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Life After Brain Injuries: Are We Still the Same People?

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Biology 202
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Life After Brain Injuries: Are We Still the Same People?

Alyson Dymkowski

During the summer of my junior year, a friend of mine, we will call her "Jen", got into a horrible car accident. Apparently sitting in the middle of the backseat, only strapped in with a lap belt, my friend hit her head on the side window, smashing the window upon impact. After 3 weeks of being in a coma, my friend eventually recovered. Even though she was deemed "physically" healed, my friend was truly never the same. Not only had her demeanor and interests changed, but also it seemed as if she had become a completely different person after her accident. I thought it very sad at the time, because the friends who had been close to her before were no longer close. I did not understand what they meant when they said that she had become a different person. Certainly, I realized that she had changed, but I could not fathom that she was now so different that they could no longer treat her like the old "Jen". I believed that this new "Jen" was still the same person as before-that the inner soul with which they had become friends had never and, indeed, could never change. However, after reading Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, by Antonio R. Damasio, I regret the harsh judgments I made about "Jen's" friends. Dealing with someone who has suffered from a tremendous change in personality is not as easy as one would expect.

Descartes, a famous philosopher, once made the statement, "Cogito ergo sum" (6). Like, Descartes, I previously believed that a separation between the mind and one's body existed. I believed that the mind of an individual was his or her soul and that the brain and body were just the machinery used to share that soul with the outside world. I never thought that an injury to the brain could cause a change in the entire essence of a person. However, Damasio espouses beliefs which are the exact opposite of Descartes. Damasio argues that the brain and mind are two inseparable entities and that thinking is the function of the brain. Aristotle once stated, "If the eye had a soul, it would be seeing". Using this format, a soul is defined as the function of something. If the function of the brain is to think, then it would follow that the soul of a person exists in one's mind, where the capability to think is lodged. If this mind is the consequence of a functioning brain, then it can be said that when a brain suffers an injury, an individual's entire essence is injured as well. This idea of a person's essence, or soul, changing is controversial. I believe this controversy arises because it is too frightening for a person to fathom that his intrinsic being could be permanently changed as a result of an unpreventable action. However, the evidence in favor of the premise that the mind is a function of the brain, or the brain is equal to one's behavior, is astonishing (5).

Brain injury is any injury that results in damage to the brain. For many people who suffer from brain injury, the problems associated with it become a permanent part of their lives. The problems that develop depend upon which part of the brain is injured. People can lose cognitive and motor functions as well as their ability to express thoughts and perceive their surroundings. The most unnerving consequence of a brain injury can be a change in personality. Often after being injured victims, like my friend "Jen", develop an apathy and decreased motivation for life. Emotion can run to both extremes: a forever high, or as in the case of my friend, an absence there of (1). In society there is a difference in the response shown to someone who has suffered a brain injury that changes his or her personality, and someone whose injury has affected any other part of the body, or even other types of injuries to the brain. What accounts for this difference? If an individual loses a limb, he loses the function of that limb as well. It makes sense then that when an individual loses part of his brain, the function of that part goes too. This is in correlation with the statement, brain = behavior. Each part of the brain seems responsible for different behaviors, a fact that is reinforced when examining injuries to different areas of the brain and the varying results that occur. For example, if an individual suffers injury to their amygdala, he becomes calm and almost devoid of emotional ups and downs. People have therefore reasoned that this area of the brain is responsible for exhibiting anger and possessing violent emotions (9). If the function of a specific area of the brain is a defining characteristic of an individual's personality, then it is almost as if a new person develops, in place of the old, when an injury to that area occurs.

