vision, balance, headaches, and difficulty swallowing, etc. I was encouraged by my awesome wife to get chef out, basic tests were negative, so a scan was done CT, revealing a tumor. Fast forward to the surgery, a craniotomy through the ear/sinus area, 5 days of hospital stay, and first day home suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage, rushed back to hospital for a ventriculostomy. Coma for 10 days, woke up to excruciating pain, to discover a metal catheter was located into my midbrain to relieve blood pooling and pressure. Hospital stay at brain trauma institute for 6 weeks. Released to home care, out of work for over three months. Upon my return to work as an Arborist. I was determined to convince people that I was able to continue in my profession of 25 years. Things became increasingly difficult, as dizziness, chronic fatigue, headaches, and questionable mental processing were daily struggles. Suffered a TBI after a blackout episode in my bathroom, hitting my head on the cast iron bathtub, breaking the hot water stem. Woke to my wife screaming and blood everywhere, yet another ambulance ride and a few more days in the hospital.

And then the real troubles began, I was not able to sleep for over a month, depression, anxiety, intercranial pressure and fighting to prove my way back into the workplace, proved to be overwhelming. A team of good Dr's, my personal care physician, a neurologist, a neuropsychologist, a neuropsychiatric specialist all worked together to form a formal diagnosis and treatment plan.  After more lengthy tests and medications, I was able to start sleeping again, what a joyful thing! 

Since then, my journey was one stumbling block after another, as I was becoming more aware of my accumulated deficits, and how they were affecting my day to day struggles, interpersonal work relationships, trust, critical thinking, organizational, strategic, multitasking, creative, improvisational, etc. As the years past, somehow, I was able to blend in enough to keep the focus off of me and my struggles. 

Just recently, I have retired from my job after 32 years, after continuing my treatments and a neuropsychological exam, which revealed what we suspected, severe and permanent damage to 3 areas of my brain were limiting my abilities, and were increasingly affecting my performance and workplace relationships. 

While this may seem like a lot of setbacks, I am grateful for all the incredible caregivers, especially my wife, for their sincere and professional talents, who not only saved my life, but have kept us on the ongoing road to recovery, while my life will never be what it used to be. Learning to live a simpler, less stressful life has been a welcome learning experience for me, after a life of being a type A, competitive, strongwilled, driven person, although most would say the adjustment hasn't been exactly smooth. Stay blessed all of you.

This has really been helpful. I would love to speak to you in person to get some tips. I experienced a Subdurral hemorrage in 2016 and I am recovering well but there are some days I need to hear from someone who has been through it.

I suffered two SAH in 2009 that healed over, only to discover I had 5 cerebral aneurysms the following year. I required two craniotomies to clip three of the aneurysms and I have a lot of difficulty with memory, head pain, overall body pain, visual disturbances, Executive function, balance, ringing/swooshing in the ears, temperature regulation, and emotional difficulties.

Had arterial venous malformation rupture right hemisphere 1980. My company forced me to retire. I had my family but I met a beautiful woman that was willing to put up with a brain damage man that has no short-term memory. Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. We have two beautiful children. We have two beautiful grandchildren. Because of my wife I have a beautiful life. All I do is get up in the morning and tell myself shut up listen to your wife her name is Rosemary as long as I do that I'm sure my life will turn out wonderful.

Help anybody else that has had a TBI find some wonderful partner who is willing to understand and love them. That's my anniversary wish for you all. No matter how bad you feel or how gloomy your circumstances there's a silver lining out there for you all. Have a great day. I love every one of you.

It's been 10 years or so and I'm still hurting. It seems like more and more stuff is going wrong with me (or i'm just now becoming more aware of it) and it traces back to my TBI.

I fell 25 feet on my job in 2008. I fractured my skull in 4 places. In the last 2 years,my speech is really bad, my memory is going pretty fast. It really has been hard, people look at me and think "oh he looks good etc" but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I pray no one else ever has to go through it.

Happened to click on this site. Previously, I was quite an avid contributor. Fabulous web site. For a person who has sustained a TBI, persistence is a requirement. Frustration is a frequent companion as this tumultuous crisis has overtaken your world. First and foremost, you must come to terms with yourself and mind. A drastic change has occurred in life for you.You must come to terms with such. Anger is of no use. None what so ever, one would think but a deeper  look into the matter reveals a sliver of sustenance. Motivation, energy. Yes, two items you need in vast supplies. Not all the time, though. As I've written before, nothing is good, nothing is bad... perspective. We've been touched, chosen... accept it and move ahead on your new occupation, chief reflector of the seemingly insurmountable pangs of negativity that abound 24/7 in the "state of mind." Change that mental direction, Slowly, remember "fast" is a word of the past. Grasp on to your new world. Slow is the way to go. Inner calm is to be realized... you live, there is life in thee, nurture, for in time you will be rewarded for your persistence. It be so!!!


