Veterans Share Their Advice for Coping With TBI
June 16, 2017 | 2-minute read
There are many causes of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as car accidents, playing sports, or the impact of a nearby blast during military service.
Understanding Signs and Symptoms
Whatever the cause, TBI can affect the ability to think, control emotions, walk, or speak. “The biggest thing that I had to deal with was the frustration, because I’m normally very in control of myself,” says Owen, a U.S. Army Veteran and reservist who sustained a TBI. “But with my brain injury, I couldn’t speak right, I couldn’t act right, and it was something I couldn’t control.” Other effects of TBI may include sleeping problems, depression, and anxiety.
Most doctors agree that for TBI — whether it’s a mild concussion or a severe injury — recovery is faster if you understand what is happening, get enough rest, and resume your responsibilities at your own pace. “Talking the problems out probably helped more than anything else,” says Owen. “It took a lot of swallowing of my pride to go talk to somebody, but I did, and I’m better for it.”
Learning How to Cope
Thankfully there are treatment options that can help. A doctor may recommend different types of therapies or medication to help manage the effects of TBI. For Thomas, a U.S. Army Veteran, couples counseling helped him and his wife understand and adjust to his TBI symptoms.
“[The counselor] really helped us communicate a little bit more,” says Thomas. “I’ve learned a lot of techniques and stuff from our treatment … and ways to deal with things.”
Watch the video below to hear how more military Veterans learned to cope with their TBI.