In the summer of 1848, a man named Phineas Gage incurred a traumatic injury to the frontal lobe region of his brain after a sudden explosion sent a rod straight through his head. Against many odds, Phineas survived, but afterwards his demeanor changed dramatically. Once a calm, balanced, and levelheaded man, Gage became an overly emotional, unbalanced and quite vulgar man upon recovery. Friends he had had previously, now compared him to an animal and made the perplexing statement, "Gage was no longer Gage" (3). The most frightening thing about this story is that, although Gage was very different, he was not aware of the changes within himself. In class we have explored the nervous system and noted that there is a separate I-function involved, making one aware of the "self". With each class, it becomes more evident that this I-function has less and less control on the rest of the nervous system. Many times the I-function is not aware of things that the nervous system is doing until the person is told what his or her nervous system is doing, (i.e., when the brain makes up an image for the place of vision, the optic nerve, where no sensory receptors are located). So the question I have for people like Gage, who seem to be totally dissimilar people after suffering a brain trauma, is whether or not their I-functions are aware of the change in personality? People suffering from a personality change are unable to will themselves back to their old personality, even after their I-function is made aware. This furthermore, supports that brain equals behavior, because if behavior was independent of the brain, one would be able to change their personality back despite the brain changes. However, can we ever be sure that, because we are not mind readers, that even though their personality changes, they are not thinking in the same manner, as Descartes would argue? And if the individual thinks in an entirely new manner, would that really be enough to consider him or her a totally different person?

The likely reality is that when someone's brain is injured, the function is forever injured as well. There is no separation between mind and brain. Popular opinion of the mind's function is that it is a result of a brain process. Although when the brain loses a function, it is not unlike the reaction incurred in any other part of the body, but the more important query remains. Which characteristics do we use when defining a person's being? If Gage had suffered from a trauma to any other part of his body and survived, his friends would never have said that Gage was no longer the same person. Often when people undergo a personality change, their IQ remains unaffected by the injury. This is because of the various tasks delegated to the brain. The frontal lobe has evolved to be the main organizer. If people, like Gage, damage this region of their brain, their persona changes because this region is imperative for defining one's personality. However, if Gage had suffered from an injury to his temporal region, his personality would seem the same, only his memory would be adversely affected (9). An example of a personality change as a result of frontal lobe damage is a 12 year old boy who was in a car accident. Since the accident, the child has been aggressive and suffers from unpredictable destructive fits. Although his I.Q remains at 128 since the accident he has been expelled 3 times from different schools for his hostile persona, brought about after the damage to his brain (4). What, then, is the most important factor accounting for the way a person becomes defined; what has happened to make the various regions of the brain become so specialized? Has there been a gradual process through evolution that makes the loss of the frontal lobe harder to deal with than the loss of other regions of the brain, or other body parts? Or has the brain always functioned in this manner? When examining the responses to what appears to be injuries that are all serious in nature, it becomes apparent that some injuries are, indeed, more acute than others. Although an injury which is noticeable may on the surface seem more life changing, it cannot be argued that it is the injuries which are held within one's mind that are the most devastating to a person's being. Yes, they are all injuries to the body, but only those touching the brain have the capacity to change the "soul" of a person.


1)Brain Injury Society, A good site defining what brain injury is, its causes, and its treatments

2)Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide, a good diagram of the frontal lobe of the brain and a good description of its functions

3)Cyber Museum of Neurosugery, a good site about Phineas Gage

4)Alasbimn Journal, a legal page discussing the issues of aggressive personality change and the law

5) Antonio R. Damasio, Descartes' Error, New York: Avon Books, Inc., 1994, a great book with much about Phineas Gage and other Brain injury victims

6) Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., 1998, can't read one without the other!

7)Athiest Site, a site dedicated to atheism that explores some of the questions this paper raises

8)American University, a site outlining the neurospychology of emotion

9)University of Northern Iowa, a site dedicated to the effects of different injuries to the brain



Comments made prior to 2007

Hi, I just wrote the following letter to a Brain Injury Treatment Center I spent the last two weeks at. I have suffered a total of four brain hemorrhages in the right Frontal Lobe. Since the last one, a year ago, the entire essence of my being has changed. It has been completely devastating to me, yet they say I scored much higher on my tests than they anticipated. It has rocked my world. I am an ordained Minister, yet this brain injury has changed me spiritually as well. If you would like any information regarding this please feel free to correspond. Professionals need to understand this. Here is the letter I wrote before finding your article:

