I am curious to know if there are any others on DV that have had one of multiple head injuries (TBIs) that resulted in concussion, and if so, how it has changed you as a person and affected your life. I've had two and I've never been the same since. I would like to compare notes and hear any experiences anyone might have to share.

My first TBI (which in hindsight caused the most damage by far) was when I was hit in the head with a metal discus in high school during a rainy track meet when I was in 8th grade. The second time was in the Army when I was landing a from an air jump in which the risers from my parachute (when it deployed) pulled my ACH (helmet) all the way back and completely loosened the straps. As I was nearing the ground (which you do at a speed that regularly causes at least mild to moderate injuries, if not major ones), the wind completely changed direction and came from behind. I landed forward and my helmet slid all the way forward onto the bridge of my nose and I completely landed smacking my head on the ground and along with getting a TBI, broke my nose.

I can't be all that sure what all effects the second one had, but the effects of the first one have had a major impact on my life. I wasn't aware of the scope of what the injury had done for a good while, but that was because I was too all over the place to be able to keep track of anything or care about it. After 6 or so months of long, just achy headaches, I became the most depressed I can ever see myself being. I was extremely aggressive and felt a great urge to be violent all the time but controlled myself. My irritation, annoyance, anger, and flat out rage at all times was the most intense set of emotions I have ever experienced and have ever since. I became totally reclusive, highly anxious, and completely awkward during conversations. Once I started to recover after about 2 years of that, I felt like I had to relearn how to be social all over again. I had no concept of social cues, what I should say or do in a situation, or anything like that. Highly public settings meant for entertainment and lots of interaction still caused some anxiety in me. After going through the military I have become plenty adept in talking to people again (the ability to make small talk is pretty easy where as it was impossible before). I've gone from almost being a mute to never shutting up. I'm not social at all really though, and still quite reclusive, and unaware of the finer subtleties of many social cues and situations that require handling in a special way.

My memory has been completely shot since the first injury. I have to be told things to do up to 4 times... in a row. Not all the time, but it's happened numerous times. I also have trouble selectively concentrating on anything. I get pretty easily distracted. I also can have entire conversations with somebody and make fairly important decisions during that conversation and have no idea the conversation even took place 5 minutes later... if I actually thought about it, I'm sure it never registered at all. I just knew I was talking.

I'm still fairly aggressive and prone to massive irritation, but not to such an alarming extent. Anyone I talk to diagnoses me as depressed ever since experiencing what I did in high school it fails to register as depression for me. It does fit the bill though. I can't hold a steady job, I have no plans for the future, I am entirely apathetic about everything, and I feel like I recognize I'm a lazy piece of shit simply because I am the type of person I commonly complain about (mostly in my head) and call worthless. The designation doesn't necessarily bother me, I simply accept it so as not to be a total hypocrite. I know that it's not exactly the case but my successive failure after failure to get my life on track or at least steady should be something that worries me. However, anxiety is not something I really ever feel any more. I have almost no sense of fear either. Risky behavior is all I want to engage it because it's the only thing that makes me feel like I'm actually living (I used to achieve that with drug abuse but have since moved past that). I know I can't, and that now that this has gone on long enough that literally everyone is sick to death of it (most of all me just because how stagnant my life is), so I refrain from it. However, nothing is stimulating any more either. Nothing legitimately interests me, I lack any motivation whatsoever (this has been a problem since high school), and I don't feel like it's ever going to change. It's only gotten worse, trying new medications or not, there is no improvement. I suffer from blunted affect and as a result feel very shallow "masks" of emotions. Emotions I know only through words or labels and that it is what some distant part of me is saying I am. I do not feel any emotion. Except of course anger, which is easy because I'm irritated by everything and become a more dickweed asshole every day and have to put more and more conscious effort into being the type of person I think I should be because if nothing else I'm going to act the part. I embraced being an asshole before, but it caused things to spiral out of control worse. No progress can be made if you decide to be a bad person and not give a fuck about it simply because morals have no meaning to you any more. I observe a lot sociopathic tendencies as well. They have been curbed a bit out of sheer will not to revel in being a manipulative asshole like I used to be.

Language also has lost its meaning, although since my feelings are gone, my world is defined almost solely as language anymore. I don't have any vibes or "understandings" or feelings about things any more. It's just cold hard descriptive language. And the language is becoming more and more muddled and the words and what they should mean or indicate about somebody's current emotional state or intentions are become more and more lost on me. It's hard for me to actually realize if I'm not just being an asshole around people I talk to unintentionally. I try to make up for it by being overly nice, polite, or generous--and apologizing a bit more than I know I should for things. I can't feel any situations out or understand things based on words. I have to actively analyze somebodies behavior and think critically about what they're saying it and what their motivations for saying this and behaving this way actually are. It has allowed me some insight in reading body language a bit more, but it really doesn't mean anything if I am actively engaging with somebody. All I do is think and I can't stop, even if I wanted to. I also have lots of sleeping issues.

Well, I know that was quite the long rant, but feel free to one up me! I don't get any joy knowing anyone has to deal with not being able to function but appearing pretty much normal on the outside at all, but I do have interest in reading experiences in order to gain greater insight into my own experiences and to learn more about how you may cope with your issues. Not to mention it's pretty nice to have vented all that, maybe it could help you out too?