After a patient suffers a head injury or a Traumatic Brain Injury from a car accident or some other kind of trauma, they may experience rapid changes in the person’s behavior, known commonly as mood swings. Many patients experience these emotions in intense, short instances, often only lasting for a short period of time. Other patients may also experience mood swings, however, the emotional change stays with them for longer amounts of time. Most of the time, this is described by people who have a TBI as being “an emotional roller coaster,” as they switch between feelings of sad thoughts, happy thoughts, and than anger, all within just a short period of time. Mood swings are common to people after incurring a TBI as head injuries often damage the part of the brain that is primarily responsible for controlling and governing the different emotions and behavior. If this area is altered or damaged due to an injury to the brain, it is easy to see how it may affect a person’s mood. People with traumatic brain injuries often have unpredictable behavior. For example, someone with a TBI may experience random periods of crying or laughing without the relating emotions if the areas of the brain that control these responses are damaged. Patients who experience mood swings after a severe head injury can often expect the symptoms to recede over time. As the brain heals, the affected areas of the brain will return to normal. If the problem remains the same, doctors can prescribe mood stabilizers and other psychotropic medications to help.
Below are multiple videos from TBITalk and people who support TBITalk. We hope you enjoy videos.
-Most people, after suffering a TBI do make a good recovery.
-Using a seatbelt and wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to help prevent a TBI from occurring.
-One of the most commonly injured areas of the brain is the Frontal lobe, which controls thinking and emotion regulation.
-Males are twice as likely to incur a TBI than females are, according to statistics.
This post’s intention was not to present unfortunate facts about TBIs, below are some of the best ways to further your healing from a TBI.
-There Are Groups with Resources to Help TBI Survivors and Caregivers.
Practice going to occupational, speech, and physical therapy regularly. This helps improve how your mind functions. Since it has been proven that the brain has Nuroplasticity, therapy only helps accelerate your healing.
Beware of overstimulation. Overstimulation to the brain and or body could leave a detrimental effect to you. It is important to someone who has a TBI to regulate their energy as best as they can. A sufficient amount of sleep is paramount in one’s recovery.
Last night I was talking to one of my friends, while socially distanced. We were video chatting and we started to joke. I am really quite animated when I am joking, everyone who knows me can confirm that. Anyway, I decided to do some sort of “Physical Comedy”, if in fact what I did was humorous enough to give it that title. I widened my mouth, further opened my eyes and dramatically tilted my head to the side. Like most of my comedy acts, I said to myself, “I can make this move bigger and it’ll be even more hilarious”!
Believe me when I tell you, it was hilarious! It was all fun and games until I triggered the neck injury that I wrote about over the Spring.
During the call, we laughed very hard and kept adding onto our joke with random, funny gestures, until I suddenly stopped and grabbed my neck as I yelled out “Ow”, with an expression of utter shock on my face, which signaled my friend to do the same. I couldn’t believe I got injured from playing around, yet again, but I did. So there I was, once again, with neck pain. It happened a bit after 10 o’clock last night. As I type this, it is 1:07 PM and I still have a little pain on the right side of my neck, slightly above and behind my ear. The crazy thing is, that when I initially injured my neck, it was on the left side…
Why exactly does pain change locations but remain in the same body part?
Honestly, I don’t yet know. I presume I’ll have to do additional research as to why that strange change has occurred. Perhaps because the neck is one body part and the nerves go throughout numerous places within the neck. I’m going to continue researching nerves in the neck and I’ll have a better idea about the specifics of what happened to my neck, why the pain returned on the opposite side, what my nerves and neck need to heal and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
I will keep you updated,
I’m back with a quick update about my head/neck since another week and a half has passed by. At this point, I’m not having pain in my neck on the right side like I was after the first couple of weeks. When I press on the spot that was hurt, on my lower head and upper neck (left side), I feel a slightly more intense discomfort on the left side, than the right.
Lately I had forgotten about the injured spot because I wasn’t feeling pain like I had experienced a couple weeks ago. I am feeling very good and like myself, mostly. I only have a mild sensitivity on the left side of my neck, not where I got hurt but on the outer side where I had the pain after the lower back of my head and upper neck stopped hurting. I believe that’s partially because I like thick pillows and have been sleeping on my left side over the last week and a half.