Thanks for writing. I have some concerns about the following aspects of this brain injury. I guess what people are not understanding is that my entire being and former personality has changed. I'm not the same spiritually, mentally or emotionally since the last brain hemorrhage. God was my life, and my relationship with Him was everything to me. I no longer have that. Oh, I know God still loves me, but it's all just knowledge now and not true intimacy. I have been emotionally and spiritually flat-lined. This brain injury has changed my whole life. No matter what I do, or how hard I try to make things better, I am still absent. How can I function as a robot for the rest of my life and find any pleasure in that? Everything I was, is no more. I am a stranger to myself, and to those who once knew me. I used to be a very optimistic, passionate person, full of compassion, insight and wisdom. Now I am an empty shell. From the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night, I simply have to act because I am no longer present. My only hope right now, is the hereafter. I am not depressed or suicidal, I am simply stating the facts. Living as a robot, is like living in a private hell that no one seems to fathom the depths of. Just try to imagine being thrown into someone else's body in which the former person has vacated, leaving you in charge and you don't have a clue what to do? I know I may have scored high on the tests, but how can you test someone's personality changes and their loss of identity? Is there anyone that truly understands Frontal Lobe Injury? ... Debra Kirby, 2 February 2006



My son was in car accident in 2001 with my mom who died on impact it was two cars one going 55 the other going 70 my moms was the one 55. Everyone died except my son who i swear to God i didnt bring the same son home. He yelled alot and cussed made my life hell for sevreal years who ende up making me take a job on the rode to get away. Everytime he yells he threatens to kell people even kids, Threatens who he is yelling at and later appoloizes for it.he used to scare me, wake me, and sometimes be so sweet later like my old son, he was 15 then now he is 21 cant get people to see he is not normal and never will again..i couldnt take the pressure anymore feel bad but just there any medication or herbs, can he get on disability, he dont seem to want to work it seesm that way but not forsure he really gets it tho. He threatens death or u used to, wishes he had never lived i love him, miss him..please help me..and please send some kind of report to my sister who to this day thinks he is forever the same child but he is not..please please help him, me, and please pray for him..and me and my daughter who he stays with ... Lena Woods, 28 April 2007


Nancy's picture

Hi, I understand you and your changed life.

I went threw the wind shield of my sisters car and almost died from it. I have frontaql lobe damage to my brain.I was at the tender age of 16.Now I am 56 and I have lived with sustaining this brain injury for more then 39 years. I know what it is to act, feel, and wake up a different person then what I was then. I know the deliel and guilt the family circle are dealing with because your different, and i know how much they want the old you back. But, you can heal. And eventually except and love who you act like now., Your still the same person God created you to be but your behavior has changed. Now you have to train your mind to relive the old you. I have gone to therapy, physiologist, psychiatrist, counselors all my life and I also take medication, not everything the doctors prescribe, im selective. I know medications out there alter your personality. they can make you worse, but the 2 medications that have helped me so much are Zoloft 50 mil daily and Clonidine ,3 tablets .05 mil a day. Also, there is a technique called EFT tapping meridian points . Here are some videos that will help you. (Clearing Anger) (Clearing Fear and Worry) You'll Be Okay -(Fear that things are out of your control) (Tapping for Rejection and Abandonment )

Just remember, your not alone. Now you have to go meet people who have suffered brain injuries like us so You will start loving yourself again.

You can email me anytime.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Personality Disorders

I totally agree with the viewpoint in this article in that quite a few people who have suffered intracranial & cerbrospinal defects behave almost in a similar manner. Personalities of those who have experienced unusual trauma is very similar. I know of a friend whose father was very much a grouchy, eccentric,geriatric & senile person who unfortunately suffered from the mighty impact of a blood clot to his brain. Of course corrective surgery procedures were performed but in the ensuing years, memory loss, deranged thinking & lack of level headed judgement was very obvious in him in addition to his obvious flaws. Now whether this was a direct impact of the injury is difficult to fathom but if we were to factor in the before & after theory
it surely makes it plausible doesn't it? I also feel that more research needs to be done in this subject besides counseling such people of how to get into the mainstream living will be that much more helpful

Anne E Ricketts's picture

Life After Brain Injuries: Are we the same people?

Any kind of brain injury can create the illusion that a person has changed, even to the person themselves. However, what actually happens after brain injury is that the damage to the brain disrupts usual behaviours. The basic personality of a person stays intact - it is only the outward behaviour that changes. From the 'inside' being unable to bring memories, words and beliefs to mind, can make it feel as though we are no longer who we were before. We need to be gentle with ourselves while we heal. From the outside it can seem as though we have changed, but this is based on a healthy perception that lacks an understanding of what is really going on on the 'inside' of the survivor.

