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 (477)

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 completely agree with this statement I myself suffered a severe concussion in 2017 on the job. I went saw a doctor and was pretty much in the office for five minutes and kicked out the door. Never got a head scan just some stupid motor function cognitive test he said I had a concussion was told to take a week off work and Id be better with some side effects that will go away in time.

Fast forward later I lose my job my apartment my car my family thinks I'm just some lazy bum. Nobody understands that my head is constantly feels like I have bubbles in it and I just cant remember anything that I should like what year it is or how old I am heck the ability to judge time would be nice.

Anyhow if any reads this if you suffer a tbi take it seriously or you may end up like me..

My Father had a TBI ten years ago. He recovered the best he could and it is amazing how much he has recovered. My question is that he is now in his mid 60's I have noticed that he is almost regressing back in his abilities and behaviour. Is this normal and will it continue?

What our doctor said is that people can have a TBI but as they reach 50''s or later will seem to regress because of the chemical changes of the brain after age 50. Changes happen every 8 years (less or more)

Your Father's brain sounds to be going through a chemical change of the brain.

I have had grand mal seizures since I was 10. I am 53 now. My mom told me when I came home one day from school in 7th grade that the school called and told her that they had taught me all they could and that I couldn't come back to school because I had learned all that I could. now I'm wanting to get my GED how do I go about getting that?

Congratulations Deana on your goal! I believe you can do it! Local public libraries host free GED courses, at least in my area so maybe yours does too. Or call your local High School or Community College for a lead on course locations:)

I suffered a tbi when I was 4 years old. I always had some problems and was a slow learner until about the 4th grade. In high school I catered my classes toward what I knew I could do. I was able to complete college and work. I had difficulty in some of my jobs getting along with others, but, was able to maintain employment until I hit the age of about 52, then I started having seizures. At first it seemed like I had developing Alzheimer, but, after arguing with my doctor for three years to do test on my brain to find out what was going on (she thought I needed a psychiatrist), she finally sent in for a MRI, which showed nothing. And she sent me in for an EEG, which showed that I was having Partial Seizures. I ended up switching doctor's. I am still having difficulties. After doing research I realize I am having what is called Simple Partial Seizures. They effect the frontal lobe of my brain on the left side. I never had seizures until after hitting the age of 50 and I think it is because the chemicals in the brain changes. After trial and error with my new doctor we have come to understand that any type of medication that effects the brain causes me to have seizures. I took an antidepressant for about 15 years, but, once coming off of the antidepressant my seizures became less and so did the symptoms I was having. I have some physical conditions including Ankylosing Spondylitis, Osteoarthritis, and Fibromyalgia. I cannot take any type of pain medication because the seizures start back up and the symptoms and severe headaches return. I have tried cymbolta and lyrica and I cannot take either of those medications. I cannot even take Ibuprofen. I suffer severe depression and I cannot take any kind of antidepressants either. Life is very difficult for me right now and I am at a loss for how to deal with all these issues. My doctor has tried me on quit a few medications, but, within a few weeks the severe migraines (on the front left side of my brain) return. I am at a total loss of what to do right now. I pretty much live as a recluse and avoid being around people. My moods switch at the drop of a hat, with anger outbursts fairly common. All I know is that this is not a way to live a life.