In closing, this small experience has made me more aware and sensitive to how many different sensations you can experience after a hard hit and how fortunately, even though this was not a concussion or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) a lot still happened in the healing process because many parts of the body are connected to each other. Although this hasn’t been fun per-say, this experience definitely has been interesting to research and take notes of the changes that go into healing from hit to the head.
Sunday night I hit my head, just above my neck, right next to my left ear when my siblings and I were joking around in the kitchen and when I turned around, my little brother bumped into my sister (also younger lol) and she accidentally hit me with her cellphone. I didn’t want to overreact and cause an extra problem by rushing to the hospital because I didn’t feel like anything serious enough happened for me to leave my house with this virus situation that’s been going around.
I felt in between fine and not completely fine. I prayed to God that nothing would be severely wrong with me and tried not to be anxious.
I knew the signs to look out for because I’ve read many articles on health and always ask a lot of questions when I have gone to any type of healthcare office or facility for myself or someone I know. Some signs that I have read to be aware of after a hit to the head were, after nothing very obvious such as unconsciousness, vomiting, blood or fluid draining from the nose, ear or behind the ear. I checked myself for those red flags and thankfully, I was fine!
I told my family what happened, that I would be back but didn’t know what time and I was going to lay in my room because I felt drowsy after the hit. My mother said I should stay downstairs where everyone can keep an eye on me and I ended up staying downstairs and sitting on the sofa. My father brought me some Tylenol and I asked my sister to bring my eye mask to the living room. I was feeling a bit odd but didn’t know how to explain the feeling entirely. I kept saying “my head feels odd” and I felt a lot of pain in the spot where I hurt my head.
I wanted to take a nap but I felt mentally awake so I ended up reading articles and texting a friend about what happened.
I also couldn’t fall asleep because everything was lively, nothing more than usual but my little brother is 8 and very active and I sleep better without stimulation. After a short while, I was getting frustrated because I felt tired and couldn’t fall asleep, on top of the fact that I was still in pain. I prayed repeatedly as I often do in stressful times, that Jesus would protect me from any major damage from what I hoped was a minor injury and I told Him all of my thoughts, feelings and concerns about what happened.
I also experienced a dulled sense of hearing in my left ear in the hour that followed my incident.
Tuesday evening I started to have a mild pain (about a 3.5 on the pain scale) that went down the side of my neck and almost halfway around the front of my neck. It concerned me a bit and I was unsure why I was experiencing that. Over the next few days I continued to have that pain and it even switched to my right side. I have had more headaches, I believe general headaches have to do with my sleep pattern and I should increase my water intake as well. I will keep documenting to further understand what exactly happened.
Fast forward another week, looking back I thought perhaps it was sympathetic nerve pain and will look that up tomorrow. As for my right side hurting instead of my left, I will have to do more research. I still have mild, occasional on and off pain on the sides of my neck and the soft spot on my upper neck behind my ear, on my left side feels pretty normal. It only has a slight discomfort when I press on that area to see if I feel more sensitivity on my left side than my right, and I do. Fortunately though, I am doing well and haven’t suffered any serious repercussions, so I am grateful to God for that!
It’s crazy to think all of those details and changes happened in a week and a couple days! The human body is fascinating and I continue to be in awe of how God created all the parts of the body to be intertwined so specifically and intricately. Evolution absolutely couldn’t come up with that.
Hello, I am David A. Grant, writing for TBITalk.com .
While there are many people who have lived with lifelong disabilities, I am a relative newcomer to being disabled. For the first forty-nine years of my life, I was fully-abled. Everything changed in late 2010. I was cycling in southern New Hampshire when a sixteen-year-old driver t-boned me. In two ticks of a clock, I went from being fully abled to living the life I live today.
This was not the plan I had for myself.