Herta's picture

My brian Injury Life strugles

Hi, everyone, I am here because I feel like the people in general in my life have made my life a living hell to a certain extent.
I am a single mom and I do have a job but, now think that people at work might be holding my brain injury against me. I think that since they are aware that they might be considerd a risk which I feel I am not. As the person that I am I do think that Yes, I am fragile mentaly because of my brain injury but that does not make me brain dead, no! just more prone to severe stress only. People that do not understand will always continue to be mean to me because they are not in my shoes and are not living my complex life. I feel like I have to bring up the brain injury thing in order to make these people leave me alone and not hurt me any more. I love to work and I can learn new things but it is about just letting me spead my wings so to speak. I would like to have a boyfrined and I would like to maybe get married someday. But the boyfriend thing definatly would love to have. I think that people fear me because they don't know how to approch me. They may feel like if they say something to me that they might insult me or hurt my feelings some how, but that is not true. I noticed when I am in the presence of a man and notice that they might be interested in me, they either have a women with them or some of their males friends. I feel that they are insecure men and I do not like insecure men. I feel that they are just a waste of my time and I don't even bother even going there with them.

Julie Unruh's picture

after the brain injury

Hi, please don't let them hurt you, just be strong.
I have a brain injury also.

Janet Cook's picture

Loss of Memory

My friend has had a kidney transplant, that did not go well, and subsequently required additional surgery. He got sick on the plane home and by some strange coincidence has ended up in China where he has had surgery. He was in a coma after the surgery for about two weeks. He is awake and knows his name, but does not remember me or other friends. He is alone in that country and I cannot contact him because I don't even know what hospital he is in. And because he does not remember me, he does not call.
One of the nurses in the hospital did call a friend and that is how we even found out how he was. But so far I cannot get in touch with him, and he does not remember me. So I guess my question is: is there any chance he will regain his memory. Or is there any hope without really knowing the whole medical situation? The nurse that called his friend said he would get his memory back but I am not sure that he knows that. And this nurse keeps his phone powered off so I cannot am left in a horrible, scary situation. His friend wants me to go to him but I am afraid because I don't know the language and if he does not even remember me, he may not even want me there. I don't know what to do. I guess eventually I will find out where he is via the friend and the nurse...he just doesn't hear often and no way to call.
Is it possible to remember your past after surgery? Has anyone ever heard of anything close to this? I don't know anything,
and am so emotionally distraught that I cannot think straight.

Julie Unruh's picture


Yes, he will regain his memory, go with his friend to see him in the hospital. Don't despair, your friend is going to be fine, it will take a while for him to get his full memory back. But, things from his past life (before the surgery), like a smell or a color or word, will trigger his memory.

leena's picture

my boyfriend's accident

Hii.. I'm from africa.. My boyfriend got a car accident when he was 17 years..he was sitting in the middle of backseat and he didn't wear seat belt so his friend who was driving hit the break so hard that he came out of the front window..and he got his head so hurt that he lost his memory for sometime but not long but when he recovered his memory he became different.. Now he's 27yrs but still his different.. He gets angry in little things, he's talks weird staff sometimes as if he's gone compltly crazy, sometimes he becomes angry that he tries to kiLl someone.. I realy love him a lot .. I just want him to be normal.. My family doesn't allow me to get married with him becomes of his condition.. Sometimes I also get scared of him too.. Please tell me how I can treat him .. I want to have a family with him. I want him to be normal.. Plzz I need help :'''(((

Julie Unruh's picture

brain injury help

Did he ever go to a Rehabilitation Center, did he see a therapist. I was in a car accident 15 years ago, I had to be in a Rehabilitation Center for a year, a therapist for 1-5 years, I also kept journals all the years I was out of the accident. I tried writing in them every night, but that did not work, usually too tired.
Another thing, of course he is not going to be the same, please don't try to make him what he use to be. And, there is no such thing as normal, everyone is a little off. People are like snow flakes, no two are alike. Be understanding and be there for him, that is all you can do.

