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 (457)

Hi Kristin,

My heart breaks after reading what you wrote. I don't have any words. Tragedy is an understatement. Yes I developed a stutter, and still grapple with it sometimes when I am really anxious. Yes at times I wrote and spoke backwards while healing.

How terrible. I will pray for you.

Yes it sucks. I was beaten in right side of head with brass knuckles and it was such a blow that I bled in my brain everywhere. And stayed in a coma for 2 weeks. My brain was swelling bc of so much blood that the hospital flew me in to a place where the surgery team specialized in that area and when we landed they were ready for me and was able.to stop the bleeding and release. Then the doctors didn't know the outcome in beginning is what I was told.. when I woke up I was told by a family member that I had no.insurance and that if I could get up and go urinate well i.could go home.. I couldn't understand what they were spouting off but they gave family member a list of specialists I needed to.see and said if we could afford it that it would be imperative that I had Re Hab amongst a lot of.other things and meds. Well the family member never did try to see about the help but you see ... I actually taught myself everything again and with a little help from an old school friend. Yes it is hard and I'm lucky and if.your typing anything and can spell ans.u make sense... STOP and think about how.lucky we all are!

Hmm, I can totally relate. Same exact scenario. Brass knuckles to the temple and it was lights out. When it happened there was no comprehension about how to treat TBIs. They told me I'd be fine. The only thing is, I wasn't. 10 years later they wondered what was wrong with me. I told them that had been messed up since I took the brass knuckles to the side of the head. They looked at me with bulging eyes and immediately sent me for help. By then I had learned techniques to keep me stable in the world. The thing that messes me up the most is the way my brain functions now. Memory loss, concentration, and panic attacks. I'm messed up, but don't know how to express it or have people understand.

I fell off a two story house and landed on a concrete patio at work and was in a coma for a month just over two years ago. I used to be a very outgoing, extroverted person before my accident, but now...I’m the opposite in almost every way. I stay by myself and push friends and family away to the point where I don’t want to see almost anyone. Social relationships/activities, vision, motivation, memory, and depression are a few of the things I’m going through. Depression and mental health (men’s in particular) are very overlooked. Physically I look fine so no one thinks there’s anything wrong. Just because you don’t see a problem doesn’t mean it’s not there...

I also suffered a fall injury it was in July of 2009. I'm very blessed to be alive still. I fell 128 feet onto a flat roof below. I have to add that I was not trying to commit suicide. I was dead set on getting back to the gym and back in shape. I did just that.
Anyway, lack of emotion was the only noticeable effect on my brain. It wasn't to severe and I coached myself out of it. But here I am almost 10 years later. I've had minimal vision issues. My biggest fear right now is my lack of memory. I've had a lot of stress in my life recently. It's taking its toll on me. Concentration seems tough at first but I manage to get my focus quickly enough. Mainly scared about the lack of memory. I've had some things happen recently that worry me. Telling the same stories over and not able to remember that I told it once already. Tonight I showed my girlfriend a Facebook pic with the added story.... Guess it was the third time now. Really can't recall it happening before at all. I'm currently going to appointments with additional follow ups scheduled. After the accident I was warned of possible down the road side effects. And well.... there here.

Find my self in the same spot.

I wish I had visible injuries. Society has no concept of how to deal with brain disabilities.

We have a 22-year-old autistic son that presents well. He is viewed as someone in charge of all their faculties, etc. No matter where we go when he does his best to be social with those who talk with him, the minute he can't respond it's usually "What's the matter with him, can't he talk ?" to his face.

Now I know how he feels.
Everyday I try to focus on one action I'm having issues with. I make it the goal of the day even if it is difficult. I make myself do it.

I truly believe no one understands unless they have experienced it themselves.

I agree Sandra. Society and a the scientific articles and medical writings focus on symptoms immediately after brain injury. What is less understand are the long-term symptoms that are hidden; the hidden injury aspect.

I feel you. Same thing here. Sad part is I want to engage but don't know how to anymore.

It's like trying to play a game that should be so easy - but I never get the rules or the queues anymore.

So to help, I pick small things limited social stuff like 2 hours for a game once a month but consistent. Same people, they know what my issue is, have the game at my house and limit the exposure.

Wish you all the best.

