A Service of brainline.org
Brain Injury Symptoms
Brain injury has become known as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because of the prevalence of the injury. As of 2011, more than 212,000 service members sustained a TBI. Symptoms — both physical and psychological — can also be difficult to diagnose and sometimes they don't appear immediately.
Although they can overlap, symptoms from a TBI are usually divided up into two basic categories: physical and emotional. The most common physical symptoms range from headaches and trouble sleeping to loss of balance and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Behavioral and emotional symptoms can range from depression and apathy to verbal outbursts and disinhibition.
Because they can be seen and measured, physical symptoms are often easier and faster to treat than emotional symptoms. And more serious physical problems can mean more serious emotional problems; they often go hand in hand. Although some service members with TBI have to adapt to physical or emotional issues resulting from TBI, many wounded veterans explore ways that they can remain involved with the military culture. Most will return to duty, some will require supports and modifications, and all will carry their military experiences with them into their futures.