March 2016 is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness month. Traumatic Brain Injury aka TBI can traumatize caregiver families as much as their veterans.
These injuries happen when someone is near an explosion that may not hurt them outwardly but “rocks” their brains. Many of our troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were near explosions multiple times.
The challenging part is that symptoms from TBI might not show up for years. Diagnosis is difficult, especially since it frequently has at least some of the same symptoms of PTSD. Many vets have both TBI and PTSD but we’re just learning about behavior which can be attributed to TBI– blackouts, aggression, seizures and even in some cases, epilepsy.
The roller coaster of TBI symptoms shakes families, too. Erratic behavior can be confusing to children of any age. Adults are frustrated by the personality changes associated with TBI and it often takes months to get the VA appointments needed to diagnose the condition. Awareness is important and we’re so glad March is recognized as Traumatic Brain Injury month. Understanding is the first key to coping with any illness.
This article from National Review gives details on three clinical facilities with the most effective TBI treatments available for veterans: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421504/traumatic-brain-injury-solution-here-servicemen-and-civilians-alike-james-macguire