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....if you want to learn about acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury... the Silent Epidemic
Mary Anne Lessley © 2002

Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is termed "the silent epidemic" and for many reasons. First and foremost, a TBI survivor most often appears normal—exhibiting no physical symptoms to indicate that anything might be wrong. Second, because a survivor looks okay, he or she is considered to be recovered from any accident resulting in a brain injury, and therefore capable of resuming normal activity. It may be much later, often when an individual exhibits one or many of the symptoms of executive dysfunction, that anyone suspects that something is wrong. Unfortunately an incorrect diagnosis may go unnoticed for years.

If you are someone who...

  • feels that "things just aren't right" since an accident, whether recently or in the past;
  • has always felt that it is your fault that you can't keep your life and career activities organized and in proper perspective;
  • looks normal in appearance, yet feels consistently disorganized for no apparent reason...

...It is worth reflecting on the possibility that you might have suffered a traumatic brain injury from either a recent accident or earlier in life. It is also possible that you are suffering the cumulative effects of several seemingly insignificant injuries.

In addition, if you experience moments to days of confusion and/or become partially to totally immobilized to do one or more of the following on a consistent basis...

  • Schedule and prioritize tasks;
  • Organize your environment/s effectively for your needs;
  • Start projects and work to completion;
  • Concentrate on a project or activity for appropriate periods of time;
  • Stay focused during conversations;
  • Consistently engage in appropriate behavior;
  • Remember details of conversations, or engage in a specific conversation;
  • Function normally throughout a day, completing tasks appropriate to your priorities...

...It is very important that you pursue a medical diagnosis from a professional who is extremely knowledgeable about the potential effects of a closed, traumatic brain injury (TBI). You may be challenged by executive function issues, or your symptoms might point to a reason totally unrelated to TBI. Most importantly, you need a proper diagnosis so that you can get the appropriate assistance.

Serious research on closed, traumatic brain injury began in the early 1970's. Progressing tremendously in the past seven years, great advances have been made in the cognitive, physical, and emotional rehabilitation of individuals affected by traumatic brain injury. Still, much education is needed about this silent epidemic in which someone in the United States sustains a traumatic brain injury every 15 seconds, not all of whom will fully recover.

To learn more, you might begin your research at the National Brain Injury Association Web site. This site provides a tremendous amount of information about acquired traumatic brain injury, from basic to advanced. In addition, it links to many of the state associations and to a host of other excellent resources.

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