Definition of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is commonly defined as an insult to the brain from an external force with an associated diminished or altered state of consciousness. In simple terms it can lead to temporary or permanent impairments of the way we think (cognitive), how we feel (emotional) and how we act (behavioral). Physical limitations can also occur including restrictions in walking, talking, use of your arms with the list being endless.
Classification of TBI
TBI can be classified based on severity — mild, moderate and severe. There are different forms of head trauma leading to TBI including a closed head injury absent skull fracture, or a penetrating associated with fracture. There are other features of brain injury such as in a specific location (focal) or over a widespread area (diffuse). These are just some examples of the forms of classification.
TBI is a complex injury that encompasses a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities with no two injuries ever being the same. Brain injuries often do not follow the course of other types of injuries where healing follows a predictable pattern.
Uncertainties of TBI
There can be great uncertainty how or when a brain will regain normal functioning after a traumatic injury, which add significantly to the anxieties and burdens faced by all TBI survivors and their families. Since our brains define who we are, the consequences of a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives, including our personalities. In fact, changes in personality are a very frequent result from frontal lobe injuries, which are the most common form of TBI. These personality changes may be dramatic or subtle but very often they go unnoticed by victims themselves, as denial remains one of a TBI’s victims most important coping mechanisms.
This web site reflects our effort to provide an online compendium of useful information, including a resource directory, for TBI survivors and their families. We hope that knowledge and better understanding will prove to be a useful starting point in helping TBI survivors and their loved ones come to better terms with the unfortunate change in their life situation brought about by TBI.