A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI.
The severity of such an injury may range from “mild,” a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. The terms “concussion” and “mild TBI” (mTBI) are interchangeable.
A TBI classified as moderate or severe can result in short-term or long-term problems with independent function. Most TBIs are mild, and those who sustain them usually recover completely within 1 to 3 months.
Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones. For more information, and expert resources for TBI treatment please visit:
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and Brain Injury Association of America. Also, the VA Department of Veterans Affairs offers an informative phamplet available by download: Traumatic Brain Injury.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, ritual), and violent personal assaults, like rape. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged.
These symptoms can be severe and long lasting, and can significantly impair the ability to function in daily life. PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health.
PTSD is also associated with impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems, family discord, and difficulties in parenting. For more information, and expert resources for PTSD treatment please visit:
Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD