Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Veterans: The Wounds We Don’t See

Our collective hearts sink every time we see a veteran dealing with a form of disability. It reminds us that no matter how involved and wrapped up we sometimes get in our own lives, there are those who are making sacrifices to ensure our freedom and domestic tranquility as people. Even more tragic are the wounds that we can’t see on the surface. The mental health of our veterans is a growing concern, as is the number of cases involving TBI. 

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What is TBI? 

TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury, is the result of any brain-related injury resulting from physical trauma to the head. Some of the contributing causes are foreign material penetrating the skull, explosions, objects coming into contact with the head, and the results of an impact hitting the head. 

What are the symptoms of Someone Suffering from TBI?

Similar to the causes of TBI, the symptoms that someone might exhibit can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of TBI are decreased energy and cognitive function, memory loss, and a noticeable change in their mental state. If left untreated, these symptoms can grow much more noticeable. TBI can lead to other significant mental issues such as depression, anxiety, and loss of reasoning and self-control. 

The “Invisible Injury” 

TBI has been referred to as the invisible injury by many veterans advocate groups. Like many other mental illnesses, many veterans attempt to hide this trauma. This is due to the stigma attached to mental health for several years. Many who have experienced significant brain injuries that are related to TBI don’t always show the effects or symptoms. Sometimes TBI is misdiagnosed as PTSD, another issue that greatly affects many veterans returning home. 

Ways to Get Help 

If you or someone you know has TBI or is showing the early stages or symptoms, some programs can help. Speech and language therapy is available, as is cognitive restoration therapy. Sometimes the best medicine is lending a sympathetic ear and listening to someone describe what they’re feeling. It’s not always easy to discuss these issues, so keep that in mind if someone you know is hurting. And remember, simply saying “thank you” is always good practice. 

SRQ Vets 

Sarasota is home to several veterans. SRQ Vets is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the veterans that make their homes in the local community. If you’re interested in donating some of your time, visit us at srqvets.us.

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