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 (561)

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.

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


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!
















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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

Hey, no pity party here.  Have TBI with seizure disorder, hit by a speeding truck 2006.  Completed one full IRONMAM post accident and completed the Wounded Warriors Ride starting in Vimy Ridge, finished in Amsterdam.  Set goals and complete them.  You are all AWESOME BEAUTIFUL BROKEN BRAINS

Wow that is awesome! Keep up the great work :)

I am wondering if my mental health issues as a 43 year old that began early adolescence are related to head trauma when I was 7 years old (knocked unconscious with a bat to back of head for less than 30 seconds; I woke up in my father's arms being carried to the car to go to ER; not hospitalized; no fracture); also when 17 years old repeated blows (15-20) to back of head that left me with moderate headaches for weeks afterwards.  As I age I find myself struggling more and more to control my emotions (I feel the physical symptoms of anger all the time but nothing cognitively to cause the anger; like a chemical change in the brain took place), as well as other seemingly meaningless symptoms until I read this article; I have notice the metallic tastes, bumping into things, knocking things over, memory issues (other night I forgot about a movie we had watched the night before and suggested we watch it again.). Sometimes I really just want it to stop....I feel like there will never be peace in my mind.

I have a daughter who had a horse accident at the age of 6yr.  She is 23 now.  She went to cosmetology school for two years.  She tried to take her boards to work in a salon, but never passed those darn tests!  She still lives at home trying to find a job.  Jobs are hard for her!  She can't keep a job for very long.  She wants to be independent, but she can't make enough money to be on her own.  She has a tbi injury from the horse kicking her in the left frontal lobe of her head. We live in Colorado.  I would like to know how I can get her help with trying to get a steady job!  She applies to lots of jobs, and no one seems to call her back!  We contacted and applied at the job center in out state, but didn't help much!  If anyone could help in would greatly appreciate it!  We are at a loss as to what job she can do!  

In 1983 i was in a car accident on november 2. I woke up in john hopkins hospital 2 weeks later. l had no clue were i was or what was going on.l was blind in one eye other eye cut and damaged. Crushed my face on impact, jaw broken in 7 places,nose crushed eye sockets, cheekbones.18 hours on operating table. Woke up blind, jaw wired shut .trake in my neck breathing for me. Doctors re built my face using my driver license and a picture of my sister, and bone pieces from my hips. Doctors drilled a 1/2 inch hole in my forehead ,stuck a couple tubes hooked to testubes with a vacuumed in them.after a second operation to bone graft the hole in my forehead.i started on a new journey.i have very little memory of the accident or my life before.i learned to do almost every thing over .talk eat walk be around people.but i did it. Now 28 years later its haunting me again.memory ,loss vision loss, mood swings,its very possible to live a somewhat normal life.But be prepared and pay attention to any changes to your health, it may come back to haunt you later in life.

Are there any victims of brain damaging ECT, or shock? Was "treated" with this lunatic bogus procedure. TBI the result of 21 closed head injury concussions. Lost 10 years memories, short term memory awful, cognitive, reading problems. Dulling of vibrant personality. Fatigue. Sleep issues, irritation. What stand do brain injury organization have on this barbaric assault? Bad enough to suffer a TBI in an accident, but to have a hospital and doctor deliver multiples is disgusting. People should be able to sue..Are brain injury groups speaking out against this? If not, why not?

Hi, I had a TBI I was ran over by a vw transporter mini bus, I had a subdural heamatoma and had to have a craniotomy and a clip inserted into my brain. I have attention problems and short term memory problems. This is 2 years on and 3 brain ops later and I still have problems. All I can suggest to people in the same or even worse situation is.... Improvise, adapt and overcome! If memory like mine is a problem try leaving alarms or reminders on phones or sticky notes places. Its a pain but it helps especially with appointments :). I wish you all good luck and good healing. Andy :)

To the son that posted on Feb 7th 2016:

So sorry to hear about your mother. Best wishes and prayers for your mom, you and your family.