Crystal GUEST's picture

Living with my BF injury

Hi Leena,

I just read your story, and was taken by it, because I am in a very close situation. My boyfriend was 17 when he had his car accident. He is 40 now, and I have been with him for nearly 2 years. He gets angry very easily, and I love him with all of my heart. I am a very passionate person, and I have always lived my life as if I am in a soundtrack to the best love story ever. That is how I love. I am deep and emotional, and we are different. He says he doesn't get butterflies and emotional because of his brain damage. Is this true? Is it an excuse? This is the rest of my life I am focused on, and sometimes I don't think he cares.. I am in such a hard place, and I honestly don't know what to do..

Serendip Visitor's picture

yes, there is a huge chance

yes, there is a huge chance that his capacity to feel emotion connected to thoughts has been damaged. I tried to go through motions with a girlfriend I had at the time, but I just could not feel and looking at her was so painful because it just reminded me that I was no longer the same person. I ended up California and through another language discovered a self who could feel. hearing English in "feeling situation" made me "lose time". I have severe ptsd attatched to it. and then I had another insult to the brain in 2006? And now for eight years time is just fragmented. some days are pretty good, but I feel it's over now. i'm not sure that I wished I survived some days. Increasing my desire for isolation is that I am not understood therefor not believed by almost everyone because I have retained most prior learned memory and due to ptsd and living in bad judgement, It was a must that I learned to be as aware as possible of every little thing. Learning new stuff is a lot more effort than anytime in my life. At least storing it in meaningful ways. but somehow if I had to take those stupid IQ tests I might still come out doing very well. I just might forget when I took it. I am very aware of my tendency for dumb comments or action, so I do not react much to anything as it happens anymore. I'm thinking of walking OHIO promoting TBI awareness because I know returning vets are not getting the patience and respect and treatment that they earned in such a big way. I can't say I earned great treatment so much, but mistreatment from the medical profession and total disrespect has me angry inside some days, but mostly just sad because down deep I know it's not their fault. Yes I'm grateful that I have food, a roof, people who refuse to give up trying with me, but it's all just a lot of work. And since I feel no sustained meaningful emotion much, the motivation lacks. Service is the only way out but even that is a question of where. So, walking OHIO alone with pamphlets might be a good meaningful move, so people don't get abused with this problem. I offered a ninety year old to clean his yard. I can deal with a ninety year old. And I'd like to do some yard work if shoulder allows it. How could one not feel depressed with an identity interrupted like this. Imagine waking up and not really knowing what was important to you or what your interests are. And how to say "hi" to someone. Either I do this walk with pamphlets or I may just go into full isolation. God bless.

rishi's picture

brain bleed

finally i have found what i been looking for on this sad to hear all urs stories and i wish the best for u and ur a 28 old guy from india..and i had a bleed inside my brain in 2009 i had no sign or symptoms and i had no accident and all...all i knew that i was jst talking to a friend and suddenly i was going down and everything was getting dark...i opened my eyes in hospital icu after 4 days which was my b'day and the doc said it was a horrible bleed inside ur brain which is a type of Brain Hemorrhage ..its been 3 years i had no problem ..i speak well and i walk well also play sports and nothing phisically nor emotionally ..i work and i enjoy...the only problem i face is difficultly in talking to peoples i dont know. more angry now..more careless..and i still drinks twice a week..i had no brain bleed in last 3 years and the blood clot i had in my brain is heeled and gone...i still drink so i wanna know is there any chance that i will have bleed inside brain again in future...i have a 1 years old worried about his future ..plzz tel me what are the chances of having next brain bleed..

Serendip Visitor: Amy Lifestar's picture

Your Concern about Brain Hemorrhage

Hi Dear!

Yes, any harmful and toxic condition that derived from the external environment could and will increase the risk and episode of another brain bleed for a person who has had such incident in the past! Although drinking twice a week generally is not a big deal, but it is for someone with a history of brain hemorrhage because the “substance and intensity of ingesting alcohol and/or other environmental toxins will intensify and mutate your internal brain structures and functions if not rapidly, it will be gradually without your notice in the beginning.

In terms of the changes in your mentality and emotions POST your brain hemorrhage incident, it is possible that your limbic system (the control center for a person’s emotions and feelings) has been somehow altered to a way that is not completely you even though you are mostly you and as a result, you tend to become more upset easily and gets disorganized or distracted without your intention!