You need to be around people that support you and that are optimistic. Not ones that slow down your progress and spirit. God bless you.

Minor TBI?  Really/  My brain (injured) from my minor concussion  (while working alone) told me I was okay.  I stayed at work despite some vertigo and forgetting some words.  I made decisions with the logic of about a 6-year-old child, but no one noticed.  I felt like I was drunk for days, but I showed up and went to work so no one cared.  Finally, thankfully, brain cells died and I got a terrible headache, etc. and a bit of sense. I had to go to the ER. I still have cognitive issues three weeks after the fall. and my employer insists that I go back to work.  I have warned them that my decision-making skills and cognitive ability are still somewhat dysfunctional.  They do not believe me.  Tomorrow I will be humiliated, but yes, I will return with my sunglasses, walking sticks for balance, bad memory, poor organization, mental fog, etc.  I warned them that I cannot be responsible for the safety of others right now.  I now know the meaning of brain injury, but sadly my bosses and their customers will only learn tomorrow at my expense. When I need to, I will repeatedly explain that I have a brain injury from which I have not fully recovered..  I have given notice at work since they refused to pay my medical and worker's comp benefits, so I will move on, after some time at my brother's house.  I wish myself and everyone else the best.  I take hope in the fact that total recovery may not be possible, but that new windows of opportunity may open if I make myself available. I will work through the stops of recovery, and life will go on.

Just read the first 3 pages. It's me. It sucks

I have tbi for 37 years and now it's effecting me more then I'm getting older, will I loose my memory more as i get older?

I had a TBI 11 yes ago I was in a car accident it killed husband and two of my children I was in a coma almost four months the seatbelt severed my corrated artery I had several strokes while I in a coma I am raising my son all by myself he was just a baby but the only thing wrong with me is I can not talk right. You defiantly can't understand me on the phone and my hands are drawn in towards my body due to the strokes

After reading through the comments, I am relieved that I am not crazy after all. I had a TBI when I was 10, about 23 years ago, and have been dealing with so many of the same issues that so many others are going through. I fell off the hood of a truck as it was moving down the road. I was told that my head was the first thing to hit the pavement, but I can't remember what happened. I was med-flighted to a hospital where the doctors took a piece of my skull out to relieve the pressure. I was in a coma for a week and remained in the hospital for a week or so after that. When I sustained my injury, I lost my ability to read, write and talk normally. I knew what I wanted to say, I just couldn't put the words in the right order.  I suffered from what they told me were silent seizers, I seen the world as a kind of cartoon for several weeks after getting out of the hospital. I slowly recovered and returned to normal activities. I have always struggled with lack of emotion when I should of had it and then crying at times when it was completely inappropriate, for instance when I am overwhelmed. I often can't concentrate and my memory is completely terrible. I also suffer from minor headaches at certain times, to debilitating migraines at other times. I have a very hard time being in large groups of people and maintaining normal relationships. It seems that the last few years these symptoms are getting worse. Where do even start to look for help? 

hello everyone and my co-TBIs out there. I got my tbi with diffuse axonal injury last march 15, 2013, went to coma for 10 days, hospitalized for 3 weeks, but I just can't share how it feels because i really don't remember a thing at all. For 4 months everything just got erased. Right now, I'm more or less 75% good. I drive myself to work, the things that bothers me though not that much is my vertigo, right from the second I wake up until I get back into bed at night. I also lost my ability to ride all 2 wheels -- motorcycle and bicycle. It's like a light switch, the vertigo is there whenever I need balance but the moment I sit (like driving a car), it's gone. Another is paresthesia, my entire right leg has that tingly feeling, like pins and a bit numb, entire day 24/7. Just another challenge to take. But above all these, I'm good. Just thought I'd share something, thank you.

I have had 10 plus concussions and 5 years later I still have memory loss. I used to had photographic memory. I still have that but people treat me like I'm a leper. It frustrates me so much my symptoms come back full force. I want my life back. I was on the president's list every year in college. How do I convinced colleges and my husband that I am very capable of living a good life? When he treats me like I am mentally challenged. It sets me back in my recovery. I start to believe it.

This is me. I feel the same way. I was in an accident a few months ago and haven’t been the same since. I feel like no one understands I’m healing and that my brain is still processing and I can’t do everything I once could like I could. Hell I can’t even cook anymore. It’s depressing. My boyfriend hates it.

Prior to TBI I had nearly a photographic memory. Now (4 years out from the accident and coma/brain surgery) I have that same memory of everything up to one year before the tbi. I still retain all of my math skills, computational, and knowledge, but can't transfer short-term to long term memory. I also get very emotional over certain things and sometimes loose my voice when I get stressed.