Unlike many who are visibly disabled, I live with what is commonly called an “invisible disability.” Millions of us that live in today’s society face challenges that are not visible to the naked eye. The list of invisible disabilities is long: autism, fibromyalgia, PTSD, depression, multiple sclerosis, and many mental illnesses are all part of this family of unseen disabilities.
Though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognize most hidden disabilities, most of us with invisible challenges fly just under the radar screen of society.
When you see someone in a wheelchair, or perhaps walking with a companion animal, it’s pretty clear that that person may be disabled. But not so with people like me. I can drive without assistance. I work on a part-time basis, spend time with my granddaughter, and go about my day as many others do.
However, looks are deceiving
My cycling accident left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While a common misconception exists that PTSD is exclusive to the military community, many who experience different kinds of trauma also live with the daily challenges that come with PTSD.
My life today feels like an acronym soup, often defined by short bursts of letters that have indescribable effects on my life. In addition to PTSD, I live with PCS (Post Concussive Syndrome) as well as the lasting effects of a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
Like many who have experienced trauma, my life is now split between “before and after.” My life before my accident was average. In fact, some might call it downright dull. I went to work as a self-employed, self-sufficient individual. I’d suit up and show up, pay my bills, spend time raising my children, and move forward toward a future that did not include trauma. In fact, I’d planned to remain busy, happily married, work for another fifteen years, and then retire, doing things that retirees do.
Years ago, I heard a saying that still makes me smile. “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” If there is an element of truth to this, he must have enjoyed a belly laugh at my plans.
Accepting that I am a disabled adult has been a long and painful process. I have fought the disabled moniker since it was first presented to me in early 2012 when a well-respected doctor let me know that I was “permanently disabled” because of my injury.
How dare he call me disabled? For years, I hated him for that. I am not a big fan of the “H” word, but hate him I did. I fought his diagnosis for many years.
I had completed neuropsychological testing about a year after my injuries in a fact-finding effort to see where my deficiencies remained, and what I could do to speed my recovery. The test results were quite grim. In a couple of key categories, I scored in the bottom 5%.
I, once prideful about my perceived life successes, now sat at the bottom of my cognitive class.
Sure, my tests showed that I was in the lower 5% for complex problem solving and verbal recall. A speeding car had hit me a year earlier. Your scores would have crashed too if you met a teenage driver at 35 MPH with nothing but a plastic helmet to save your life. But disabled? No way. You have got me confused with someone else, someone who might actually be disabled.
I did all I could to prove him wrong. I moved on with my life, wrote a couple of books, started a new career and continued to stumble forward in this new second life.
I’ve since learned that it is easier to realize perspectives in the rearview mirror. With the passage of time comes a new clarity. Here is where it gets hard.
Humbled, I eventually had to admit that the doctor was right. I am disabled. This is perhaps the biggest single mea culpa of my life. I needed to come to terms with my disability in my own terms and in my own time.
For several years, I tried to live my life as I did before my accident, but there were challenges at every turn. Vertigo created the occasional appearance of drunkenness, though I’ve not had a drink for decades. Slow cognitive processing speeds meant that I lived in a perpetual state of time delay. Sure, you can ask me a question, but don’t hold your breath waiting for me to answer. It may take some time for me to understand what you just asked me. Memory issues mean that I might ask you a question, then ask it again, and perhaps a third time for good measure.
None of these challenges is blatant to the naked eye, but spend a bit of time with me, and you’ll learn soon enough that I’m not as normal as I look. Such is the nature of being invisibly disabled.
I fought my fate for close to seven years until I could not fight it any longer.
It has only been over the last few months that I have accepted what I had been most afraid of. By accepting that I am a disabled adult, something unexpected happened—I have gained freedom. I no longer need to struggle to be who I was before my accident.
I am more at peace with my life than I have been in years. I am slowly learning that even though I am disabled, there is still much that I can do. And quite unexpectedly, I feel relief. I no longer have to prove myself. The internal conflict about who I am and how I fit into today’s world has finally gone quiet.
It is in that newfound calm that I will continue to rebuild my new life.