The truth is IF you are currently not on any combination of natural and healthy supplements (i.e. vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, herbs, homeopathic medicines, etc.), while you really need to find out what supplements you need and how much you need and what your body symptoms and body systems (CNS--Central Nervous Systems, PNS—Peripheral Nervous System, and ANS—Autonomic Nervous System, and other Body Systems) tell you what to do; NOW would be a good idea to consider Supplementation Therapy for yourself and for your body systems as a whole! Incidentally, if a person is already on and have been on any prescribed medication for a while; the “effects after taking supplements will not and could not have the same effects on the body systems as opposed to only taking supplements alone” since medication per se has its own unnatural compounds and substances in the pill. In addition, if taking supplements and prescribed medication together and with the wrong dosage or over dose, it could and will cause harmful effects or side effects to the human body systems!

So, if you do decided to precede with more a natural care for your bodily and daily deficits, symptoms, or weakness, etc. with Supplementation Therapy; PLEASE ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN or SPECIALIST WHO IS DOING FOLLOW-UP CARE for your former brain hemorrhage CONDITION BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING or PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR BODY SYSTEMS OR MOUTH since your physician(s) know the history of your condition! With that being said, after you informed your physician(s) what you intend to do, then “you and them could decide upon the best approach to take for your goals and mission on your body or mental condition” or simply refer you to a "Physician who focuses more on natural and non-medication healing—this is called Authentic Healing!"


Amy LifeStar
Authentic Healing

wayne knapton's picture

brain injuries

well.. Ive finally got my bus license back.. 5 years later... My speach is better. My balance is so much better to... The only thing seems to be my lack of interest in lots of things? Mentaly things did change... Not i thank god as severe as some of youu life only happens once.. Its not a rehersal... I guess we should be glad were here?? So many arent....

Rachel Lynn H.'s picture

Brain Injuries

The only warning I got were severe migranes in the frontal lobe. This happened after I took my "Luvoxx" today. Now I have trouble remembering what happened in my past more than usual, as well as how to do chores. I feel embarressed, lonely and well, I don't feel upset. I am anti-social now, unlike normally and don't know how to communicate to people like I used to. My mom doesn't understand what I'm going through, she thinks I'm fine and am just experiencing anxiety/stress over my medication when I really am experiencing a mild brain injury. I also am having severe memory loss right now. I wish I could remember like I used to, and am frustrated as a result from the brain injury. I just feel alone in this world.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Brai Injuries

My advice is just write things down, and look at them often. Make a list of things to do that day then cross them off when they are done.

Dallin Rudd's picture

Don't feel bad

Dude, you named my problems practically word for word. It's not the end of the world though. For me I didn't even know why I was acting the way I was. Then one day I ran into a guy that had a near death experience because of brain trauma. He told me how he couldn't walk for a few years and everyone told him half of his body was going to remain being paralyzed. I talked to him in person he can walk he can talk, and he is actually a founder of a non profit organization for brain damage. Ever since that day I became fascinated with the brain, how it works, heals, and functions. What I learned is that the brain can be healed despite all the people in the world that say otherwise. The trick to it is being able to find what part of your brain that is damaged, specifically how that part functions and what it does. If you can do that I promise all you have to do is consciously engage in those functions. My theory is and I know it's right; The thoughts of your conscious mind creates the rest of your subconscious. Furthermore the brain is like a computer it works in a set pattern. Like the inside of a clock one gear cannot spin without the other. Sometimes activating a part of your brain that has not been used will send a chain reaction throughout all the brain cells. For me I am right handed, but I realized one day that half of my brain hasn't really been used. Train yourself to be ambidextrous I promise you will even feel the positive results. Think of the unused half of your brain as a generator in case the lights go out. I've done a lot of my own trial and error experiments I hope this message helps.

Serendip Visitor's picture

my boyfriend.

A month ago exactly my boyfriend got punched unexpectedly and fell backwards down concrete stairs out cold. he was like jelly when picked up. He had black outs, dissiness, bad concintraiton all the usual for concision. He started getting really angry at things and frustrated. I thought this was just cos he was angry cos it made him stop being able to do school work. but then i noticed it happening more often and it became scary. He noticed how angry he was cos never like that before. It has been a month now and he has recently gotten really sad along with normal things that could make him feel bad but unusually more sad. Feeling like he has no idea what to do with anything, feeling not good enough for me. guilty for things, and just generally sad and he doesnt know why. i looked it up and it said depression is common. do you think he could be? he is an independant student. and he means the world to me. i don't want him to change and i want him to be happy.
Please help i don't know what to do.

