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 (596)

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'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 .

Oh, please tell family! You deserve to have their support! All the best to you!

I am 16 right now as I post this. almost a year ago I got smashed in the head by a cane (the cane broke instantly when it collided with my head) because some guy thought I stole his phone this day changed my life from that day on I have a best friend I can relate to because he got hit by a car. No I did not turn into a vegetable state I was was able to run quickly away as soon he he hit me . That day was the worst day of my life. To overcome this obstacles I jog everyday 2-5 miles I am a aspiring track star it help me from thinking and relieves my moderate depression ever since I start to run and I plan to run for the rest of my life. Although I may suffer from mild anxiety from time to time i guess this was my faith. To this day my family does not know about this

Was hit by pickup truck while riding bicycle to work had fractured spine ,neck,nerve damage to both hands , hip fracture that had to be screwed back together and traumatic bleeding within the brain. The accident was not my fault but i did not have health insurance my fault.  i have no memory of accident or up to week before the accident and for several days after. i was lucky the driver stopped and others witness it. without insurance you will get care as they are required by law but it will be the bare minimum to stabilize you. they want to get you out as fast as they can . i did ask questions but found out nothing about what areas of the brain was affected but i have noticed the affects it has had on me. lost the ability dream and what ever position i go to sleep in i don't move from it and when i see a attractive women it has no effect on me , strangely this the easiest part to deal with just as a person who is not thirsty has no need to drink. the harder parts are things like my balance and the bone that form in the muscle of my left leg and hip after the surgery. Its been almost a year, how much more i will recover i have no idea?

8 months ago i met with a life changing accident since then i am not able to speak properly my left part was paralyzed but it was temporary after that i am not able to write properly...i am 23 years old male

To the person who wrote May 7 @ 11:28 am...a reply is forthcoming and today is that day...I scratched out something prior after reading your reply again...veratim, here it is!!!

Re-adjustment will come in time. Always, in time. Remember, there are no do overs or mistakes in this universe of man......Glad to have reached you in terms of understanding. I've been there and saw myself. No getting around that period of mourning timeframe. Now you are ready to climb, fall-back, whatever you want because you see the world from a different perspective then before you were touched. Take your time and get use to the new you...and remember, everything has been slowed down, permanently. Get use to it an in time you will come to love this new you...it'll happen. Driven once, driven thrice, driven no more...sit back and turn the channel!!! Art C


To the person who writing was posted 4-23-15 @ 1:37PM, there are benefits from experiencing a TBI. It only gets better as you adjust to the new you. Need to get comfortable with what you've evolved into. Acceptance is a pre-requirement. Grasp the new you and go with the flow. It sounds like you were in a "jet-stream." Go, go, go...suddenly void is that space...get used to it because I don't believe you'll regain the pace of change that happened before...remember to accept what has transpired...everything happens just the way it's suppose to...don't fight fate, and therefore be late to what awaits. Accept and lean in and be JR...Just Right!!! Art C

I ran into a interior glass wall leaving my brand new, first day back to work office building almost two years ago. Our previous office building was hit by a tornado which forced us to.  I was checked out at the ER and was told I suffered a mild concussion, put on bed rest for 10 days and I would be okay.  Three months later I was rushed from work to the ER with symptoms of having a stroke.  The doctors ran all the test including a CT scan all came back negative.  I did not have a stroke.  The neurologist diagnosis was TBI from the injury I previously sustained .  I was admitted to the hospital for observation, I was floored!  Fortunately, my injury is not like most on this page. But want people to know not to dismiss a hit on the head as no big deal as i did.   For me I had difficulty wrapping my brain, no pun, around TBI.  After many inconclusive diagnosis behind me including a month stay in mental health facility I continued to walk around in a fog and concluded that maybe I was going crazy. I was placed on permanent disability and no longer able to work. I am now under the care of two highly reputable nero psychiatrists in my community who have taken me off all the psychotic medication and now on Nuedexta, with an anti seizure medication and mood stabilizer.  I no longer sufferer with extreme mood swings, which was mainly rage, anger and crying.  My cognitive have improved but I've come to the conclusion that they will never be the same.  My anxiety is my major concern as I live in a hyper vigilante state of fear now, i now question everything.  I  have days that I'm afraid to drive as I seem to become confused, disorientated and afraid, so I don't, I no longer flying, as I did in previous life for my company and vacation.  I cannot tolerate large crowds,or noisy areas; in other words my social circle which was the size of the globe is now the size of a dime.  I am hopeful with time and my new meds this too will improve

Hello, I suffered a TBI last May when I passed out (from sleep apnea which I never knew I had) and fell off a ladder. I too went thru the metallic taste, anger outbursts, lack of tolerance, unable to comprehend what I read or see, etc.  Last August, my doctor asked if I had been driving and I was quite appalled! I couldn't even comprehend where I was going, let alone drive.  I did start driving in November but 1/2 mile away thinking maybe I need to do this.  Still not 100% okay with driving. There are days I feel very clear headed but many days I still have cloudy or out-of-it feelings.  I was tested for sleep apnea and am now using a c-pap nightly and has greatly improved.  However, he believes I need to go on Nuvigil 100mg each morning to help with the sleepiness I feel in the morning (his words, not mine) I sleep great and never feel tired during the day. (I'm like the energizer bunny, always have been) So I've taken Nuvigil for 4 days now and he states the effects should be immediate, I have not seen or felt any different.  Does anyone know what may help with the spacy feelings?  I'd like to start working again but do not feel confident with how I feel.  He does not feel I need any type of unemployment benefits or disability benefits because he feels this is temporary.  However, my husband and I are selling our home because of my loss of pay.  So sad!   Thank you all for listening! Love to all, Stephanie

