Depression and TBI

I’ve been pretty depressed, for the past couple of weeks.

Just feeling low, not having much interest in doing the regular things.

And it came to a head, yesterday, when I bagged pretty much everything that I was supposed to be doing, until late afternoon, then went out, ran my errands, and returned home to make a half-assed dinner and veg out in front of the television.

It’s fair to say, I feel like crap. Or rather, I just don’t feel very much at all. I’m walking around in a daze, a hazy world where nothing really interests me, and everything seems pretty futile, overall.  I’m having trouble spelling, I’m uncoordinated, I’m having trouble remembering things, and I really don’t want to be here where I am, right now. I’d rather be riding a train through France, surrounded by people I cannot talk to (because I don’t speak French), left alone to my own devices, to just sit and watch the world roll by.

A lot of people probably feel the same way that I do. I think it’s normal. For what I’ve been through, over the past month – deaths in the family, my spouse’s mental state becoming less stable, pressures at work mounting, even though we’re supposed to be in the “easy” part of the year, and lots of travel back and forth to places many states away – small wonder, I’m fried.

Small wonder, I don’t feel like doing much of anything.

I’m just so baked.

And on top of it, my memory and coping skills aren’t exactly helped by the pressures. Life just happens. It’s just there. We can’t always stop the madness, but we do need to deal with it. Someone I used to know said that I complain too much — I’m not complaining. I’m trying to understand.

Why is that so hard for people to get? I just need to understand, so that I can do something about this whole deal I’m living with.


Oh, screw it. I’m just having a rough month (or two). It’ll pass.

Next week I’m traveling to see yet more family, and it will be fun — exhausting, I’m sure, but fun. In December, I get a whole week off, and I’m going to use it well. Until that time, I’m going to stay steady, just keep going, and do what I can to live my life. I don’t have to be un-depressed to be effective and get stuff done. I don’t have to be in a perky, chipper, can-do attitude, to just go about my business and discharge it as best I can. I can put on a good face and act like things are awesome, while knowing full well that I’m struggling behind the scenes.

Nobody else really cares about my frame of mind. Not really. They care about themselves and how they feel. No – that’s not true. A few people do care about my frame of mind, though that’s as much about them and how they feel about themselves as it is about me.

It doesn’t really matter, in any case. What matters is that life goes on, there are ups and downs, and the holidays are the #1 season for cultural depression. But of course. More on that later.

The good news is, depression doesn’t need to destroy me, and it doesn’t need to wreck my life. I know how to function really well, despite how I’m feeling inside. I just do my thing, and it comes together. And in the end, I usually feel better as a result.

I always feel better, in any case.

These things pass.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “Depression and TBI”

  1. I like this a lot! In my humble opinion, depression affords me the ease of the human ability to really know, who cares enuf to share the very best of themself, with me, for my better health and welfare. When listening to the venting process, I may have a tendency to hear myself resolve some of the very issues which has precipitated my depressed mood, simply by asking questions that ferret out additional information that I may have difficulty in recalling, or placing events in correct or sequential time frame. When done in a non-threatening manner, I can greatly benefit from depression-event supportive care for my tbi . I have learned, because my thought processes are often interrupted or naturally stray, it helps to have someone with which I can interact in a non-threatening manner. When reducing the urge to give an immediate answer, whether wrong or fabricated, so as to satisfy the urge when pressed, whether as a time constraint or any other immediacy, instead of having a truly friendly and conversational tone, it not only lengthens the conversation, it gives way to an accuracy of information not previously reached. Having a tbi is especially problematic because multiple functions may be “non-functional” at the time of the venting, making it all the more necessary for a person with/or without knowledge of tbi and my particular tbi affects, unable to afford me the time needed to express myself, or the necessary language skills to strike either the needed tone of the conversation or events in the narrative. Listening is not always an allotted nor allowed skill-set from either the general public or intimates, no matter if there is an awareness of my tbi history or not. Many people are pressed for time these days, and my conversations may take place at a far slower pace than would have been usual years ago. I often feel other’s urgency to fill-in-the-blanks, when words do not flow easily. It is then, that I am acutely aware, the “listener, is not a listener that I wish to “do my business with,” preferring instead to have a more relaxed and needed conversation with someone that can give me time and a sense of place, without urgency. If I need someone to listen to me, they need to allow me time to hear me, and to listen. When I find other’s to listen, I will at times, allow other’s to assist me in my loss for words by inviting others into my word-search by giving word-search clues. This word-search game allows others to know they do not always have to wait for me to arrive at a noun, pro-noun or verb on my own, but that they too, are allowed to interact as my partner in my aphasia, when I think the word is either out of “my reach” or for expediency in relating or re-telling a particularly crucial element or narrative. It is my own way of trying to smooth out the rough spots of my conversational narrative, to arrive at the conclusion I seek, rather than cover a silence. I believe, silence is an emotional power of conversation and must hang in between two people where needed and necessary. Listening is a difficult task, especially through the silence. It should not be covered up, hidden or run from. I expect my listeners to give me time to word-search on my own, ask questions in a non-threatening manner perhaps, wait. My listeners do not interrupt with complaints that I repeated myself. These seem to be common enough listening skills for those not naturally gifted in, or knowledgeable of, the difficult task of listening to those with tbi. Listening to silence during someone else’s pain is difficult for two, to bear, as a non-skilled listener. Whether in or out of the tbi community, many people will use various means to break the silence. Those people whom listen to people with tbi, will oftentimes jump in, perhaps where no one should tread? Worse yet, a depressed person with tbi may not be able to fully express their needs or desires, due to the amount of information overload, broken silences and the need but inability to express thoughts immediately or they become lost, seemingly forever if the listener is speaking and it is now the turn of the depressed person with tbi to maintain silence. Perhaps the listener will refuse to cede the stage of talk? What was it I wanted to say? I forgot!! It is a very difficult dilemma, to know when to listen, when to speak, when to interrupt a person with tbi, and know when to let the person with tbi interrupt the listener! A skilled listener, is a paid listener, or is a very knowledgeable of tbi, listener friend. I hope all of us with tbi are generously afforded good and wonderful listeners, when we need them.


Talk about this - No email is required

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: