The term "mild traumatic brain injury" can be incredibly misleading, causing enormous suffering and relationship strain on those that suffer from one. I you have suffered a mild TBI, it is crucial to understand that it is a real injury, with very real consequences.
When the medical community refers to a mild TBI, it is doing so by noting that there are both severe and mild instances of brain injury. A severe brain injury is a very serious matter that can lead to coma, paralyzation or death. Compared to the prospect of dying, it is reasonable to refer to a less-severe brain injury as "mild."
However, the term "mild" often implies that the injury is not serious. While that may true of other kinds of injury, such as a sunburn or a bruise, any kind of brain injury can have devastating effects.
Similarly, "mild engine failure" may not be as catastrophic as "total engine failure," but both are still very serious problems and one should address them quickly and professionally.
How might a mild traumatic brain injury affect me after an accident?
Let's assume you received a mild TBI in a car accident, while your friend, who was also in the accident, broke his or her arm. The broken arm is the more obvious injury, and its effects on your friend are more obvious. However, the recovery time on a broken arm is also fairly straightforward, and wearing a cast gives others a good indication that things are still healing in there.
Conversely, you mild TBI may be more or less invisible to your community. In fact, unless, you get proper medical diagnosis and treatment, your mild TBI may be invisible to you!
There are some symptoms that are simple to pinpoint - ongoing headaches and even seizures can occur as a result of a mild TBI, for instance. However, some of the most debilitating effects of a mild TBI are difficult to quantify, and may leave you feeling isolated and crushed by your everyday life.
The more subtle effects of a mild TBI may include difficulty forming new memories, or accessing short-term memories, or trouble understanding conversations and frequent misunderstandings of things that seem simple.
You may also experience heightened irritability and an inability to concentrate or finish tasks. You may even find that you don't react to familiar situations like you used to.
While these may seem like small problems, when combined, they can bring a career or relationship to a grinding halt. Not only that, but the symptoms can last up to year after the initial injury.
It is easy to see how your work and family life might suffer greatly if, for the next year, you could not concentrate on tasks or understand context in conversation, and became irrationally irritable when you faced these frustrations.
Get the help you need as soon as you can
If you have suffered a mild TBI, it is crucial to your livelihood and relationships that you get the help you need immediately. This may mean a number of things, such as professional medical care that can diagnose your injury and prescribe an appropriate regimen for recovery.
It also means building a strong legal team that understands the nuances of brain injuries and can help you fight for justice after your injury. Proper legal counsel will fight for the most fair compensation for your losses while protecting your rights throughout the process.