Your question was posted to the BrainLine Facebook community here: https://www.facebook.com/brainline/posts/10154093065042240

Many members of the community -- caregivers, survivors, and professionals in the field -- have offered advice, esources, and information. Hope this helps!

I'm looking for any advice or knowledge about severe penetrating tbi to the entire right side of the brain. My mother suffered a gun shot wound to the head. It pierced through four of the major lobes on the right side (temporal, frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes) and I have been looking for any information about what could be expected from this type of wound. Most of the literature I have been able to find on tbi is closed head injury or from an accident that has damaged the outside of one or two lobes. My mom has been in a coma for about 3 wks and just recently opened her eyes. She is definitely aware of my presence whether by sight or sound of my voice, we don't yet know. She cant move, speak, or follow commands. She has emotional responses though. She cries when my brother or I talk to her but doesn't really acknowledged the Drs voice. They can't do an MRI on her bc she still has bullet fragments in her head so the Drs are limited on what they can tell us about the damage. I need help! I figure the only way I'll be able to help her is if I can educate myself on her condition and prepare myself for what I will be up against. I'm 28 yrs old and no way prepared for this but am trying to be. Does anyone on here have anything they can share with me about what they know on this type of tbi? Or what they think I can expect for her as far as recovery goes? She is 50 yrs old and quality of life is so important to me bc it is to her. I need to know if she has any chance of still having any type of quality of life? If she does not then I will have to make some pretty tough decision in the near future. I don't want to make the wrong decision on her behalf. So please be open and honest with your advice. I can't stand being in limbo and the Drs are too careful to say anything. I need real people with real opinions. Please help!

my husband had a fall in hospital 12 weeks and 4 days ago and had a massive bleed on the brain the surgeon operated he made it through the first 24 hours then they took him back to theater to remove part of his skull he has suffered 2 strokes since then the doctors never thought he would open his eyes he did after 8 weeks he still isn't responding to anything just he opens his eyes and moves his eyes he has had a subdural hematoma and severe cerebral infraction im still in shock and really dont understand alot ive read many things the surgeon has told me that my husbands prognosis is limited he will be going to a rehabilation centre soon to see if he will make some kind of recovery i have still got faith in my husband and pray everynight for him and thank the angels for everyday i get with him reading all your stories on here has give me some more hope thank you for sharing i feel for every one that it has happened to and my heart goes out to the relatives that has a loved one going through any kind of brain injury


Question: My son,now 26 years old, has a moderate TBI due to a closed head injury, he received at age 12. He broke his skull from his left temple to the nape of neck and the crown of his skull to the nape of neck , basically a pie shape.  

ate TBI. 13 years ago due to closed head injury. He fractured his skull from left temple down past ear to nape of neck/base of skull, and crown of skull to base. ( Basically making a pie shape) The neurosurgeon warned that  commonly with his type of injury aneurysms can develop  later.... he is flying to California from Michigan next week. The last and only time he flew before ( about 7 years ago) he experienced such pain he blacked out, to this day states he was in such pain he really doesn't remember, just remembers PAIN... was extremely sick for three days and lost his hearing for a few weeks, but three months later his ears "popped" and he was like; " Mom I can hear again, my ears popped" ( He didn't realize he couldn't hear well until he could.) He doesn't swim underwater either due to pressure??? Should I worry about him flying again???

He states that the problems he experienced could have nothing to do with his injury - which is true - but I am praying that he will be fine.  

My son, now 26 years old, received  a closed head injury at age 12. He fractured his skull from his left temple to the base of his skull ( nape of his neck/ spinal cord area) and from the crown of his skull to the base. like a slice of pie. he lost hearing in his left ear temporarly due to bleeding. after med flight n neurosugeons etc...  Dr. Garton -  thank you lord - got him to respond, and the access panel surgery to release pressure was not performed. He was diagnosed with an epurduarl hematobin, due to the skull fractures, ... which were too large to disipitate on their own and would need to be medically removed. They did disapear on their own and no medical intervention happened, which was unheard of. The doctor stated that later - 25-30 years old he should have an mri or mra or whatever checks for anyuresms. As they were common later down the road with his type of injury.



