– TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) –

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an acquired brain injury due to a sudden trauma that causes damage to the brain. A Traumatic Brain Injury results from the head suddenly and violently striking an object (closed-head injury), the brain being shaken or by an object piercing the skull and entering the brain (penetrating).


About TBI

Common causes of TBI can include:

  • Explosive blasts/Combat injuries
  • Falls
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Vehicle-related collisions
  • Violence/Assault
  • Domestic Assault
    Garry Waterman is a licensed social worker who can help with coping, teaching skills, relearning social behaviors that help with rehabilitation from TBI events.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Each TBI is different, as are the associated symptoms. Depending on the extent of the damage to the brain, TBI can be mild, moderate or severe.
    Those who experience mild TBI may have ongoing symptoms that can include:
    • Bad taste in the mouth
    • Behavioral or mood changes
    • Blurred vision
    • Change in sleep patterns
    • Confusion or trouble concentrating
    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue or lethargy
    • Headache
    • Lightheadedness
    • Memory lapses
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Irritability
    • Those who experience moderate or severe TBI may exhibit similar symptoms, but may also have worsening symptoms such as:

      • Chronic/worsening headache 
      • Convulsions or seizures 
      • Dilation of one or both pupils
      • Extreme restlessness or agitation
      • Heightened state of confusion 
      • Inability to awaken from sleep 
      • Lack or loss of coordination
      • Repeated vomiting or nausea
      • Slurred speech

    If you have had a recent head injury and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention to help prevent long-term physical and psychological consequences.


    Little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by a head trauma. The focus by medical professionals typically involves the prevention of further injury.

    Primary concerns and treatments may include:
    • Ensuring the brain has adequate oxygen supply
    • Maintaining proper blood flow to the brain and body 
    • Managing blood pressure
    • Conducting imaging testing to determine diagnosis and prognosis 

    Many people with moderate to severe TBI benefit from rehabilitation that involves individually-tailored treatment programs in the areas of:

    • Occupational therapy
    • Physical therapy 
    • Physiatry (physical medicine)
    • Psychotherapy
    • Psychiatry 
    • Speech/Language therapy
    • Social support

      Disabilities resulting from TBI can vary depending upon factors including:

      • Age 
      • General health 
      • Location of injury
      • Severity of injury

        Some common disabilities resulting from TBI may include:

        • Behavior or mental health issues (depression, anxiety, aggression, etc.)
        • Communication issues (difficulty with expression and understanding)
        • Difficulties with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning)
        • Problems with sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell)
        • Emotional Affect Issues

          Coping with TBI

          TBI can be a life-altering event; however, all TBIs are treatable with the right help from qualified professionals. Through treatment and rehabilitation, people with TBI can improve brain function and potentially reclaim the life they knew before the injury.

          Each brain injury is different and presents tremendous challenges to people in terms of full recovery and returning to normal daily activities. Results from treatment and rehabilitation vary from person to person.


          The best treatment for TBI is prevention. Accidents happen, but to help prevent a TBI occurring from an accident you should always wear a seatbelt when in a motor vehicle and wear a properly fitted helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Proper head gear should also be worn when participating in contact sports such as football or hockey.