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Traumatic Brain Injury and Veterans: Family Help

Shundra Johnson returns a wedding ring to her husband Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson after his seated discus practice Navy’s wounded warrior training camp. Shundra is also her husband’s caregiver. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)
Shundra Johnson returns a wedding ring to her husband Coast Guard Lt. Sancho Johnson after his seated discus practice Navy’s wounded warrior training camp. Shundra is also her husband’s caregiver. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is considered one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI can be caused several types of events, such as blows to the head.

PsychArmor, a non-profit dedicated to bridging the military-civilian divide by providing resources to help community members and others engage veterans, has free video courses on a variety of military-related issues. This section of PsychArmor's Invisible Wounds of War at Home caregiver and family video series focuses on TBI.

In the first TBI video, Heidi Kraft, a clinical psychologist, Navy veteran and PsychArmor's clinical director, helps caregivers and families answer the question "what is TBI?" She examines the three levels of TBI -- mild, moderate and severe -- and reveals some of the symptoms associated with them. Kraft talks about what clinicians are looking for when assessing a TBI and how they make a diagnosis.

 

But how does a TBI look? Kraft goes through a litany of symptoms including headaches, mood swings, ringing in the ears and anger in the second TBI video, "TBI: What Family Can Do," as well as how families can work through the symptoms with their veteran and get help.

Families might feel that their veteran has changed drastically because of the TBI or other injuries, Kraft notes. It's important for families to know that the changes that come from TBI are the result of an injury, not part of anything that person is doing on purpose, she says.

 

Other videos in this series:

Caregiver courses help spouses

Learn about PTSD

Goodbye to Going it Alone

Choosing Your Words

Good Grief

Creating a Space for You

Focussing on the Forgotten Me