Traumatic Brain Injury – What You Must Know
Traumatic Brain Injury is a serious medical condition that can extremely affect the life of a human being. It is also known as a traumatic head injury, closed head injury or head injury. It can be a confusing injury since it often produces a variety of symptoms that vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms can also vary in adults and children. The best way to learn about this injury is to look at the different symptoms for each type of traumatic head injury.
Causes of Brain Injury
An injury to the brain can be caused by any type of blow to the head. In many cases, it is obvious when a brain injury has occurred. A car accident, for example, may cause a traumatic head injury that is very apparent. However, some injuries are not as apparent. Someone who falls and then gets back up may not even realize they have injured their brain. It is not until later when symptoms present that a person realizes something is wrong.
When a person suffers from a traumatic injury to the head there may be visible swelling or bruising. In some cases, this swelling and bruising may only be inside the skull. When the brain starts to swell it presses against the skull and cause serious effects, even death.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury and Symptoms
A mild traumatic head injury is one type of brain injury. The symptoms of this type of injury include unconsciousness, amnesia where the person forgets the events that led up to the injury and those following the injury, headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision and mood changes.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can produce persistent headaches, vomiting, seizures, and problems waking up from sleep, dilated pupils, and problems with speech, weakness in the body, and problems with coordination, confusion, and changes in temperament.
Mild, moderate and severe traumatic injuries to the head are the type of brain injuries specific to adults. These injuries in children are much different. Children may not be able to tell you how they feel and they may not have the skills developed yet to recognize when something is wrong.
Symptoms of an injury to the head in children include problems eating, cranky moods, problems sleeping, problems in school and loss of interest in favorite activities.
After an injury to the head or the surrounding area or other traumatic injury or fall, a person should be checked out by medical personnel. Any situation where the body is bumped roughly or otherwise injured could lead to a brain injury. The brain can easily bump against the skull and swelling can begin. It is better to be safe with any type of head injury and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. In most cases, the doctor will simply observe the patient for a short period of time to see if symptoms of an injury to the head are present.
An injury to the head should always be taken seriously. The brain is a complex organ that can easily be injured. It is important to always seek medical care if a traumatic head injury is suspected so that treatment can take place and further problems can be avoided.
Ordinary drugs have shown limited benefits for brain (serious physical or emotional harm) since they don’t address the main cause of what is driving (hard hit to the head that knocks you out) signs of sickness. Now, no neuro-(serving or acting to prevent harm) treatment options exist that improve signs of sickness after a TBI. Now many (people who work to find information) are starting to study a wide range of natural compounds and vitamins that have promising broad-spectrum, (related to protecting nerves from harm), and anti-swelling activity. Curcumin, green tea, extremely important fatty acids, resveratrol, and vitamin E are some of the compounds with potential medically helpful benefit in the treatment of TBI. The (event(s) or object(s) that prove something) for these substances is still very early (and subject to change) and there is much more research needed to confirm these effects in humans, but they offer possible options in a condition with no known treatment.
CURCUMIN – is an active compound found in the spice turmeric. It has attracted much interest as a possible treatment for many long-lasting sicknesses, including Brain disease (AD), cancer, and heart disease due to its powerful anti-swelling and body-protecting chemical properties. While results are still early (and subject to change), curcumin extracts are showing positive benefit in neuro-recovery, cell membrane (making steady/making firm and strong), and reduction of oxidative stress in animals.[8,9,19,11] Other potential medically helpful effects include increasing brain growth factors, chelating heavy metals, reducing cholesterol, and protecting mitochondria.
The problem with curcumin is that it doesn’t (mix with and become part of a liquid) well in water, making its (mental concentration/picking up of a liquid) through the (tube from the mouth to the anus) limited. It is important to point out that only free curcumin (not other curcumin molecules) can pass the blood brain (something that blocks or stops something). Newer, fat (able to be dissolved in something) creations, such as a curcumin extract called Longvida, appear to improve delivery into the bloodstream, past the blood brain (something that blocks or stops something) and into brain tissue.[12,13] Longvida curcumin was developed for nerve-based sicknesses/problems by (people who work to find information) at UCLA. Curcumin stands as one of the most promising (related to protecting nerves from harm) and medically helpful agents in TBI and PCS due its excellent safety profile and wide ranging (machine/method/way) of action.