I'm 21 and suffer from TBI (skull fracture,temporal lobe,hematoms). Accident happened in February 2015. 

Since may I suffer occasional sickness,vertigo and headaches very similar to migraines and ear which is plugged every 2-3 weeks (do to broken temporal lobe) and noticing extreme changes in emotional states. Oversensitivity and often feeling alone plus excluding myself from crowds of people (I did not enjoy huge amounts of people before but now it's even worse). 

I'm trying to get back on my feet again and currently working part-time but while writing this all I feel is extreme fatigue which I'd like to decrease by any cause. Also have trouble with putting words together sometimes and forgetting what was it that I talked about for the last few minutes. People,you are not alone. All we can do is let the time pass and heals our wounds. Take care of ourselves and continue to progress towards recovery. I'm thinking of starting to take yoga (when fatigue occurs I put on reiki healing music and meditate for 20minutes) so if anyone knows whether yoga works it would be really helpful for all of us. #struggling and trying.

The last paragraph in the narrative above describing "Traumatic Brain Injury" is a description I have not seen before. It nails the dichotomy of Head Injury like nothing I've read before.

Change is good, is all I heard growing up, post TBI. Thirty-five plus years TBI an I now see the playing field as it was meant to be.

TBI rocks your world like nothing before. It is all there for you to see and build from. I've written countless times before expressing these same sentiments.

Your life's mission has just been laid at your feet. A job, 24/7, every day of your life lies before thee...patience is the pre-cursor to all attainment...this lesson can only be learned by the individual dealing with Head Injury.

Patience and Effort.... strive, strive, strive...and light, light, light, awaits at the door of reciprocating flavors, yes, it is true...a penny for a pound of sweat or a penny for a melodious moment will create the same results in a different way...either/or, the term to guide oneself remains, JUST RIGHT...follow its path and effortless is the light!!! AC

Thank you everyone for posting. My adopted son had a moderate to severe TBI due to severe abuse by his birth mom when he was 11 months old.  He is now 9. As he progresses through school, we are starting to see the long term effects of this injury. You all have given me the hope that with the proper "re-learning", he will be able to lead a normal life. Right now he struggles with abstract thinking (which he should be starting to develop), meaning of words, reading comprehension, impulse control, social skills, working memory and attention issues. And this mama is going slightly crazy trying to figure everything out!  Tomorrow we have a meeting with the school to try to get him additional services - this website was so helpful in educating me so I can educate them on TBI's. Thanks again everyone and best of luck!

My name is Robert , i Suffered a tbi to my frontal lobe in 2005 , it changed my life completely . i have had tremors in my hands since and they have got worse . for the past two years i have developed tracers in my vision when i go from a dark room with a t.v. on or just a lamp and i move my head the light will follow and if i move my hands in from of my face they will leave severe tracers as well , then when i go back in to a regular lit room it takes time for them to go away but they do . its so bad i cant go to the movie theater cause i'll get dizzy and completely out of it , i've heard this could be due to low dopamine levels and im going to see a neurologist from it concerns me because i have been told it could be an early symptom of Parkinson ..if anyone has any thing i mean anything to help me figure out what could be causing it get back to me . thank you

I had a non tramatic dual subdural hematoma and spent most of july 2015 in hospital and have had a lot of these symptoms and have poor train of thought and self worth now,im 53 white male,i almost bleed to death from taking plavix and asprin combination ,it took 2 week for plavix to get out of me so they could operate,went to emory rehab in atlanta to rehab while waiting on surgery at northside hospital-i was sent by ambulance to get a ct scan at emory main hospital and the ambulance driver did not strap down wheel chair took off fast very fast flipped me upside down on my head and i was taken back to emory icu and next day they had to do emergency crainiotimy,,i have recovered and was doing good till ambulance ride but now i feel ive lost my self worth,not able to drive and work and shakes -tremmers and cant focus on simple task,its dec 7th and i hope i recover more over time.I thank GOD im alive and my wife got me help real quick or id be dead according to doctor...Blood was to thin.

