Brain Injury Awareness
Brain health is critical to the overall health and mission readiness of service members. Even a mild TBI can impact brain health and lead to long-lasting effects. These effects may impact deployability if not diagnosed and treated. It is imperative that you learn the causes and symptoms of TBI and know when to seek care.
Quality of Life
A TBI can impact your health and quality of life. There are several actions you can take to maintain a healthy brain and prevent or recover from a TBI.
- Minimize the risk of TBI by understanding the signs and symptoms.
- Seek medical attention for a TBI. It is critical to your recovery and is a sign of strength, not weakness.
TBI Prevention and Recovery
- TBI is a significant health issue affecting service members. Symptoms of TBI can range from mild to serious and can be physical, cognitive, and emotional.
- A TBI is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.
- Major blows to the head don’t cause all TBIs. Some less obvious causes could be whiplash from car accidents, blast waves, blows to the body that jolt the head, and contact sports.
- More severe TBIs can lead to mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and sleeping problems.
- If you leave it untreated, TBI can lead to long term complications. It is critical to seek medical care for TBI as soon as possible.
- TBI is treatable, and recovery is expected with appropriate care. In fact, most people who suffer a mild TBI recover completely.
- Returning to duty following any TBI, even mild ones, should take a progressive, step-by-step approach.
- Symptoms of a TBI may reappear or worsen if you resume military training, sports, or recreational activities too quickly.
- TBI recovery relies on an entire community of caregivers and family members that are full partners in the healing process.
Service Member Readiness
- TBIs affect service members both on and off the battlefield.
- Even a mild TBI can impact your readiness and ability to deploy.
- Only about 17% of TBIs occur in a deployed setting. Most TBIs occur in non-deployed settings like sports, recreation, car accidents, or slips and falls
- You can limit your risk of experiencing a TBI by wearing proper safety equipment when training, deployed, or recreating.
- Service members diagnosed with TBI can often experience changes to their psychological and social behavior, which impacts their mission readiness.
Additional Resources for Brain Injury Awareness
- Health.mil TBI Patient and Family Resources
- Health.mil TBI Providers
- Health.mil A Head for the Future
- Health.mil TBI and Total Force Fitness
- National Intrepid Center of Excellence TBI Research
- Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence TBI Research
- CHAMP TBI Prevention
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Symptoms of Mild TBI and Concussion
It is important for everyone to remember that we only have one brain. That means taking the necessary steps to protect your brain when engaging in sports, driving, or during exercises while on-duty.
Last Updated 5/2/2022