Although traumatic brain injuries are relatively common in today’s society, many people harbor seriously misguided ideas about TBIs, how they occur, and the abilities of their survivors. These misunderstandings can cause people to handle TBI issues poorly and lead to a lack of awareness that’s detrimental to social and medical improvement.
It’s important that the average person understand a little more about those with traumatic brain injuries. Here are the top five common misconceptions about TBI survivors that people need to stop perpetuating.
- The survivor looks normal, so they must be fine. This is rooted in the idea that all injuries must be visible in order to have long-lasting effects. However, many TBI survivors show little to no sign of their injury, but they are still dealing with internal complications and mental struggles.
- Only severe mental injuries are considered to be real TBIs. In reality, there is a range of TBIs, including “mild TBIs” that have more subtle but still life-changing effects. Not every TBI is of the same severity, and each injury can lead to different challenges.
- Recovering from a TBI is a simple matter of mental exercise and medical treatment. Most individuals with even a mild TBI take months or even years to recover, and improvements may be followed by sudden setbacks. Although most TBI survivors can heal to some extent, they may never fully recover from their injury
- TBI survivors cannot hold steady jobs without serious mental accommodations. Fortunately, many survivors are actually able to work normal jobs and contribute to society without accommodations. Even if they do need accommodations, they are usually fairly simple and inexpensive. The idea that a TBI survivor cannot be an effective employee is simply false.
- Everyone who has a traumatic brain injury also has PTSD. Although PTSD has very similar symptoms (mood swings, social difficulties, personality changes, sensitivity to noise), not every TBI survivor develops the psychological disorder.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider reaching out to the non-profit organization TryMunity. They are constantly working to increase awareness about TBIs, and they offer support to survivors and their families through their online social community. Join today to share your TBI story, give advice to others, and spread awareness to the public. To learn more or sign up, visit www.trymunity.com.