This was a very good read….thank you so much….I'm a brain injury Survivor

My subdural hematoma was in 1/2004. I was paralyzed on my right side and deaf after my surgery. With physical healing and time both came back and everyone thought I was fine again. But I wasn't. College educated me didn't even know what 4 plus 2 was. Have had to reteach myself things I know I knew. And have had to come to terms with the fact that there are things in my life that prior to 2004 I will never remember. The physical and outward of me appear fine but that is only because of the struggle I go thru daily in my head.

To person who wrote in on 11-14-15 @ 7:11PM who is 32 now, sustaining TBI at 15, enjoyed your perspective. As I've written previously, TBI only improves as time goes by.  You understand the equation of sustenance. You've glommed on to the situation and understand the parameters. Nothing is given to you but nothing is taken. Working with what is at your disposal is the means to attaining a certain serenity. It is all there to be retrieved......................................patience rules the day, inner calmness guides oneself, it can be done for as one thing is taken, something else replaces the condition that is no more as result of TBI. You can and will gravitate toward the simplicity of finding the replacement by living each day as a new horizon an thus you will find on your doorstep an answer to all your seeming problems. Remember patience and perspective is the path that leads to higher grounds in the journey embarked on seventeen years ago. Personalize and ye shall attain what one seeks. Just right, just right, just right......................................what falls into your field of vision daily is to be learned from an accepted the same way TBI has been accepted. You are a warrior, a warrior with a mission laid out for you. You have truly accepted this fact and your journey is limitless. You possess the spirit of a warrior.......no more needs to be said. Go forth as one.......................................!!!AC

I am 32 years old now, and have lived with being a survivor of a TBI from the age of 15. Was a passenger in a car accident that left my 16 year old friend dead on the scene. Doctors told my parents not to expect me to live past 48 hours because the swelling was so bad. I woke up 10 days later unable to remember why I was there at the hospital. I had flash backs of what occurred, colors of objects incorrect and time frames mixed up. Went through therapies at the hospital for the next 20 days before being released. I couldnt even remember what 8x5 was. Math was my best subject at that time. I had to re-teach myself, by the help of others, so many skills. Today I do still live with some effects of this trauma. Spelling.. thank god for spell check... it is horrible, sometimes it doesn't even look like a word. Writing comprehension can be difficult, forgetfulness, withdrawal of social situations, difficult to find words at times.. and the worst is lack of energy. Thinking can leave me exhausted at times. It can be very difficult to live this way at times but we all must remember that we still are US and thing still can make US happy. If we need to write notes or ask for help it will do nothing more than improve these skills that we all find challenging. Its the only thing that has kept me from breaking at times. Those neurons will work again!!!! Best luck to everyone.

I suffer from a TBI. Can't find the the right words. Ringing in my ear's . it's like a electric current in my head. Waking up streaming.. No sense of smell.. Blurred vision bad since of direction and on top ptd.. On a positive iv taken my army experience to take me to Uni and becomes the best teacher I can be. That's one thing my TBI can't change..my choice's to be the best I can be...

Nov 18, 2007 i was in a car accident and almost 8 years later i am still having symptoms. I can no longer hold down a job, ive been on and off depression pills sense i was 15 ive made bad decisions within the time that it has occurred and the symptoms are worsening by months. I need help with figuring out with what i can do to get assistance by the state and help fixing my injury. My insurance is crappy and wont cover anything needed to be done. Any advice? 

After a severe subdural hematoma at age 15 my sense of self was lost. I struggled with remembering who I was. After years of looking for myself I decided to rebuild and move on. Like others have said, I was reincarnated. It was a chance for a new life. Some times I have insight into my old life; this can be warming or saddening, but I keep moving forward. I don't frequently speak of my struggle with finding words, my lack of control in holding back my tears, or my sadness because I've learned that I'm lucky to have been given another chance. I hope that others with TBI can find peace.

