Living with Traumatic Brain Injury

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Objective: To highlight the civilian online community, addressing the hardships of TBI, continuous research and professional advice columns need to be provided to veterans


Time to read: 2 minutes

Almost 2 million people each year sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the US. Currently, an estimated 5.3 million Americans (2% of the population) have a lifelong need for help due to TBI. In addition to the person with the injury, TBI affects friends and family. There’s a large community of people in the US affected by TBI and there are many resources to support and inform members of that community.

Traumatic Brain Injury is a blow to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. Service members are at increased risk for TBI when compared to their civilian peers. This is a factor of their demographics and the operational and training activities, which are physically demanding and potentially dangerous.

Military service members are often deployed to areas where they are at risk for experiencing blast exposures from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombers, land mines, mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades. These and other combat related activities put our military service members at increased risk for TBI. Most reported TBI among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom servicemembers and veterans has been linked to IEDs.

Many military personnel return from combat with both TBI and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The combination of PTSD and TBI can bring on feelings of intense fear and helplessness. Short-term memory problems can make the smallest tasks seem insurmountable. Nightmares and flashbacks, depression, anxiety, and isolation affect sleep. Veterans who seek help dealing with PTSD and TBI can get better.

If you, or a veteran you know, may be suffering from TBI, show them the resources available and the community that can help:

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