I was in a auto accident. I know how you feel. I feel the same way. A real disconnect from who I used to be, how to adjust to who I am now and other people perception of who I should be. I don’t know if that’s how you feel but that was my perception of it

I have to add two quick things:

For my migraine headaches, I am now getting BOTOX shots and it has been such a blessing after 3 yrs I can now go all day and not have one. I get shots every 3 months and MEDICARE pays for it.

Also I have had to learn the old me will never be back, it is gone. Now I have to try and like and make the new one the best I can. It is hard to give up so much of the past that I enjoyed, but it can't be any more, so Every day is a new day of experiences and changes. I don't mind this part, but I do miss all the things I can't do anymore, my art, my reading, my gardening, my trips and hikes. But I still have people to love me and to help others.

Thanks again

Cliff, in addition to Botox the new monthly injection to prevent migraines called Aimovig and others are proving to be highly successful in reducing the number of migraines per month. I started Aimovig six months ago and went from 9-15 migraine days per month to three. Not everyone is this successful but a lot of people are. I still take Botox until I am sure I can switch to the other. I hope you ask your doctor about it. Aimovig provides the first year for free until insurance companies get on board with covering it.

I relate to the changes in “you” you described. There’s definitely a grief and loss process. Sounds like you’re staying positive and that’s not easy I know.

I suffered a TBI 20 years ago. It was moderate. I have been blessed in my recovery. My challenge is I put all my efforts in to my career and work. So much so I have no friends, hobbies and cant function well at home alone. I have to be constantly scheduled or structured. If not i just spend hours doing well....nothing. I could use some input from anyone. Thanks.

Hi Lisa,

I hope that you saw my post from earlier. I can identify with you so much, and not just by name! I think what we are all learning is that we may never be the same people that we were before. We have to take it day by day, like you are doing, to get re-acclimated with the new people that we are and pull from those strengths to develop into brighter beings. I hope that Yah blesses you with much joy and accomplishment despite all that you had to give up. I bet if you look really closely you will notice that you see things differently than most people, which is most likely a gift. So learn how to use it! Take care Lisa.

Me too. I started painting miniatures for that dungeon and dragon game. Forces me to engage all my senses. Then as I relax, focus creatively (left frontal lobe injury), I am able to get more focused in my daily life.

Also, my dogs are a Godsend. I have to walk them or else. This helps me get up and have a schedule.

Not easy, and interrupted by life at times which I struggle with constantly- but at least I'm outside

Hey I have read your comment. I had a severe tbi. My brain sheared against my skull. It's been almost 24 years. My accident was August 24, 1995. I used to be very outgoing. It's hard to remember my life. I was 12 years old when it happened. I also broke my neck. I also had a foot drop. That's where the nerve in my back broke and grew back a totally different way. I find it hard to keep friends hold conversation with people. Have lots of mood swings. There are other things that I find challenging. I have 2 kids as well. But it's hard for me to get along with my son. My daughter is ok though. I find myself being alone much better than being with other people. I like doing puzzles and word searches and working with numbers. I like working my brain alot. But not all the time.

I was in a car accident 3 years ago. I was stopped in traffic and a woman who was texting hit me from behind at 65 miles an hour. The car exploded into flames and I was rescued by a good Samaritan. I had seven skull fractures and 5 brain bleeds. I feel the same as many of these comments here. At first, I thought that everyone else was the one that was wrong. Then I began to realize that I was misplacing things when I would find them later. I feel horrible after having accused others of moving them. I get little sleep and I am in pain every day. People still ask me how I'm doing and I always say "ok" but it is a lie. There isn't a day that I don't wake up a headache or pain-free. Because of the new anti-opiate push, no one will give you medication, I am a federal employee so I can't try oils and I struggle with memory, aphasia and minor muscle spasms like many of you. I also live in rural Vermont where there are no treatment facilities available. I have tried to get into one of the larger facilities to get some help, but I haven't been successful yet.

Move to a state that you can access Marijuana derivatives.

I too have many of the symptoms you expressed, CBD tinctures help set my day up for success. Anxiety does not disappear, though I control it does not control me.

Tried to survive the conventional way all it did was make alcohol the first choice.

Which all of you know is the worst thing someone with a TBI should do!

Oil, creams and hemp products contain no THC and can be purchased by mail. Look into it. Lifesavers. Consult your physician and mental health advisor too. PTSD, anxiety and Depression go hand in hand. Blessings to you on your journey.

