TBI 101: What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect many of the brave men and women who serve our country. That’s why the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is building Intrepid Spirit Centers around the country to help treat these service members. But what exactly is a TBI?

A TBI is defined by the Centers For Disease Control as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” As the name indicates, a TBI is caused by trauma to the brain. That trauma can be caused a number of ways but usually involves a blow to the head. However, that wound can range from being open and visible to invisible.

Like many injuries, the symptoms of a TBI vary greatly from case to case. As the Mayo Clinic indicates, symptoms can manifest themselves physically, sensorily or cognitively/mentally. Like a fingerprint, no two TBIs are identical. As a result, it can be difficult to diagnose and determine the extent of a TBI.

The physical symptoms of a TBI can include headaches, difficulty concentrating and paying attention, memory loss, seizures, irritability, and mood swings. Sensory symptoms can be reflected in all 5 senses and may include diminished ability to smell, taste, hear, see, as well as challenges interpreting touch, temperature and, movement. Cognitive symptoms include verbal or physical outbursts, impulsive behavior, poor judgement, inflexibility, depression, and anxiety.

Because there is such a range in TBIs, the severity, and how each person is affected, recovery time cannot be generalized. In many cases though, the fastest improvements typically take place in the first 6 months after an injury, with proper treatment. After that, recovery time and degree of improvement can vary.

Like many other psychological conditions, the wounds and scars aren’t always visible. That’s why compassion is crucial for helping the healing process of those suffering from a TBI. We’re working hard to support our troops and veterans by building Intrepid Spirit Centers around the country. These centers unite specialists in all fields affecting TBIs to help treat and heal our service members and veterans.

Donate today to help us complete the Intrepid Spirit Centers and support our troops!

Posted on January 1 2018 in Blog

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