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How Long Does It Take to Recover from Traumatic Brain Injury?

Posted in Our Blog on July 11, 2019

Traumatic brain injuries can be some of the most severe forms of damage we can experience. TBIs can impact multiple forms of function, including cognitive, behavioral, and physical, and lead to lifelong complications. While traumatic brain injuries are severe, there are possibilities for recovery.

If you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury, your path to recovery will depend on which parts of the brain your TBI involves, how severe your injury is, and your opportunities for rehabilitation.

What Happens Immediately After Your Injury?

The first few weeks after you suffer a traumatic brain injury are some of the most crucial in terms of recovery. Depending on your injury, you can experience swelling, bleeding, or even changes in your brain chemistry. These occurrences can impact your brain’s function and therefore your cognitive, physical, and intellectual abilities. Once the initial injuries improve, you can see an improvement in the rest of your brain function.

You may be in a coma or vegetative state after your brain injury, depending on what happened to you. You may also experience significant confusion in the first few weeks as well. You may experience difficulty sleeping, remembering things, or concentrating. Some days may be more functional than others, and you may experience normal ups and downs.

Recovery Processes in the Brain

The brain has a limited ability to heal itself in the first few months after the injury. The brain heals itself quickly at the beginning, but as time goes on, the healing process slows down. The rate of recovery varies from person to person.

You will likely experience faster progress and improvement within the first six months, improving your movement and cognitive functions. After the six-month period is over, you may still gain additional improvements, but they will likely not come as quickly as the first round of improvement. You may slowly gain more function for years after the TBI.

Long-Term Recovery for Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBI recovery is often a lifelong process, depending on your injury. While you are recovering from your brain injury, your medical team will prescribe activities, treatment options, and long-term healthy behaviors to help rehabilitate your brain, including the following.

  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs that could impact brain function
  • Regular exercise
  • Physical and occupational therapies
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Medications and treatment plans with a physiatrist
  • Appointments with a neuropsychologist and therapist

Long-Term Support and Coping Strategies for TBI Patients

Traumatic brain injuries can take years to recover from, and many patients will require lifelong care and treatment. If you or a loved one is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, you can engage in certain activities to help ease the recovery process.

  • Join a support group or see a therapist. Emotional support is very important following a TBI, and joining a support group or seeing a therapist can help you obtain it. You can learn new strategies for living with a TBI and learn more about your injury.
  • Establish a consistent routine. To reduce confusion and frustration, try to establish a schedule for yourself throughout the day and keep your personal space organized. By following a routine, you can ease your day-to-day activities and avoid getting lost, misplacing items, or becoming aggravated.
  • Avoid multitasking. With a TBI, it can be very easy to lose focus and become confused or disoriented. When you are working, make sure to focus at one task at a time.
  • Set aside time for breaks during the day. Working for a long time without reprieve can be overwhelming and cause issues with your TBI. Schedule times and make arrangements with your school or employer to take needed breaks.

While it is possible to recover from a TBI, the treatment costs can be expensive and last for years to come. If you need assistance paying for your TBI treatment, consider filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. A New Orleans personal injury attorney can help navigate you through these processes and outline your options for compensation.