What’s in a word? Finding out how we talk about #TBI and #concussion

Looking for the original post? It’s moved here – https://tbiresearchriffs.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/whats-in-a-word-finding-out-how-we-talk-about-tbi-and-concussion/ – to my TBI research site


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.

2 thoughts on “What’s in a word? Finding out how we talk about #TBI and #concussion”

  1. The VAST majority of studies that are done on PCS are done on men, not women – so its interesting that you looked at this one. Say concussion and people think football but that is a very limited view – this is from an article I recent posted…

    Nor is brain injury a male only issue. A greater number of males incur severe injuries but the number of females continues to increase each year. According to the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement: Concussion in Sport 2012, ‘in sports with similar rules, female athletes actually sustain more concussions than their male counterparts; they also experience or report a higher number and severity of symptoms as well as a longer duration of recovery than male athletes’. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, within the military, female veterans are more frequently mis-diagnosed in cases of PTSD and TBI than their male counter parts.
    Recent studies have also shown that a large percentage of women in domestic violence centers are likely to have brain injuries. According to a r article by the New Yorker, (No Visible Bruises: Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injuryby Rachel Louise Snyder), the majority of domestic violence victims show signs of TBI’s, but they are not screened for them. Failure to address an underlying brain injury makes it more difficult for these women to successfully use other services such as job training programs and makes them more vulnerable to further victimization. It took decades for the medical field to recognize that heart attack symptoms differ for men and women; how long will it take for us to address gender differences in brain injury?

    THis article was 4 case studies – 4 – hardly qualifying as applicable to the broad spectrum of millions. (I also wonder about the fact that there may be some bias here – a study on emotional lability focused on women…). I haven’t been able to access and read the whole article yet – I agree that you cannot make PCS or mTBI a psychological issue – but there is a psychological component that is very important – and usually directly related to the injury (as well as societal response to the injury) – things like rigid thinking, depression, sucicidality (have you seen the recent paper about suicide and mild TBI?), pseudobulbar affect, isolation, loss of value and economic status – all these things combine. Most of the time CBT as a psychoherapeutic tool is the most effective tool psychologically – though often pharmaceuticals are used to address depression, impulsive and agressive behaviors, sleep issues or attention deficits. THe problem is that a person needs to have those meds monitored regularly ALONG with other programs such as CRT, CBT, and many others – and they usually aren’t because after 6 months or so a person is usually ‘out of the system’ if they are no longer in a hospital or residential program.

    I don’t take every study as gospel, I do believe that many researchers have a particular bias based on their experiences and so they transfer that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your response. I can forward you the study. The main concern for me is that it really set the stage for how people talk and think about these things. And yes, I believe there is marked bias in it – towards the female and male case studies. The lead author Ruff is the creator of several well-known np assessments. I have taken at least one of them – perhaps all 4.


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