Hi there ..Sorry to hear your father is showing these symptoms. It is Extremely Scary for me to read your post, as I was looking for some kind of answers or explanation to my recent problems. You see , I am a product of the 80's and the early 80's at that , where there were no seat belts in vehicles ...or airbags ..and damn sure were no bicycle helments worn and there was BiG HuGE Billboard signs all up and down the interstates advertising The Marlboro Man as a "Hero" of some kind. By the time i was 24 yrs old i had suffered from 5 "mild" concussions (lost contentiousness) and 1 more severe brain injury . All of these were a result of a childhood "backyard" football accident (no pads ofcourse) , bicycle crash into parked car , fell off of a 15ft diving platform ...etc. with the last and most severe was in 1998 when i jumped my racing 4wheeler with no helmet and was traveling more than 60mph when i hit the ground head first. I was in a coma for a week or so, broke neck bones and back bones, collar bone , both wrists ...blahblah...blahblah etc. I made an Excellent physical recovery from that in 2 years time and actually picked up power lifting to some degree of success. But my mental improvement was just "ok" and i always have had emotional sensitivity problems such as crying and depression.. to paranoia of who was out to get me when i hear people riding past my home and coming to a stop at the stop sign. My memory is crap ! , short term and in terms of years passing with no concept of how long it actually may have been and thinking it was a year ago when it was actually 3 years passed. I could go on with my issues ....but for anyone who just meets me in passing or doesnt know me Extremely Well (my family) ...They may say im a good looking man who is very nice ,respectful and polite and would Not suspect a thing is wrong with me. Anyway ! .... the reason i am typing this reply is because ...now i am in my early 40's and recently since 1 particular party back in the summer (June 2017) i was at with my wife ...got into a verbal altercation with her cousin ..in which He initiated , I have noticed that I have completely alienated myself from people near me , My vocabulary and word recall , spelling and speech have suffered tremendously , my punctual job performance has suffered , the things i did like before this summer i nolonger like (tv shows, music, food , hobbies in my routine) and my personalty overall has completely changed to where i barely say a word anymore. I know this is all due to the accidents in my early childhood into my twenties . This 1 incident (30 seconds of cussing) at that party has triggered the lingering effects of those early accidents combined and i am now scared to death of getting older in my current state and speed of mental decline. I cant imagine what its going to be like if i live to be 60 yrs old and i pray for you and your father . I just wonder if something triggered his recent symptoms also .

Can you please let me know if you found any help or answers to your TBI? I need help. I'm going through a similar situation. I had a severe concussion at 13... now 48. I'm noticing a lot of changes in me in 1yr. My memory has never been good at all since the concussion.

I have a history of TBI. I'm 40 now and I'm going to try mHBOT. I've seen good results reported. I'm waiting to get initial scans to compare to post therapy.

I had a fall in 2006 and was in an induced coma for 10 days with front lobe injuries. While friends and family say that they do not see a difference in me, I notice that I have not been able to settle

I wanted to chime in, I had a severe TBI April 2010 and have since recovered but somethings have not. 2 main ones are the motor skills with my right side of my body - arm, hand, leg, and facial emotion is off vs. the left. The other is that I lack emotions to things. Nothing really 'affects' me anymore. I feel fine, but these are the long term lingering things. I was told I only survived due to my fitness but I'm not the same now, and truly can't be. I thought over time Id return to my old self but have lost hope there of being able to play basketball (play well) again. Is this normal or do other have this?

I had a severe head injury; I can't remember what happened to me. I was in Berlin and after feeling fine for 6 days I was then injured and woke up in the Charite Hospital where none of the nurses spoke English. Apparently I had amnesia, but I am not sure whether it was really amnesia or the ability to understand where I was and that no-one spoke English. Needless to say it took me 2 years to really feel like myself again. But I am not certain now, 9 years later, if I still have any effects. I was told by the near-psychiatrist who treated me in the brain trauma unit at the hospital I went to in my home city that my injury was worse than anything the hockey player Sid Crosby had experienced. That made me feel far worse and worried about my future.

August 24 2017 fell over backwards hit back of head.airflighted. tremendous bump came up gone in less than 5 minutes. New right then in bad trouble. Air flighted to Fort sam San Antonio texas.36 hours in icu.just now realizing have short term memory loss. Severe fatigue. Pain all over except head area. Balance problems.reading these postings realize could have been lot worse.doctors said at my age 80 percent people don't survive.i am 65.God Bless all of you the ones that survive doctors say God has further plans for us in future.hope all of you get better

thank you. very accurate. best description I've read yet .