To Whom it may Concern I had a TBI at age 7 from not wearing a Motorcycle helmet and was hit by a much heavier bike and person and therefore Had My left side of my skull ripped out and was unconscious for weeks And Had blood transfusions And Here I am at 51 never married and a full time father of a 7 year old son It's Been no fun all these years with many challenges and relationships and heartache. I Wish people who experience what we went and are going through Have a better understanding of Who and what we are and No we just can't get over it But deal with it!

Amen! At 5 or 6 (don't recall) was pushed off a jungle gym, fell 12 feet, hit my head. Seizures, unconscious etc.

Oh and PTSD.

And now, no friends cause apparently I have issues - um yeah! And no I can't get over it. No I can't control it.

People act like I do this stuff on purpose

I also suffer a server TBI for almost 4 years. I take turmeric and ginga vitamins, omega 3 vitamins. I feel it helps. Also I do deep Breathing through pain and meditation. Their are many meditation's for TBI, nerve damage ECT. It really helps me.

I had a TBI 1 1/2 yrs ago. Please go see a neurologist. There are several drugs that are classified as antidepressants that have shown to be effective for chronic pain. You may have to try more than one that works for you. I am not 100% pain free but the pain is manageable. The one I take makes me sleepy so I take it at night.

What is it that you take ?

I had mine 21 years ago. I still have issues with my memory, feeling overwhelmed under certain situation, the appearance of lack of caring, and certain smells bother me (some of that didn't develop until later) but lately, I've been feeling motion sickness well-taking transit (I've been taking transit for years and never felt motion sick). If anyone could give suggestions on reasons it would be much appreciated.

Danielle, I hope you can find the help you need. My youngest daughter of four daughters sustained a TBI from hanging herself while in a drug induced psychosis. She had a stroke before she was revived and then her brain was seizing. She is a mother of 4 children and she has relearned how to dress, toilet (sometimes) and feed herself. The docs have her on Keppra for seizures, Seroquel for anti psychosis and Olanzapine for sedation. I feel she is over medicated. Like a zombie and confused all of the time. Two of her sisters became guardians but without telling me moved her into an adult family home 4 hours away from me. I wasn't told and had a hip replacement surgery and after that is when I found out she was gone. Sorry for the long winded story. I'm so sad she is so far away. I really wanted to work with her so she could possibly regain her life. I really feel if people with TBI are in the right environment that they can reengage with family, friends and society. Please keep working on your journey to recovery. Sending you hugs and love. From a broken hearted mama. Also, stop saying you're fine when you feel bad. I know you might not want sympathy. But you can say when asked how you're doing that you're having some challenges. All of us in pain (or having other issues) never admit to how we really feel and we may unintentionally turn away people who can help us deal emotionally, physically and perhaps psychologically with some of our issues. Leave pride out of it because that is the ego talking and it's stupid generally speaking. Lol JS Accept help because some people want to help in this world we live in. :) God bless you Danielle! <3

Hello, I had a TBI back in 2001. Recovery is never over, one must always challenge there brain. Push yourself to do better by working on your difficulties. Repetition is important in our lives. Physical and mental exercises are very important in out lives, as they should be in everyone's. Some things in life will never be complete. Our accomplishment is never giving up!!! Breathing exercises and deep meditation help me with my sleep and nerve issues. Lol I play memory games and strategic games that challenge my brain. Doesn't matter how well I do, as long as i keep doing. Wish the best for everyone out there, keep on keeping on. God bless everyone. Will keep everyone in my prayers.

I walked in front of a bat at six and hit on upside down on my head from a bully at six also. My mom told me about this I have no memory of this. I have short term memory loss. I'm 35 and want to know more about what in my life I do because of my TBI. I'm trying to research as much as I can, but I won't remember everything. I have always been annoyed that I can't drive because of my seizures. I am doing all I can to keep them in control.

Hey. It’s been 6 years now since my accident. Was in a plane crash with 5 others and two of us survived. Out of everything that resulted from that I have found u can get by almost everything else by trying different ways. Except for the TBI. I thought I had Gotten to a point with the wife and kids to where it was tolerable. Then I learned it wasn’t. It’s funny how u can now perceive something while in fact it not right. It’s a constant battle trying different things that will work when ultimately u have no control. Other than to just keep to itself. I was getting mad at friends and family a lot because I didn’t feel they were acting right. Now I am questioning whether it was really my fault now. My wife is a hell of a woman to stand by me through all of this. One of the worst things is when I argue or explain things. If I get frustrated, excited or angry then the words don’t exactly come out as what I’m trying to get across. Usually this results in making things a lot worse. I think my brain is now slower than my mouth. Not joking. I’ve done two years of verbal and physical therapy and cognitive. Lots of different doctors and medicines. But all in all it doesn’t really improve. Does anyone else feel that it’s now easier to just cut people loose rather that having to deal with them and not wanting to upset them anymore. I was never like this before and enjoyed friends. Now not so much. Have any of y’all found some things that may help with this. I appreciate ur help. Good luck to everyone going through this and just remember to hang in there.