5/19/98 was the day my life changed ..... It's now October of 2015 .... 17 years later ... I was 18 when I had a bicycle accident that fractured my skull on the back right side leaving a hole in my skull that will never heal .... I do not recall my personality before but do remember everything just not the person I was. It's been an interesting ride since then due to some neck issues that cause me pain and nerve damage in my left arm that has left it some what numb and limited to a point, wasn't able to move it at all for months. I suffer from depression everyday but it is manageable without medication as long as I don't allow mind to drift. I have issues with seeing trails .... Meaning when cars or bright lights pass by me they blur or trail behind it. I do have anger issues that bother me since they flair up or come on suddenly, I never really used to let things bother me that were petty but it seems they all pile up like a hill I have to climb on occasions. I tend to be unemotional at times she it's needed I should be or overly when it's uncalled for which is odd to me when I think about it .... But who knows. I also have had other injuries that have risen due to other incidences through out the years, examples are L5 disc fracture and such. So now after everything I wonder what's next .... 

My sister had a TBI 8yrs ago. She fell down the stairs my father called me and told me to get on a plane as they were not sure she was going to live. I live in the USA she in England. She was in a coma for a month on a ventilator and had two major bleeds in her head followed by a stroke. She did not respond to pain and made no movement on her own it was an awful time. She progressed and was sent to a rehabilitation centre   where she learned to walk and relearn how to take care of herself. 1yr later a plate was made for her head as the loss of bone was huge about a third of her skull. She is not the same person she was no longer able to work lost her partner of many years as he could not adjust to the new person. She is verbally abusive gained a lot of weight which she obsessives about and suffers short term memory loss long term is very distorted. Panic attacks are frequent plus headaches. Jump ahead 5yrs and she started to have seizures they were able to control with medication. I skype here most days and try not to engage when she wants to fight. She is currently living alone (has a dog) but in the last three weeks or so her speech is getting very difficult for her to pronounce get out and stuttering. She made an appointment to see the doctor my other sister will go with her and I pray their is something that can be done to help. If the need arises I will return to England to care for her if she will let me. My parents live in another country and are aging she hates our father so and would refuse to go their. To all of you that have suffered this awful injury my heart goes out to you. One day at a time is all you can do maybe even one hour. I wish you all the best.     

Savere TBI at work January 2015. Fell off of garbage truck. Eleven days in ICU. Spent next two months in Atlanta at The Shepherd Center. Best place I could have ever gone to. Still having therapy where I live in Asheville NC. Nothing against them, but they are nothing compared to Shepherd. Still have vision, balance and cognitive disability. Nowhere near 100%, but thankful to still be here. Almost died in the accident. Having to take depression meds now. Doctors say that's not unusual for TBI patients. My life has been completely turned upside down from this. Just had to get it off my chest.

Stuck on 124 comments...? I've sent a few insightful writings recently...no one else writing? Hard to believe, but it is what it is, I assume. That's all...short and sweet, kind of like a tweet...!!!AC

  Head on collision on way to air port, Coma 3 weeks hospital 3 months life score 3   received a T.B.I 1994, and today I turned 44 and feeling not so good, just had another MRI scan last week showing old damage to the brain and a section with low signal.  I truly thought I had done the( unheard of) and fixed the brain , through  yoga ways,  salt water cleanses  ie major salt cleanses, kunjal,nettie, Trataka and resting with feet above my head for periods of time. Yes to look at I have done well on the out side.  Problem now is I am seen to be fine,  Not true, much better in sum ways. but head problems even tinnitus as well now, I find it very hard when others judge me.                                .(to sum up)

Practice yoga, especially breathing practices and  or low impact exercise as often as possible, drink lots of water and smile, I know this can be hard but give it a go and see for your self.    The right partner is good but much time is still needed on your own too  "Balance"  

On 11/15/01 I suffered a TBI due to a drunk driver vs. pedestrian accident. It is now 2015 and I still have some lasting effects from my TBI. For example, I find myself calling people the wrong name. I will go call out every name I know while I am looking at the persons whose attention I am trying to get. But, my family and friends have learned that this "word finding skill" problems is a small part of who I am now and they accept it. Also, my short term memory is not good at all. So, I find myself with a pen and paper or my phone to write or type things down. When I listen to people talk, I get confused because I  am concrete, but others are not. I have concluded that often people don't mean what they say which can be frustrating for me. My sense of smell and taste were restored. Because I go to church and regularly attend church functions, I am rarely lonely. God has continued to put people in my life who have worse memories than I do which helps me not feel sad about mine. I have learned to love the new me. I yon have one life. Whether or not I have a TBI is not important. What IS important is what I decide to do with the rest of my life. I intend to live my life with purpose. I find that when I get busy, I get happy. Even if you have a TBI, you can have a great life. You can decide to make yourself happy. Stay positive and keep busy.  

