“I Didn’t Even Know Anything Had Happened!”

Sometimes soldiers may be wounded and not even know they’ve been hurt.  You might ask how that could be, but the effects of a traumatic brain injury may not become evident until a day or two has passed. 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by being too close to an explosive device when it detonates.  Following the explosion, a pressure wave expands outward, and if the soldier is in its path, it may cause a concussion and disrupt brain function.   Traumatic brain injury may also be the result of being hit by shrapnel.

Symptoms of traumatic brain injury may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confused or disorientation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache, sometimes becoming severe
  • Chronic pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty in social situations
  • Social isolation
  • Verbal or physical outbursts
  • Irritability

TREATMENT —  Many of the symptoms of TBI are similar to PTSD, and so are many of the treatments.

  • Support groups provide emotional support and teach new coping strategies
  • Keep records of important events, people’s names, tasks or other things that are difficult to remember.
  • Develop a routine and stick to it.   Put things back in the same place to keep from losing them and stick to the same schedule to reduce confusion.
  • Pace yourself and know your limits.  Don’t ask too much of yourself, especially at first.  Know your limits and learn to pace yourself so you don’t become overly tired.




Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1


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