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Traumatic Brain Injuries – Causes & Treatment

Written By Christian Xitas 07/17/2019

During the past few years, awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) amongst veterans has increased due to improved diagnostics and increased vigilance. One fourth of veteran casualties are from Traumatic brain injuries. Most Traumatic Brain Injuries are incurred in Iraq or Afghanistan.

In comparison, only 12% of Vietnam veterans found the same relation. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries are caused by impact to the head. The impact could be a fist or an object.

What causes TBI?

Traumatic Brain Injuries can be Mild, Moderate, or Severe.

A Mild traumatic brain injury is basically a concussion. This is the most difficult to diagnose. Also, a full recovery may occur within hours or days. 

Moderate TBI is where the most variability of symptoms occurs. Often it is followed by a loss of consciousness anywhere from an hour to a full day. Usually, confusion lasts for days, even weeks, and other issues can be permanent or long term.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Severe TBI’s are usually a significant head injury (such as a car accident injury) and are often followed by loss in brain function. It will have impacts on speech, vision, attention, memory, and concentration. 

While the military immediately screens anyone suspected of having a TBI, it is possible to have gone undetected, especially if the TBI is mild or moderate. 

This is why it is crucial to know the possible symptoms to know if you may need to request another screening for benefits. 

How do I know if I have a brain injury?

The most common symptoms are emotional or behavioral problems. The truth is that there are no standard symptoms as the brain is incredibly complex.  Doctors are still researching the short and long term repercussions of Traumatic Brain Injuries.

For some people, the symptoms of TBI may not become apparent for a few weeks or months, making it easy to ignore them or minimize them. 

It is very dangerous for a Traumatic Brain Injury to go untreated, as symptoms may get progressively worse. Traumatic Brain Injuries can directly impact your health, your relationships, your behavior, and your lifestyle. 

If you have noticed any of the following symptoms since your time of enlistment, you should seek a thorough assessment:

●    Impulsive Actions

●    Overwhelmed with sadness or anxiety

●    Unusual sleeping habits

●    Tiredness

●    Losing Concentration or Focus

●    Feeling something wrong internally

●    Taking more prescription drugs than usual

●    The use of illicit drugs for coping

●    Increased alcohol use

All of these are possible warning signs of a Traumatic  Brain Injury.

What is the treatment for TBI?

The upside is that many veterans do receive effective treatments for their Traumatic Brain Injuries. During the initial evaluation, there will be a discussion of what may have caused the brain injury. There may also be a discussion of how to deal with the symptoms and how they could affect your life. 

Therapy and medication may be prescribed to assist in your recovery. 

In the meantime, if you are dealing with any of these symptoms, you can start your recovery by getting as much rest as possible and resuming your life responsibilities at a slower pace. 

Relax & Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard!

DO NOT push yourself too hard!  Stay within your comfort zone for physical activities. As you fell better, you can gradually increase your physical activity.

Furthermore, most people can reach full recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury when they take it seriously.