I was 12 y/o the 2nd yr in high school, a genius who went to high school at eleven y/o. I was attacked, beaten, and had my head and faced bashed into a wall. The only think I remember was waking up two months after in a hospital from a coma, amnesia for over a year, unaware of who i was or who my family were. I was told I had TBI.I am now 47 y/o raised my 28 y/o son, but life has never been the same, still living alone, anxiety disorders, phobias, and not able to have nay meaningful relationships. I suffered a lot of headaches, memory lapses, neck, back hand face pain, joint pain, neuropathy, mood swings, depression,to name a few.I am glad I found this site, and read all these comments, because I thought I was alone.I will never be the same, unable to pass any exams, but I am trying to live one day at a time, and hopefully can get some more counseling and help that will assist me w/ my journey.I still haven't told many people what have been though or going through , just pretend as if all is normal, b/c sometimes people can really judge you, so I hope there will be more help out there for people who going through this terrible ordeal..thanks everyone for allowing me to see that am not alone, and that God for giving me the strength to make it each day.

Wow people! I am so glad I came across this. 

I had a TBI in the early 90's. I was in my early 20's. I was jumped by 3 assailants and literally turned upside down they drove my head into the concrete. I was unconscious for I don't know how long. I remember waking up and people where looking at me like I had passed out drunk. I didn't remember at the time what happened but I remember feeling embarrassed and jumping up and running to the barracks (I was in the Navy. Hadn't been there a week and didn't know anyone). They woke me up the next day and sent me to medical where I was diagnosed with a concussion and had to be watch for awhile. I had trouble with forgetting, concentration, and ANGER, but had no idea that I was suffering any conditions associated with that injury due to the fact that things gradually got worse throughout the years and didn't realize until looking back in recent years. Married when I was 34 or 35 for 6-7 years (divorced 2013). Wife convinced me to quit my job of 18 years, which I was scared to do, but thought my job was creating all my problems. She went with me on a few Dr. appointments (asked one Dr. why I was so stupid. That shattered me). In 2011 I had surgery on right wrist and shoulder at the same time (I figured I wouldn't miss so much work that way). Well, that really screwed me up. I awoke into a panic attack in the recovery room. Anxiety, which I had never had, turned into panic attacks. I couldn't drive to work anymore (X and I had the same hours, so she started driving). I struggle almost daily with suicide because I can't figure out what when and why I can't figure out. I have been told by a Dr. that was doing an evaluation for social security administration that, while under anesthesia, I could have or it was comparitable to having a stroke and all those things that been in hiding had finally came to a head, or something like that. I am finally supposed to be going to the TBI clinic with the Veterans Administration but still waiting on the phone call. Still holding on to little hope and someday understanding. I relate to the friendship, romance, time, patience, and probably all the above. Very lonely and if my X didn't want to be patient, who will? I have never been abusive just frustrated

I'm 2.5 years post tbi after falling over 10 feet head first from a safari jeep. I lost my career as an executive, my husband and some friends who left me hospitalized alone in India. I keep thinking I will "recover" but it's true, you improve, not recover and it's a tough pill to swallow.  Fatigue and apathy, diagnosed as aboulia is the biggest frustration for me as well as chronic pain.  It makes it hard for me to relate to the person I was before and it's certainly what makes it hard on those who knew me. The old cliche that a crisis tells you who your true friends are is certainly true for anyone who is a Tbi survivor or loves one of us. 