I'd like to post some information of significant rehab benefit to the readers of this site. Closing in on 35 years of dealing, living, with TBI, you gain some insight. First and foremost is simplicity is your benefactor......................................simpler the better..................................is the motto to live in.........................................an example of this is incorporating rehab in your daily activities 24/7. Brushing your teeth is one of the most beneficial tasks to re-establishing the corridors of enlightenment on the journey forward. You must "focus" when brushing and there is no outside interference. You gain co-ordination and dexterity. Use one hand or two............................two ideally is the goal. Start with one an in time the other arm will gain the necessary ability to be included. It also strengthens the core and spinal column...........minimal, sure, but it's there.................the most all encompassing rehab around, in my estimation............................................simply because "YOU" control all aspects an YOU can do it. Success, success, success..................................if you fail, try, try, try, again until the task is mastered. Remember, small to small to smaller is where the journey begins..................................................patients heals in its own way...............................................in time!!!

Art C.

I would like to add a further comment about the the every day care-giver of someone who sustains a TBI. Care more than likely falls on the Mother initially if not forever when returning from the hospital. Such was the case with me. After three months in Wyandotte Hospital, I came home. This is when the "real" rehab begins.

Free of the cumbersome nature of a hospital, home initially lifts your spirit. But the haze of where you stand in distance from your old self soon returns and depression is your constant companion. But Mom is always there, irregardless.

I, personally, was motivated by the loss of girlfriend, who I might add was going to be taken from me that night one or another, and the relentless work of my Mother.

She started a "head injury group" Downriver at Wyandotte Hospital. She pushed and cajoled to make things happen for her son, me. For that MOM, I am ever grateful...but also grateful that the opportunity of such service could be extended.

For it brought us back to the beginning...society can be a cold setting for growing up into its arms...returning back into the loving arms of your Mother is a good thing...and that is what happened and magic of love helped me to create a new person...re-incarntion in living form.....the journey adjudicated by Mom.

Arthur Cortis in memory of MOM...!!!

 life...sustaining a TBI at some point in the journey allows one to view life afar, it seems. What was, was, what is remains elusive, seemingly impossible to regain the "old me."

Sustaining a "Traumatic Brain Injury" is a primer in controlling the "ego." The benefits of reigning in this instrument of other/under/worlds is immeasurable. We get a chance to experience the flip side of life...before the chronological time frame is reached...a benefit that is not seen as you experience the depths of depression from this incalculably action that has overwhelmed the body.

Peer into the future, oh chosen one...for you have been granted a gift in reverse...life is about perspective. Look, feel, see, how it be...!!!

It is there for the taking...life, choose carefully, for the master of deception may seek to send thee astray. Humility is the path you have been forced on. Accept the decree and travel with the wind at your back instead of fighting the blizzard 24/7.

Choice...choose...it's only you!!!

Arthur Cortis

Hi again, wish to add, TBI happened 34 years ago. Brain Stem Contusion, comatose/'semi for a month. ICU do not remember, was there for a month.

A very serious injury is what I'm getting at. Twenty when it occurred, one year old when woke up in rehab unit of hospital. Didn't know where I was, why were all these people around the bed? Lost, extremely lost...but in the journey back, a TBI is an injury that can be repaired, in time. Patience is required. Patience and effort...assume your job is a full-time position and recovery is the goal. Small steps initially and smaller. It takes time but time is on your side since life reaches an extremely slow pace with TBI. Work the slower pace that has been gifted to you. Life was swirling out of control before the "corrective action" happened. Work with the new set of circumstances an enjoy the slower pace that has been granted to you. Of course, it comes with conditions but you can and will work around them. Acceptance is paramount to ingratiating oneself with the new you.

Always keep in mind the situation you are presently in is "just right." Guilt is sent out the door. Responsibility is assumed. Recall in earlier post stated, "there is no good or bad, everything is JR." Take responsibility and leave guilt outside.  

Remember this: We are put in a set of circumstances because it has been decreed we can succeed in overcoming what stands in our Path. To feel overwhelmed is human. To overcome this feeling and set oneself up for success is DIVINE...SPIRITUAL...BEYOND...POSSIBLE!!!

Arthur Cortis...for Liz!!!

Stephanie Heidrich, you were not lucky because there is no such thing as luck...as stated before, "everything happens just the way it was suppose to." You, Stephanie, made your supposed luck...you took the warrior stance and plowed ahead, realizing what was bequeathed to you, life at a level that allows you to realize the fortune one has inherited.

I read your statement since it was the one right after my two comments that run together but separate...CNA, just right!!!

Commenting again after reading a few more of these testimonials in 2012. Believed I had it tough...an I did but after viewing more renderings of peoples TBI experiences, feel humbled. Optimism is the word one seeks...remember, everything happens "just the way it was suppose to." There are no mistakes...acceptance is the keystone to your recovery. Responsibility will come later...effort is all that is asked in the initial stage of combating the supposed "misfortune" that has engulfed you. In time, the effort and hours you put towards recovery pays off...support is needed in the early stages. Early stages can last from 1-15 years...travel forth an assume the warrior stance, for we are all warriors...sally forth into battle!!! Remember, there is no good and there is no bad...the sustenance that sustains is all is JUST RIGHT!!!

Illogical it seems now but eventually it turns the mind on automatic pilot an allows one to deal with the endless drivel of negativity that your journey is laden with...expanding your vision...will decrease the sorrows!!!

Short and sweet is the road one is to travel...for the new YOU...there are no mistakes...accept what has begot you...for the past is the past and time to embrace the new you...!!!

Art C.