(Editor’s note: Also, other brands of curcumin have been created for improved bioavailability, including NutriCure by NAKA. Or,/In a different way, (ancient medicine) doctors recommend cooking turmeric in oil, and combining it with black pepper, to improve bioavailability of its voters/parts.)
GREEN TEA – like curcumin, is a well-known and widely used/ate/drank/destroyed herb with broad-spectrum body-protecting chemical activity. Its (related to protecting nerves from harm) properties can be attributed mostly to the power body-protecting chemical molecule called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the amino acid L- theanine, and to a lesser degree (drug that gives you energy). EGCG has been shown to have body-protecting chemical and anti-swelling effects in animal models of brain injury.[15,16,17] One (like nothing else in the world) aspect of green tea is that the L-theanine content may offer protection from excitotoxic injury that happens immediately after a (hard hit to the head that knocks you out). There is a clear need for more research, but promising (event(s) or object(s) that prove something) hints that even regular dietary consumption of green tea may have a (related to protecting nerves from harm) effect if a (hard hit to the head that knocks you out) happens. Some other plant compounds such as resveratrol (found in red wine) and anthocyanidins (found in berries) have also shown (related to protecting nerves from harm) effects. Unlike (related to medical drugs) medicines, these plant extracts have many modes of action and work cooperatingally with each other. They also support the function of the body’s own body-protecting chemical systems and nerve repair systems. There have been some animal trials using plant compounds such as resveratrol, (showing or proving) an anti-swelling and (related to protecting nerves from harm) effect in TBI, but like green tea, there have been no human trials to date.[19,20] Since these molecules are found in many colourful fruits and vegetables, it would be a safe recommendation for people with TBI or PCS to include/combine them into their diets.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – have long been thought about/believed extremely important for brain development and function. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and to a lesser degree Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), is mostly found in nerve membranes; they influence cell signaling and anti-swelling pathways. Since the human body cannot (in a way that produces a lot with very little waste) convert plant-based extremely important fatty acids to EPA and DHA, fish oil adds to/helpful additions are the best source of the active parts/pieces. (It is important to note that, while using/eating/drinking fish high in omega 3 fatty acids is desirable, the heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in most fish is a concern, especially for brain function.) Some trials in animal models of TBI have found that DHA and omega-3 addition (to something else) improves thinking-related function, reduces nerve swelling, (makes steady/makes firm and strong) cellular energy production, and increases nerve repair.[23,24] One of these studies showed that pre-injury (something extra you eat or drink) with fish oil also had a (related to protecting nerves from harm) effect.
VITAMIN E – is a commonly studied natural compound for brain health since it has a powerful body-protecting chemical effect, specifically in fatty tissue (i.e. nerves). Some animal studies have found that vitamin E addition (to something else) reduces nerve damage and improves thinking-related performance following repeating, concussive brain injury.[25,26] Interestingly, addition (to something else) before the (hard hits to the head that knock people out) also had a (related to protecting nerves from harm) effect. A good creation should provide all eight molecules of vitamin E, with the highest proportion being the strong gamma-tocopherol, which is carefully thought about/believed the most anti-swelling part. Also, vitamin E works with other body-healing chemicals, such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 as part of a body-protecting chemical network. This highlights the need to consume body-healing chemicals together in order to support their proper (related to the body function of living things) function.
CREATINE, L-CARNITINE, ALA AND MORE – There are some other newly-visible (vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.) now being studied for TBI. Creatine, an amino acid found in muscles, has human (event(s) or object(s) that prove something) supporting its benefit in reducing signs of sickness after a (hard hit to the head that knocks you out). Benefits were found for addition (to something else) before and even after the injury, (event(s) or object(s) that prove something) that creatine can be used to prevent and treat nerve-based shortages after a (hard hit to the head that knocks you out). There are other promising adds to/helpful additions being studied, including acetyl L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, B12, ginkgo biloba, and magnesium.
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY – Another (action that helps a bad situation) suggested to have helpful effects on TBI recovery is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), although more research is needed to confirm its benefit.