Yes! It is very very exhausting to say sorry, my bad, second guess others motives, your own etc. And my GF don't even get me started on how amazing she is for putting up with me!

But to answer this: TBI left frontal lobe since age six. Just discovered the scare tissue in my brain, just starting to get help as I had no idea.

So I force myself to socialize. It sucks, I hate it, the people in this game group while nice and sometimes understanding of me, piss me off cause I can't keep up or get frustrated etc.

But once a month we meet, play a game and I am learning to socialize. But honestly half the time I just can't wait for it to be over.

Then I feel so lonely...

How messed up is that?

Randall, what gives me hope for my TBI daughter is that the brain actually will build new neural pathways when stimulated with new and repetitive material(s). It reroutes itself around the part of the brain that is injured and basically tries to heal itself. From my research the more the brain is stimulated the more the neural pathways form for more brain function. Please never give up. Your family wants and needs you. They would be crushed if you gave up! Look online for info to help stimulate your brain. But ask your docs first before you do anything. I wish my daughter wasn't 4 hours and a ferry away from me. Because I would be with her all of the time trying to help her brain to heal. Her sisters are guardians and they put her in a adult family home and all she does is watch TV all day and is so drugged up that she is always tired and confused. It breaks my heart because she literally was so vibrantly alive and had this heart of gold and such a passion for life, family and friends and for her artistry in tattooing. Before the TBI she hated TV. I'm horrified that she was put there to just dwindle away everyday. So from this broken hearted mom I plead that you please keep trying everyday even when it seems impossible. Either do it for you or your family. Ask people for understanding and for them to be gentle with you in your brain recovery. I wish you the best and I know if you search really deep you'll know your family would never want you to give up. Best wishes and hugs and love to you and your family! <3

Hello. Well thank gosh you are alive after a plane crash. It’s been one and a half years for me and I have very similar issues... no longer do I enjoy people as I did and it is much easier to “erase” them from my brain. I get irritable and hear ringing in the ears all the time. I get scared a lot that CSF is building...: severe pressure on the brain. Stress has everything to do with it. Stay strong

I literally thought my husband basically wrote this minus the airplane part.
His TBI has been so dismantling and so complex and we are all still learning how to naivigate through each day. May your family stay as strong as you are forced to be and that you all learn how to cope with the harder parts of all of this and are able to celebrate all the parts that you’ve overcome and that are more realatable to how your brain interpreted life and information prior to your accident.
I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this .

Thank you for sharing this. My accident was 11 yrs ago and your story could be my story except for the wife and children part. I haven't had any ongoing therapy or help from anyone. I haven't given up but I want more than anything to just live alone and be responsible for only me. I think in the right environment I could build a small happy life for myself. I am so tired of defending and explaining myself. It's gotten to the point that I feel like meeting new people I have to give a speech that explains me. Sort of like a disclaimer. I live in a small town and I feel like I'm constantly being judged. I'm 50 yrs old and I want a clean slate.

You are sooooo right.. I wish I knew something different to do :( tbi's are hell!! It's been a year and I still just wanna get better

My son 4 years is still in recovery after 2 weeks of coma fall of 15 Ft ,, two months are over and can’t get talk or feel us or walk or see us well he is like half died now ...

In March it will be four years since I had my accident. From what they tell me, during the night I was in the kitchen and must have fallen and hit the lower left side of the back of my head on the granite corner of the island I hit hard and my brain bounced back and forth a couple of times.

My wife was told I would most likely die from my TBI. I was out for several weeks, then in recovery for almost a month then therapy for months. It was a miracle that I came out with really no visible signs of my TBI.

I walk, talk and remember all from before, but nothing for months afterward. Inside is different. HORRIBLE headaches day and night all the time and other headaches in the back where I hit my head, my neck is in constant pain, and all down my spine. I no longer have any smell at all. My tastes are about half of what they were.

