How Long Does It Take to Recover from Traumatic Brain Injury?
Whether you fell from a roof or hit your head during a car accident, any damage to your head requires immediate medical attention. Our brain is one of the most important organs in our body, and damage to the brain can lead to damaging, lifelong effects. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can take a very long time, depending on the severity of the injury and the therapies you have to undergo.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when you suffer an injury to the head, either by a blow, violent jolt, or penetration. Brain injuries can range from mild damage to severe, debilitating, and life-threatening conditions. Since the brain is the control center of our bodies, brain injuries often impact how we think, remember, speak, move, and perform basic functions.Recovery from a brain injury can take a very long time, depending on a number of factors. If you are suffering from a brain injury, you may need to engage in very intense physical therapy routines to restore yourself back to maximum capacity. Surgeries and medications are also common. However, full recovery from traumatic brain injury is possible after a period of time.
Factors That Can Affect Recovery Time
Not all traumatic brain injuries are the same. Some injuries can take just a few months to heal, others may take several years, and others may be lifelong. However, certain factors can influence the length of your recovery time.
- The more severe the injury is, the longer it will take for you to recover.
- Different parts of the brain take a longer time to heal than others, and the damaged part of the brain will also determine what physical or cognitive impairments you may suffer from.
- The amount and quality of your rehabilitation program also influences your recovery time – intensive, high-quality rehab is more likely to produce results than low-quality rehab.
- The more engaged and attentive you are to your rehabilitation program, the more likely you are to make progress toward recovery.
- The more support you receive after the rehab program, the more recovery is likely to occur. Having supportive family, friends, and employers, as well as unofficial rehab treatments, can make a difference.
The Early Stages of Recovery
The initial moments after your brain injury are crucial to your overall recovery. As soon as you suffer a head injury, visit a hospital for treatment, even if you do not feel any initial symptoms. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be in a coma, vegetative state, or minimally conscious state.
After you move past this first stage, you may be in a period of confusion and disorientation. You may have amnesia and have trouble concentrating or remembering things. You may feel agitated or frustrated. However, you may also see certain improvements – some days may be better than others, but you may see progress over time.
The brain has a limited ability to heal itself. You are likely to see the most progress within the first six months after your injury – this is when the brain is working the fastest to repair the damage. However, recovery does taper off after that period, and you may notice slower milestones over time.
Recovery After the First Six Months
After your initial treatment and rehabilitation, your progress will slow down. This can feel disappointing, especially if you were making quick progress earlier. However, it is important to remember that this is a normal part of traumatic brain injury. Progress may come at a slower pace, but you can increase your chances of recovery by engaging in certain activities.Continue to participate in your program and see medical professionals regularly. Avoid activities that could hurt your progress, such as drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or participating in dangerous sports. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – approximately 30% of traumatic brain injury victims need some sort of assistance.
Traumatic brain injuries may be severe, but recovery is possible. However, this recovery can also be very expensive, depending on the types of treatment you need and how long you will need treatment. You can recover compensation for your past and future TBI medical expenses through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim – contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.