If you or a loved one was in a serious car, truck or bicycling accident that resulted in a TBI diagnosis, you may wonder what that means for you and your future. A traumatic brain injury sounds serious, but is it really as bad as the name implies?
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries — especially those medical professionals classify as “severe” — are as dire as the name implies. Though the effects of a TBI vary from situation to situation, the CDC details what families afflicted by severe TBI commonly have to deal with on both a physical and financial level.
The potential health effects of severe TBI
Brain injuries affect everyone differently, as everyone’s chemical makeup is unique. However, per the CDC, many sufferers of TBI have described the symptoms as being similar to those of chronic disease. While individuals who sustain mild to moderate cases of brain injury are more likely to experience a full recovery, those who sustain severe TBIs often live with lasting and debilitating effects. Those effects are as follows:
- Impaired motor function (weakness in the extremities, impaired balance and impaired coordination)
- Impaired cognitive function (memory and attention problems)
- Altered sensation (impaired touch, perception, hearing, and vision)
- Behavioral issues (depression, aggression, anxiety, trouble regulating emotions, personality changes and lack of behavioral control)
In addition to these changes, individuals who sustain moderate-to-severe TBIs often have a reduced lifespan.
Financial and relationship implications of severe TBI
The effects of a severe TBI do not just extend to a person’s health. Sadly, the consequences are often far-reaching and threaten to affect all aspects of a victim’s life, including familial relationships, friendships and professional relationships. Many TBI patients struggle to complete everyday chores, perform well in school or work, or enjoy once-loved hobbies. Due to the direct and indirect expenses associated with TBI, such injuries cost the U.S. approximately $76.5 billion each year.