Last e-mail sent wasn't put up for viewing. Likely because I got a bit personal and stated the married name of my sister. This post I will not name her, only describe her demented personality. She takes joy in the agony of her younger brother... a characteristic that is not a quality one would seek to acquire... a twin, fortunately, her other half makes up for her perverted self. Exact opposite... a rehab specialist, she balances the equation out. For every negative encountered on your way to restoring the self back from a TBI, there shall be a positive to balance out the equation... the story of life, balance!!! Equanimity reigns in the universe of the living... understand, no good, no bad, everything is an equation that results in a balance of zero when you reach the end of the line, death. To be out-of-balance is human... to make this life a zero sum game is divine. Seek and thee shall be... !!!

I suffered a TBI while serving in the USMC. This injury was inflicted by friendlys. no need to elaborate as this isn't the topic here. I suffer risiduals permanent in nature such as : headaches, memory loss,anxiety, balance ( I fall often) ,neurpathic effects,can't concentrate, can't converse w/O staying on a topic PTSD, social deficiency. Etc.I got it all.although some of these have improved a little all still exist. I don't know where and what I'd be today,but I am sure I wouldn't be where I am now. I just live my life and make the best of it I can.I'm proud of me for hanging in tough. And behind a Marine. An FYI ,This happened 28 years ago,and this took me 42 minutes to type.

I'm newly friends with a guy who has TBI. He can't do much on his own so we mostly communicate through text. He's approaching the 3 year mark soon.. I really hope he makes a full recovery but regardless I want to be his friend. Can anyone tell me about their process by the years?

Yes both my 2 best friend jumped ship. I rarely try to make new friends now.

I had a TBI 7 years ago. Once someone finds out I had a TBI some friends that I just meet don't want to bother continuing the friendship. Especially since I have a restriction on my drivers license I can't just go anywhere I want. Has anyone else have issues with friends? God Bless!

What's wrong with being lonely...? It is the only way for a TB Survivor to begin rediscovering who he/she is after injury... a new you... you don't look back to find the old you... a mirage was the old you. Now is when discovery is made... which will ultimately lead to higher grounds... why did it happen?... it happened and that tells you something in itself... humbled for a reason... a chance to restore what was not... seek solace in survival... for there is reason you lived... surmount, surmont... it isn't easy, but then again, it isn't hard... you need to look at it in the "just right" perspective... what's that, you ask... develop a mantra... one you make up yourself... five words of empowerment you can repeat... I've written this before but I'll say it again... little, smalller, and smallest... the world has slowed down for us... accept that and play into the fact... a new you has evolved from a horrific incident... why it happen is beyond our means... acceptance is within... we can work with that... just right, just right, just right... AC

I am in a position where I see many veterans that are injured what seems to be from the inside out,  because of a TBI. Being lonely seems to be an overwhelming feeling, and hopelessness. 

Faith & Gods healing power to heal all of you, your trauma and recovery maybe able to help someone else as well as yourself.

God's Blessings on all of you

Thanks you for your comment, I have been depressed from tbi but I have a journey life is a journey.

This website is not getting many hits...? I find that hard to believe...TBI is definitely a growth business, sadly! I don't see any new additions to the writing format developed here. A great opportunity to further cognitive skills is offered when someone with TBI attempts to compose. Life is a journey...a journey that is not a straight-line. People who sustain a TBI have gone "out of bounds," referring to football vernacular. Get back into the game...set your marks...be your own guide, if that is what it takes...but get back into the field of play...as stated before, we see life from an entirely different paradigm than your average Joe/Sally...push forward and reward yourself for the new edition you are creating...the opportunities are boundless, if you so wish...the field is wide open for the TBI person...there-again, if you limit yourself and operate from a box, the picture can darken or brighten...your choice...it is up to you, for responsibility for what  you do is solely embedded in thee. Fall forward, fall back, whatever the outcome may be, grab hold and take ownership. Art C

What a devastating story the June 10 piece composed 5:50 PM is. Amazing what persistence is shown. Wonderful your sister has found some semblance of comfort through her artwork. You never contemplated drawing back and letting her find her own way. Amazing journey of sustenance...this is the struggle that is Traumatic Brain Injury. Your sister is, or was in a constant state of rage. Slowly she has shifted into less and less rage and seemingly has found a light in artwork. Amazing the persistence of you and family. Amazing story line...put some of the burden on sister to find the light. Life is about responsibility...it is time for her to stop hating the cards life dealt her and begin to realize the warm and loving foundation that surrounds her...grow up sis, because what you have now will not always be present...!!!

Thank you this really helped me a lot I am 62 Ty retired RN and Professor who had a MVA in Jan and remain disabled even now into July I found this so helpful

I had my TBI 8 years ago and I am overwhelmingly lonely too.I pray there is hope for us!

I gad a tbi almost 4 years ago and my life has changed dramatically. I always feel lonely, will this ever change? Im 22 years old an feel as though i will be alone forever

My sister and I were hit by a car in 1992 standing on the side of the road waiting to cross. No nothing happened to the person that hit us and we did not receive any compensation. My sister was a 2nd year medical student in California at the time. My injuries were minimal. My sister though sustained a very severe TBI. She was in a coma for approximately 8 months - she eventually started showing signs and responded to family and friends. She received rehab and was sent home in diapers 3 months later. After she was home for about 2 yrs living with my parents and causing major dramas. So she moved into a condo and lived there on her own (barely) for about 20 yrs. It is amazing she didnt hurt herself.  She has never returned to school, got a job or got married. She has no friends either. She is deaf in one ear and sees double in one eye. It is amazing that she never killed herself looking back now. I guess we (the family) thought we would just ignore the situation as much as we could for as long as we could.  Her eyes remain close 80% of the time when she is not watching tv or painting (apparently a result of the brain injury). She is very very difficult to deal with and can get violent one minute and then next, crying her eyes out apologizing. She is partially paralyzed on one side of her body and has a plate in her head. She falls a lot and can be very defiant. When you try to help her - she will abuse you 80% of the time. She has been known to call names, curse, yell, hit, etc. She is like a cross between MS and dementia. As the years go on, her balance is exceptionally bad. She has scars all over her body nothing makes her happy really. She is so depressed and pissed off at the world - as is the majority of the entire family.  Men have used her throughout the years for sex, and she is very lonely. Recently the doctor said to us that you need to put her into a home which financially is not an option. My sisters condition has destroyed our family in a lot of ways and each of us suffer from some level of depression - especially my Dad who is going to die a broken heart because he could not 'fix her' - which I find is common feeling for a Dad. He did do a lot for her - although basically as another father said to me - would never be happy until his child was back to who they were before. 23 years post accident, the family as a whole walks through a slow moving funeral is how it feels. My response to my survivor guilt was to get married and leave the country and live overseas - coming back once a year to care for her. Five years ago, I moved back to the area to care for her. It has been a disaster with my family since, at best. Our family was dysfunctional before - and now we are worse. We argue over her care all the time. My sisters condition is not so much the problem. It is that we cannot work together for a solution because we are all so screwed up with our own grief and depression. When a family cannot accept the condition of their loved one, how can we expect our loved one to?  I desperately needed to see a light! My sister has done artwork her whole life - so I started her a business of her art work. With me helping her, she has started to 're-defined' her life 23 years later  - promoting her and she has shown her work on several websites and galleries When she was doing her undergraduate work, she had worked so hard to get into medical school and since the accident refused to look down any other road - but has finally agreed to - and her artwork is bringing some sort of positivity to her life - finally.  She has had a couple commissioned pieces and does gain some sort of happiness in it which is good. But again, the family dynamics are still in the way! Hopefully that will subside with time - but I have little hope much will change. I have no idea what the future holds for my sister. I dont know how long it will be before we have no choice but to put her into a home which will be exceptionally depressing for her and for the family. The doctors don't know either. As far as what I have learned 23 years on for families is 1) GET HELP FOR YOURSELF because if you lose it, how can you help at all with your loved one 2) have absolutely NO expectations on either yours or your loved ones injury - every brain injury is different and NO doctor can give you answers for sure - they just can guess 3) let go of who you think the person was before and try very hard to make peace with it 4) try to help 're-define' your loved ones life as that may help the depression. 5) you cannot control everything 6) hang on tight because it is a life long journey that never ends .