Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a severe or moderate trauma to the head, where physical portions of the brain are damaged and functioning is impaired. The trauma can range from mild cases which cause limited functional impairments, such as a concussion or headaches. However, on occasion, the trauma can be much more severe and cause balance problems, mood changes and memory loss. TBI and PTSD have been called the signature wound of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the frequent and powerful blasts experienced in the field; an injury not commonly seen before.
Long and short-term effects of a TBI include:
The VA also offers
Polytrauma/TBI system of care which provides comprehensive and high-quality care for Veterans and Servicemembers. The VA offers TBI screening to all Veterans/active duty Servicemembers who served in the combat theaters of Iraq or Afghanistan. You are at particular risk for TBI if you were involved in a:
Blast or explosion (e.g., IED, RPG, land mines, grenades)
Fragment wound above the shoulder
If you choose to be screened, you and your health care team will get important information about your overall physical condition. If you have an injury to the brain, VA can start treatment more quickly and help you better manage symptoms. Veterans who believe they may have suffered a TBI during their time in the military may also go to the
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website for more information and support.
Crisis Intervention (24/7)U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)Suicide Prevention Hotline1-800-273-8255
If you just want to talk, call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center to talk to another combat veteran.1(800) 927-8387
DVBIC Information & Referral (24/7)Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE)Outreach Center1-866-966-1020
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