I have really bad short term memory. My wife tells me to take out the trash, and I say OK, she comes back in an hour and says did you take it out? My answer is YES, but I didn't. When I have something to do, or hear something, my brain, says OK all done and it files it away and I am over with it. It happens all day long. I ask my wife where is ???? she says I told you twice and I say I still don't know where it is. It's so hard on my wife all day with me.

I used to read lots of books. I haven't read one in 4 years, but I still buy them wanting to read them. I can read SHORT articles on the internet all day long, but if I pick up a book it almost terrorizes me to think I have that much to do and I put it down. I want to read more, but I stick with Readers Digest type of things. Never read all of an article, just enough to know what it is about.

I hate loud noise. I love my Grandkids but I can't stay in the room when they are having fun or I just want to run and hide. I have been a gardener all my life and taught it but now it is days to a week before I even go out and water. I feel bad but just can't do it. I get up all excited about doing something but then sit in my recliner all day and watch what ever comes up on TV.  I don't care.

I am on an antidepressant but it gives me lots of side effects, Effexor generic. I want to change but no one knows what would be better. Sometimes  I wish that the accident had just killed me, but I never EVER think of suicide. I am 73 yrs old so I have all of the aging to add to what I have.

I try to make each day a new day, but at times it seems almost too hard to keep going, but I won't give up, I love my wife and kids too much to leave them now But it is hard sometimes. I hope some of you understand as not many people do , and they just think you are weird or way out there. Thanks

I hit my head very hard on the road when I was about 6 years old. I wasn’t showing any symptoms of immediate issues (such as a concussion) so I wasn’t brought to a hospital. Now, years later after having many restless nights and having dropped out of school for cognitive dysfunction problems, I decided to look up if that hit on my head was maybe worse than was originally thought. I’m now worndering if maybe I could get tested to see if my issues are a conglomeration of bad luck, or maybe it’s all related to when I hit my head.

My son at 11 was hurt playing football. He had a TBI knocked his brain to 30%. We oushed forward and treated it with Dr’s. He is ok for the most part but we 6 years later are now experiencing massive headache, trouble sleeping, dizzy spells,gets angry very fast, short term memory loss, doesn’t want to work or go to school, now we have to go back to the drs
I believe your brain never truly heals. And its a shame their should be some kind of help for people with brain injuries. He will be 18 in 5 months and no way he can work and maintain adult life. But social security said he is not disabled.. so what can I do??

Dearest Rebecca,
Oh, the heart of a mother. We love our children with our whole hearts and do everything in our power to nourish them, guide them and help them to grow into responsible, productive and compassionate people...then along comes life, which forces us to deal with the most unimaginable circumstances. My heart and prayers go out to you, for I have experienced your pain.

Perhaps my words can be those of encouragement and hope.
When my daughter was only 6 years of age, she was a passenger in my friend's car when they were hit head-on by a drunk driver. She was knocked out immediately and had bleeds throughout her entire brain....she remained in an induced coma for nearly three weeks. She received a treatment which basically froze her brain (neuro cryogenics), and when they brought her out of the coma, she faced many challenges for many years. She had to learn how to walk, talk and feed herself again.

She tired easily, had difficulty focusing in school, and for a time, she had a rough time with friendships. She suffered terribly with headaches and vomiting for 10 more years after the accident. (She had some intestinal injuries that were diagnosed and then she had surgery to repair/remove some damaged and scarred intestine, so she no longer has to deal with the vomiting).

While in school, it took her longer to complete assignments and tests in class, so the school gave her extra time. She struggled with school, but she did it anyway. I encourage you to take your son to a Junior College and have him sit down with a counselor and plan out the courses he needs to take for his Associates Degree. Regardless of what he wants to do (or not do at this time in his life), this degree is the foundation of ALL careers, and the classes are the same regardless of your career choice.

Because of his head injury, you can get a note from your Physician and sign him up at college through the DSPS office and he will get "1st Pick" of courses!!! This is HUGE because there are waiting lists a mile long for most classes.

Regardless of how he's feeling, if he has a headache, or if he's angry, teach him to be a successful person by overcoming his adversities in life. It's hard to watch your kids suffer, I know.

We did this for our daughter, and she didn't always like her classes, or professors, or the school, but we didn't give her a choice. She received her list of classes from her counselor, and as she finished her classes she checked them off one by one! This helped her to "feel" successful, but more importantly, she was learning to deal with life and her circumstances!

