Unlike some other forms of injuries, a dependable and instantaneous diagnosis of a brain injury, especially a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often not feasible. Some injuries to the head are simply just head injuries. The best way to determine whether you have a brain injury is through a CAT scan. Some early signs of a brain injury or TBI are:
- Paralysis of some or all of the body
- Epileptic seizures
- Complications with body coordination, walking and/or speech
- Confusion, disorientation, or agitation
Even with all the new technologies and research, the severity of your brain damage may not become apparent until far after you have suffered your injury. Below are some of the major symptoms associated with brain injuries:
1. Cognitive – cognitive symptoms include all problems associated with thinking and the processing of information. Cognitive symptoms often manifest in a myriad of ways, such as:
- Failure to follow simple tasks
- Decision making
- Inability to follow instructions
- Inability to shift mental attention from one task to another
- Loss of memory
- Speech and language disorders, specifically in expressing thoughts or understanding others.
2. Perceptual – these symptoms are mostly physical and include impairment in an individual’s senses. It includes touch, sight, hearing and vision. Incontinence, such as the flow of bodily fluids, also becomes an issue. Sufferers of brain injuries often do not realize the evacuation of fecal matter or bodily flow.
3. Headaches – Mostly occurring directly following a serious head injury, and can be quite severe.
4. Fatigue – Brain injury victims constantly feel the urge to rest and sleep. In fact, any activity that involves using the brain takes a huge toll on the body.
5. Movement Disorder – includes temporary or permanent spasms, tremors, paralysis, or weakness of muscles
6. Epileptic Seizures – Seizures are unpredictable and extremely unpleasant. Usually not fatal.
7. Impairment of Motor Control – picking up a small object can become a challenge.
8. Sensitivity to Light
9. Sleep Disorders
10. Speech Disorders – Victims often have difficulty articulating themselves
11. Irritability and Impatience – These symptoms may arise out of a victims physiological symptoms of their brain injury, or from an overall displeasure from the brain injury itself. Coping with the brain injury can be taxing on a persons patience.
12. Dependence on Others – Especially true in the early phases of a brain injury. Almost every task requires some sort of mental energy and victims find it too difficult to continue working.
13. Denial of Brain Injury or TBI – Denial can be the product of memory loss, or simply an individual’s rejection of the notion that something is wrong with them.
14. Inability to Manage Stress – The ability to manage stress is often an overlooked quality in society. Victims of brain injuries often suffer from panic attacks, or in serious instances seizures. Additionally, victims feel extra amount of stress as seemingly remedial tasks, such as walking, are no longer as easy.
15. Apathy or Lack of Ambition – Often a secondary symptom which results from memory loss, lack of energy, or attention
16. Loss of Personal Identity – In addition to the loss of bodily functions, a loss of identity results from memory loss
17. Balance Disorders – Simple tasks such as walking or climbing stairs becomes trivial
18. Changes in Pain Sensitivity – Victims often suffer from a lower tolerance or threshold to pain
19. Loss of Sense of Time Brain injuries and traumatic brain injuries are a source of frustration and must be dealt with immediately. Most concerning is that many victims of TBI do not become aware of their symptoms until far after their injury. Even the smallest injury to the brain can result in very harmful symptoms.