I believe I have CTE. I have had many concussions over the years. Several lately due to an auto accident and balance issues. Everything I thought was just from getting older is not that. Last year all the symptoms sped up. I can't even do simple subtraction anymore. Does anyone think they have CTE out there? My life is falling apart. My wife thinks it's just me, that I have no problem. How long do I have? I know a lot of people that have this commit suicide with really no warning. Since I lost my daughter to crib death at 11mo, 3 weeks, I've had a death wish. I'm afraid someday it will happen to me with no warning. No one understands. I have no one.

life is not yours to take.

Clearly you do NOT understand suicide ! It isn't like you WANT it ..... It is a very serious illness - as well as CANCER is !!!! Please if you must respond could it be a positive message to the man in serious trouble !!!

My husband fell from 14 feet headfirst onto a concrete floor on May 24,2015.  He suffered a subdural hematoma in the occipital lobe and the left temporal lobe was battered.  He had an embolism rupture during first brain surgery.  The Neurologist doesn't know why he is still alive, but he is!  He was in coma for 3 weeks and on a ventilator.  He had brain injury, broken shoulder, bone flap in skull removed due to swelling, broken nose, broken ribs, and was blind.  He has undergone PT, OT, Speech, and vocal cord therapies, 11 surgeries.  He can see now and talk,  Is back at work full time and even sang a solo at our church during Christmas.  His biggest problems are fatigue, headaches and for me, the fact that he thinks he is fully recovered even though I feel like I am living with a different man than the one I married 36 years ago.  Don't get me wrong, I praise and thank God every day for his blessings, but it isn't easy.

Reading through the posts I realize that we are incredibly blessed!  I just wish I knew how to improve headaches and fatigue,  This journey is ongoing and some family think that he is fully recovered not wanting to acknowledge his differences. I have accepted that people can choose to be ignorant and I can't change that.  Thanks for being my sounding board.  Hang in there everybody!

You just helped me in so many ways. I experienced a subdurral hematoma in 2016. What helps me with the fatizue is a lot of water, homemade smoothies with spinach , blue berries and protein powder. I also drink ginseng tea and other. That works for me 65% of the time.

I had a severe TBI 15 years ago and was seizure free for 11 years until just last month I don't know what to do. Is there any support groups to offer help or guidance in NY for those with TBI? I'd rather be dead than have Alzheimer's or dementia. Is there anyway to prevent that?

I am 32 years old and in the military.  I had to jump through hoops in the recruiter's office to join because I had a major head trauma when I was 8 where I had to relearn how to walk and talk. I had to do lots of paperwork and see lots of doctors that said I was okay to join. After the accident, when I was 8, I was in a coma for over a week and I had a grand mal seizure for which they gave me meds as I was being airlifted on helicopter from the crash site to the children's hospital. 

I have a friend who is a Special Forces combat medic who recently sustained a deployment-related TBI. He used to have emotional control issues and angry outbursts because of the TBI until he got treatment for it and now he is being med boarded out of the Army by his own choice. When his wife was talking to my wife, she told her that I have the same issues (emotional control) that her husband had after the TBI. Now both my SF Combat Medic buddy and his wife think my issues may be related to the head trauma I had as a kid.

I have to admit emotional control has always been difficult for me since I can remember.  It's been difficult on my relationship with my wife since we've known each other. I've always done my best to keep it under control, but it's really hard and sometimes I don't do very well. I've always had to work really hard to control it and sometimes I'm wildly unsuccessful.  I have never and would never physically abuse my wife or kids, but sometimes I can't control my attitude and emotions and I end up saying and doing things or acting in ways that are hurtful. The accident was 24 years ago, but I think my friend may be onto something by suggesting it could be related to the head trauma.

Michelle, My daughter had a TBI 6 months ago. She sees an Integrated Neurologist that referred her to Vision Specialist of Michigan who work with TBI issues as you have explained. There is hope for him.

My partner has a fractured skull that happened 10 years ago. He's always suffered with headaches since but the past couple of days his headaches have become worse than normal with blurred vision. I'm wanting advice as he is a stubborn man who won't let me take him to the doctors but I'm worried now as he admits the headache is worse than he's had before. Any advice much appreciated. Thank you. Michelle

Has anyone in here tried NCR work (Neuro-Cranial Restructuring)?  I work with professional fighters and have noticed a large difference with massive trauma to the skull.  Headaches can be caused by a lot, as well as depression and mood swing issues.  There is also the issue of the body restructuring itself around an injury and creating temporary occlusions to blood flow in the brain - leading to massive headaches.  There are a lot of things to consider, but neck trauma associated with head trauma should be addressed in order to solidify a proper blood supply to the recovering brain.  Other methodology includes hyperbaric chamber utilization as well as proper supplementation to eliminate neural inflammation and promote neural healing.  Happy to answer questions if anyone has any, I'm and ATC, and MATm, and I've been working with NCR trained MD's for athletes I'm involved with and their recovery.  Not sure how to put contact info up, but check out www.thebodymechanicMAT.com to find my contact info.