I just want to say thank you for this information. Everything that was stated is 100% correct. Thank you for this

My TBI happened when I was 9. I fell two stories from a beach tree and my head hit a lot of branches on my way to the ground. I had a busted ear drum from a stick jammed into my ear as well as two cracks in my skull and 4 bruises on my brain. I’m in my mid 40s now and have suffered from depression and anxiety and I learn things at a slower rate . I was born prematurely and already had cognitive and visual difficulties, so it’s difficult to know what has caused things later in life. I was recently diagnosed with Gastroparesis. That causes your food not to fully empty from the stomach and creates a whole new list of issues. I have hearing loss in both ears, and constant ringing that was not present after the fall. I did make a full recovery and did not go into a coma because my dad had the job of pinching the nerve on my upper arm when my vitals would begin to slow. I developed type 2 diabetes in 06. With what I’ve read I’m wondering if these medical problems are somehow linked. I’m seeing my neurologist this week and this has given me ideas on what to ask her. I hope all of you are able to find answers, and some relief. Thank you.

I suffered a traumatic subdural hematoma by hitting my head at work 2 weeks ago. I thought I had the flu until I went to the emergency room and was admitted to ICU. My whole life was turned upside down: speech, mobility, sleep, everything was affected. I went almost 3 months no pay or income so I forced myself to go back to work. How else would I eat or take care of my family? My body said no but I had no choice. I've gotten stronger and better but I've had constant head pain in my head since day 1. The doctors can't tell me if they will ever go away. At the beginning, I was told don't think or stress it could be bad for recovery. Something I never experienced my whole life until after receiving this injury. I now know what stress is. Sorry to all that I have told get over it. You can't change it. Yes, it's hard to not have control of my feelings emotions. My boss is stressing the "you-know-what" out of me. I look normal. If you don't know me it's hard to see the pain or changes in me. I've noticed him stressing me out and putting pressure on me makes my head hurt even more.

I don't know what to do but I feel this isn't good for me. Could this stress be hurting my recovery????

I need help in every way possible. It's almost 1 year (November) and I haven't wanted to go anywhere. My social life is not and I react differently to things that normally would not bother me

mlg164740@gmail.com

Any replies or help would be appreciated. Thanks

I have similar problems after a auto accident. After reading a lot of different stories I can agree with all of them. Becoming aware has helped me and shed some light on how I choose to handle my personal problem. I have chosen to relearn what I used to take advantage of about myself and do my best to become better for my experience. It has helped my relationships in life. I have come to discover that the scientific community has little knowledge about the brain and how it reacts to trauma. They would be wise to listen and understand as best they can without banging their heads on stuff because they keep hurting us with their high and mighty attitude. Good luck folks. I've been hit in the head a lot in my life. Suppose you can say I've had a lot of practice. Everything takes practice, even healing what we are often unaware of at times. This page has helped me and I still have lots of symptoms. I constantly double check myself and my wisdom as best I can. Acceptance and a positive attitude has helped me but I still have episodes when conflicted. This is a good day for me and I feel some hope. Good luck to everyone. Healing your own brain on your own is challenging and very confusing. Drugs do not help they make matters worse. I will share more as I can remember.

I had a flu shot at work and collapsed 30 minutes later smashing the back of my head on concrete. That was 9 years ago now and I don't know how I made it through the first 4 years after that. I had anxiety, fatigue, weird sensations in my head but had to go to work. Even though I'm not 100% to this day the one thing that allowed me to 'escape' was running on a regular basis. If you are able to I would give it a try. Took me awhile but I usually do 5 km runs, three times a week.......life saver.

Have you had your teeth checked lately by a dentist? It’s a long shot, but I had to have some teeth pulled after my severe TBI since they were jammed into my jaw from the auto accident I was in. Was having severe headaches from the teeth- basically migraines.
Allergies, hormone imbalances,sinus infections, incorrect eyeglass prescription, and thyroid under activity have been some things that have also caused me to have headaches post TBI.
I read/heard somewhere that squeezing the part of your hand between your thumb and first finger (middle of webbed part)can help with headaches.
For years I took Ibuprofen when needed.
Hope you found some relief.

I know exactly what your dealing with. I was involved in a horrible car accident in March of 2017 and life has not been the same. Fogginess in the head, blurry vision, my body has never felt the same since. After Christmas I am going back to the doctors and see what else they can do. It sucks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So thankfull someone else feels the same!

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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