Often referred to as the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among veterans is higher than it’s ever been. The most common cause of TBI among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom service members is injuries suffered from Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, used extensively against Coalition Forces.
Many people who sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury recover completely. However, in severe cases, a traumatic brain injury can cause emotional and behavioral changes that can be difficult to understand and accept.
A traumatic brain injury affects the entire family and often results in financial challenges, job loss and isolation. In the United States, 1.7 million people sustain a TBI each year. Whether you have suffered a TBI or are caring for someone who did, understanding you’re not alone is critical, the best thing you can do is reach out.
Join a group.
Meeting in person with other people with similar experiences can be cathartic. There are several places to find groups in your area.
The Brain Injury Association of America has local chapters and various support groups throughout the U.S.
Share your story.
When you can share your story and hear the stories of others, you realize there are people out there who understand what you’re going through, who can commiserate, or help put things in perspective. Luckily, the internet makes sharing easier than ever.
Brainline Military is an organization that serves the military community providing information, resources, and support for current and former service members and their families living with traumatic brain injury. Read the personal stories of military members living with TBI, and share your own.
A quick search for “Facebook TBI support group” turns up a handful of pages where you can connect on Facebook and be part of the conversation.
Knowing about traumatic brain injury—the symptoms, treatment options, and benefits you’re eligible for as a veteran or active duty military—will allow you to thrive, not just survive with this condition.
Take a look at our list of TBI resources.