Common impairments following TBI

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The specific impairments are particular to each person. These impairments can be profound and long-term with personality and behaviour change leading to significant lifestyle effects.

In addition psychological distress post TBI is highly prevalent after a TBI and can present with mixed mental health issues with features of depression, anxiety, anger and stress.

Examples of common impairments

Neurological impairment (motor, sensory and autonomic)

  • Sleep disturbance – insomnia, fatigue
  • Medical complications – spasticity, post-traumatic epilepsy, hydrocephalus
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Sexual dysfunction

Cognitive impairment

  • Memory impairment, difficulty with new learning, attention and concentration, reduced speed and flexibility of thought processing, impaired problem-solving skills
  • Problems in planning, organising and making decisions
  • Language problems – dysphasia, problems finding words and impaired reading and writing skills
  • Impaired judgment and safety awareness
  • Cognitive fatigue

Personality and behavioural changes

  • Impaired social and coping skills, reduced self-esteem
  • Altered emotional control, poor frustration tolerance and anger management, denial and self-centredness
  • Inappropriate social behaviour including increased anger or aggression
  • Reduced insight, disinhibition, impulsivity
  • Psychiatric disorders – anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis
  • Apathy, amotivational states

Part of Paul's story

Continuing to re-learn

Living skills

ADL support and rehabilitation training provided by father, case management, return to work program, social work

Living in the community

Services and activities

ADL support provided by father, community team monitoring, case management

Paul's complete story

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