From TBI to stupid and crazy and back again

I checked my stats this morning briefly, and as is often the case, a lot of people have found their way here by searching for information about tbi/concussion making you stupid or crazy or both.

Can tbi affect intelligence? Why does concussion make you crazy?

These are questions that people search on, time and again… and they often end up here.

So, if you got here through that kind of search, welcome. You’re in good company.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, lately — why and how does concussion/tbi affect your intelligence, your mood, your state of mind? Well, obviously, when your brain starts to behave unpredictably, it can lead to all sorts of upset. And since the brain controls the body, and tbi can lead to pain, insomnia, balance issues, etc., that can lead to depression. Because you can get so intent on just keeping things “normal” that you run up a huge adrenaline tab, and you end up really wearing yourself out — which can cause your mood to plummet into the basement, as well as affect the quality of your thinking and make you really feel/act stupid.

Most people I know think that depression is a psychological condition. But I really feel it’s much more physical than a lot of people will admit. Of course, with all the psychologists making their living off treating depression, the idea that exercise and regular rest and decent physical fitness (not to mention a bit more stamina) will resolve a ton of problems, isn’t going to be very popular or widely publicized. But I’ll repeat what I’ve heard someone else say (can’t find the quote to attribute right now) that a brisk walk will solve more problems than many hours in a psychologist’s office. And with all the research being done about the connections between exercise and cognitive/behavioral performance, there’s more and more science to back it up.

Personally, I know that after my own TBI in 2004, I became incredibly stupid and deeply depressed. I was hell to live with. I lost my job. I almost lost my marriage. I lost my self-respect. I lost most of the things I used to love, including being able to sit down and just read a book, memorize information, and recall it when I needed it. The rage and behavioral issues have abated considerably since then — and they really started to improve when I started exercising regularly, first thing in the morning.

I’ve gotten a lot more intelligent and sane since then — in large part because I started really taking better care of my physical fitness. It works. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. And keep at it. It’s worth the effort.

Anyway, I’ve got to get going. I slept in a little today — well, more like laid in bed for a few extra hours — and I have some things I’ve got to get done. I picked a doozie of a topic to blog about quickly, but I had to say something. More on that later.

Gotta run…

i have a tbi and i am tired of being stupid

Just feeling broken tonight...

Somebody searched on that yesterday, and found their way to this blog.

Can I just say, it seems like a LOT of people are doing that, lately… So many people with TBI feeling dumb, and saying so.

I’ve been feeling pretty dumb, myself, lately. I know I’m not a complete idiot, but I have been feeling dense, not quite with it, sort of stupid, on and off a lot, over the past weeks. I try to talk myself out of it, but it only goes so far. I know I’m tired, and that has a lot to do with it, but I still feel… off. Can’t seem to get right.

And yes, I have to say I agree with the person who found their way here the other day…

I also have a tbi and i am tired of being stupid

It’s so weird. I have all these coping mechanisms, I have all these tools I’ve learned to use, I have some regular support, and I know a lot about TBI and what it can do. But I still feel stupid. Dumb. Dense. And I don’t see it changing. There’s a part of me that always feels like I’ve lost parts of who I used to be, and I can’t seem to get them back. All I know is, they used to be there, and now I can’t find them anywhere.

Oh, well. What can I do? I guess I just have to keep finding out, each day, who else is “in here”. And see how far I can go with that.

But I still really resent the loss of those parts of myself, the loss of the sense that I’m a “real” person, and the loss of confidence that I’ll ever get back what has since shattered.

What’s done is done. Too bad. But geez, what I wouldn’t give to just have a sense of being 100% again. Just once.

You tell yourself often enough that you’re stupid…

And you can take yourself from this:

We all start from here

To this:

... and some of us end up here

Especially in the case of concussion or TBI, if you keep firing the same neurons that say Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!, you can eventually train your brain to act the way you expect.

Neurons that fire together, wire together. So be careful about what you wire, each day.

Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains

Just found an article about how Juggling Languages Can Build Better Brains

Recent research indicates that bilingual speakers can outperform monolinguals–people who speak only one language–in certain mental abilities, such as editing out irrelevant information and focusing on important information, said Judith Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Penn State. These skills make bilinguals better at prioritizing tasks and working on multiple projects at one time.

Read the rest here –>

I’ve been meaning to brush up on my languages – I had tried to learn Spanish, years ago, but I couldn’t handle the classroom environment. I also need to learn French, since I work with a lot of French speakers and I would like to travel to Quebec this year.

I’ve been reluctant to “take on too much”, but what’s to keep me from learning just some basic travel language? Nothing, really. I don’t need to know how to debate Kant and Spinoza, just get around and interact with people.

So, it looks like this is my next project.