Best of luck to everybody and I wish the speediest recoveries to all.


I'm not sure if anyone will read this but I'm just wondering if I can get any input. I found this article extremely useful. When my older brother was 16 he was skiing alone and got into a skiing accident (we still don't know exactly how it happened), and he had to be helicoptered to the nearest hospital. He was in a comba for four days, broke both his wrists, but surprisingly no internal bleeding but still intense headaches and head trauma. It took him about six months to come back to normal academically and in all visible ways. He's now 20, and the reason I'm writing is because he has been pretty severely depressed right about since the time of his accident. I never put two and two together because I never even thought that TBI could cause personality changes, but after reading this article I now see that it's actually a common thing. I want to get my brother help, but his accident seems so long ago and I'm not sure how to approach it. 

My brothers used me as a crash test dummy when I was a kid and I was knocked unconscious and woke up in the E.R. The headaches were real bad the first 2 years. I never did well in school after that because I was violent and couldn't pay attention.. but I am doing fine. We press on...

Wow - the stories on this page are totally eye-opening. I feel like posting - which might mean I am getting used to not working and having time on my hands.

OK - so I am a 54 y.o. male. It is now 4 months since bicycle accident (front forks broke) with 1 day coma, 12 days hospital stay, right & left epidural haemorrhages, left anteomedial frontal contusion, bilateral complex temporoparietal skull fractures into condylar fossae and mastoid process (plus 10 ribs, right clavical, fractured cervical and crushed thoratic vertibrae). Whew - what a mouthful. So I was classified as severe to very severe TBI but now I am pretty much normal, just sailed through my neurospych exam averaging in superior range. I am gradually learning how incredibly blessed I am that I have escaped any serious impairment. (Yes - I did have ringing ears 95% better, funny smells 95%, still have some dizziness 80%, and some back pain from the crushed thoratics 80% - but nothing that would stop me functioning at least 90% normal life). Will be returning to work next year with partially reduced workload. 

One thing I would say. I usually thought I was more recovered than I actually was. Being a fitness person I tended to push myself a bit too much, and also overestimated how quickly I would recover. So I have had to settle down a bit and make sure I sleep properly etc. That's the funny thing about brain injury, I can't trust myself to correctly judge how well I am with my own brain. 

The other thing is that I am quite sure I could have easily died, and that emergency services got me in straight to the trauma team (Sydney's Westmead hospital) without 1/2 hour and care has been excellent. But for the most part, fitness or health care cannot promise anything. My accident was more a miracle than good luck or "my fitness" as some people say. It was God. Apparently when I was coming out of coma I was singing a little old worship song... "Praise the Lord, Oh give thanks to the Lord..." And was very peaceful. Well, praise God. 

Does anyone know if there are studies looking at undiagnosed TBI 's that happened decades ago. I fell off a horse about 40 years ago and as I age, my concentration abilities have been declining.

In response to the post Sep 2nd, 2016 12:55pm, there is hope. I was almost 4 years old when I fell out of the 3rd story window of a hotel onto the pavement of the parking lot below. I had a few medical procedures I scarcely remember and I had migraines and nausea for years after. I struggled a lot in elementary and middle school, but, now I'm 20 in college and things are generally looking up.

I'll never be "normal," my scar makes thinking physically feel like exercise and it still flares up in pain whenever I'm tired, angry, ashamed, or panicked (e.g. I'll never get over my fear of thunder because the noise makes my scar hurt like crazy).

Although it is a struggle, it is nevertheless possible, with proper medical treatment and support, to live a meaningful life.

After an accident I had I couldn't smell or taste. I believe the senses involved that have gotten knocked off balance. I'm scared most times but recently have been having head pains 13 years later. I'm sorry you're having problems. Only thing I can say is take care of yourself, don't stress or be around noisy things. Relax and eat fruit, drink water and be comfortable sleeping

I can't smell anything, my balance is off, fatigue daily, it's almost 3 yrs since my injury of glaucoma 3. my mom says the doc didn't say my brain would stay damaged that I would be sleepy daily for 4-5 mos. So I should go and see a doc to see why I can't stay awake daily. And that I should go and see a doc to see how much my brain bled. Why can't poeple accept us for the way we are?