Because she went to Junior College she didn't need to take the ACT or SAT...which was a great relief to her. When she was in her final semester at the Junior college, we helped her select a 4-year college (she still didn't know what she wanted to do, and didn't until her last quarter at the 4-year college). She ended up with 2 Bachelor's degrees! She's now 25 and volunteers in the missionary field.
She didn't want to, but she learned how.

 

Keep fighting, hon! For every rejection letter you get, file an appeal, but do not go out and get him a lawyer. If you find your own attorney, they will take a chunk of that initial lump sum check which dates back to when the application was filed. It is a terribly disconcerting process, but the fight can be won.
Do not go out and find your own attorney though! If he voluntarily hires his own lawyer, they will take a huge portion of the lump sum check he gets once he wins.
You will want to research trust accounts before he wins as well. It is complicated, but being smart about it is the best way to successfully navigate the storm.
I pray this helps!

Challenge the denial and reapply.

Your son needs to have a Neuropsychological evaluation by a Neuropsychologist to look at his brain functioning and determine a disability.

Definitely have as many evaluations, tests as are available because having a sound mind is priority.
What are some cognitive therapies have you had? I wish a better life for you soon.

I have had a lot of the same issues. Multiple concussions in high school from football. TBI from bad car wreck in college. I can’t sleep on any normal pattern, have social issues, and have missed work so much Do to migraines that it is taking a toll on my self esteem and ability to raise a family. I often will become lost or forget daily routines. Do not feel like even leaving the house and when I do , I feel alone even around a crowd. Always feel depressed. Have yet to find magic bullet that will end it all. I try and remember it is all in my head. Just glad to know I’m not only one who is struggling. Well let me rephrase that. I understand. The frustration, pain ,and mood swings. Let’s just keep our heads up and use the tuffness which kept us alive in the first place, to fight for tomorrow, because hell it might be one of those good days.

I’m so sad reading this post. 1.5 yrs later and symptoms are incredible. Sometimes when people say “well thank God you’re alive,” I question if there’s a God and why he kept me here just to suffer: broken back, neck, and TBI are just the most severe injuries. I want to be alone most of the time and issues and isolate. Stay strong

I’ve had two head injuries one when I was eight I was riding my bike and I was told I flipped it and landed on my head. I only remember before and after. I begged mom not to take me to the doctor. About 12 years ago my ex-boyfriend got mad at me and bashed my head into a cement floor in his basement. I blacked out while he was doing it and I thought I was going to die because he wouldn’t stop. My nose was bleeding and I couldn’t stand up because the room was spinning so fast. My entire head was swollen that’s how many times he bashed it into the floor. He wouldn’t let me leave to get treatment at that time. He probably wouldn’t let me because he knew he’d go to jail for a while. The severe headaches started not long after that. I still get them but they aren’t as bad. I get vertigo all the time, motion sickness, I get insomnia, sleep paralysis happens quite often, mood swings, irritated easily especially around loud noises, I’m tired all the time, I have memory issues all the time. My current boyfriend took me to the store not long ago and I remember walking in and didn’t know where I was and become scared for a few minutes. That happens often too. Sometimes in the car or at home. My anxiety is horrible, social relationships not so good. I don’t like being around people often I get overwhelmed. I feel so sad because I have to live like that this I feel that my family doctor would only think I’m crazy. The thing that scares me the most is the sleep paralysis. It happens several times a week. 8 have trouble breathing a lot of times. I don’t know what kind of doctor to see for it. I feel hopeless at this point. I hate my life and myself because even tho things heal they didn’t heal right. I feel so alone and that nobody understands. I wish I could just have one person that understands how I feel. People just think I’m crazy. I wish I could find one doctor that could help me.

I understand its been 20 years since someone tried to kill me on my job was pistol whipped & left for dead ...I am just now getting help by a neurologist ...Its such a scary feeling to know my thinking is so off ....Anxiety ptsd forgetting words i know what it is like a " table " but just cannot say the word ..Getting help now because my memory is getting worse .I I have a hard time making friends & havent been able to work since then.

I understand you. It been a week since my injury and I'm terrified.

You need to get a referral to a neurologist and get an evaluation. If you are having trouble breathing or swallowing make sure an MRI is done which shows the brain stem better than a CT.

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