A traumatic brain injury can turn your life upside down. After the first few weeks, the bleeding, swelling and changes in your brain affect the healthy tissue.
Generally, patients experience the most improvement within the first six months of recovery. However, many continue to improve for years following.
Impact of a TBI
The long-term impact of a TBI depends on the patient and specific injury. Many physicians cannot pinpoint the long-term effects of a TBI during the initial recovery. Sometimes imaging tests do not show the full extent of the injury.
Following a moderate to severe TBI, many patients experience confusion. They may be agitated, restless and have difficulty remembering things. Some days will be better than others. Inconsistent behavior is normal when recovering from a TBI.
Recovery from a TBI
To recover from a brain injury, you may require some assistance from other people. Some patients need help only at night, whereas others may need help throughout the day and night. Over time, you can gain more independence and abilities. About 25% of people have to deal with depression during recovery. Depression comes from the injury, in addition to the types of lifestyle changes you have to make.
Most people still live in their private residence after a TBI, but it is possible you could lose your job or have to change careers during recovery or for the long term.
A traumatic brain injury may take years to recover from. It can also lead to permanent changes. Cases involving serious injuries can be more complex and challenging but have higher stakes for the person involved.