Serendip Visitor's picture

My boyfriend

Has he gone to a neurologist or a doctor to talk about what happened to him? It sounds like he has a mild brain injury, he needs to go and get check out.

Elliander Eldridge's picture

Interesting article, but I

Interesting article, but I have a somewhat different take on things having experience brain damage and recovery.

When I was a baby I contracted mercury poisoning which damaged my prefrontal lobe. After about 30 days of exposure the mercury absorbed into my cells and were therefore undetectable to blood tests, but still present. As a result I was diagnosed as having "Developmental Delay". I couldn't even speak for a few years, and when I could I had a great deal of difficulty putting my thoughts into words. I was later diagnosed as autistic, though today no one would guess that talking to me. Recovery was for the most part very gradual. Well, mostly.

There were periods of times where I would appear to go through very sudden and permanent changes in personality, or so it would seem to someone else looking in. The reality was simply that I had regained some function previously lost in occasional bursts which improved my ability to express myself. In regards to a sudden change in interests that's a bit more difficult to explain. I still have an interest in everything I ever found interesting, but one can only really explore so many interests at a given time. At one time I studied computer programming, and now I am studying biotechnology with a 4.0 GPA while working as a writer for a college newspaper. I have also pursued subjects like ancient architecture and anthropology. While a career in biotechnology might seem like a big change from an interest in candle sculpting (the immediate previous interest) if you know that I was interested in gardening as a child it would make more sense. After getting into biotechnology I decided to revisit gardening and after constructing a top soil from scratch for use in organic gardening I decided to add ecology as an elective. See, the interests may change suddenly, but they are all connected in ways not immediately obvious. The candle sculpting might seem to not fit, until you learn that on a stormy night without power I had nothing else to do except write poetry by candle light. The main reason for changing focus was a change in ability coupled with a change in opportunity.

There were even a few cases of head trauma, such as the time I was hit by a car and rolled over the hood and hit my head on the pavement, or the time I was riding a bike at 20 miles an hour and got into an accident rolling over the pavement a long distance. I remember feeling like everything was moving in slow motion during each accident, and when my head hits the pavement I see a blur of white speckles and everything around me becomes distorted. For a time every I would move around with a sense of disconnection from my surroundings. I guess you'd call it shock, but more than that there would be a lasting impact on my overall personality, attitudes, and interests which would accompany that feeling and would remain after the shock has passed. That's how it would look to someone else anyway. On the inside I would feel different, but I could still feel myself. It's really impossible to completely describe, but... hmm... It's like how someone when relaxed can have a certain pattern of thoughts that are different than the same person when excited. When dealing with head trauma I would feel a bit subdued, but I would still be me, even if no one else around me would recognize me. Sometimes I would loose all desire for life and be consumed by depression after a major injury. Once I was even completely numbed emotionally for 2 to 3 years following an accident during which there were a few incidents where I would be doing one thing and then blink and find myself on the floor with no awareness of how I ended up there, but from every major injury I would always pull through.

I can say a great deal more about the subject, but suffice to say that while I may have undergone multiple extreme changes in personality, I am still the same person inside. I may be more mature, I may have greater cognitive ability, and I may have a more positive outlook on life than I once did, but I am still me.

I know it's really impossible to fully cause another to understand what it's like to have been through such changes, especially for those who have seen it happen. There is a reason why I don't even know a single person I grew up with. It saddens me to look back and know that people don't handle change well, but maybe if more people understood what it was like to be the person changing a little more understanding could be found.

I standby the idea that the soul is distinct from the brain and that perceived changes in personality have more to do with changes in the brain's ability to express one's core being. I also do not believe that the brain is incapable of recovery from major trauma. The brain is very adaptive.

Maybe it would help to think of a person as a tree? The soul is one's core essence, and the brain is just the rings of growth and maturity?

Indiana Craig's picture


I was hit by a car at the age of 9 and suffered a catastrophic TBI, and suffered from Post traumatic epileptic seizures. I was in a coma for several months and when I awoke I only remembered going to bed a couple nights earlier; which turned out was 3 months. I am now 38 years old and starting to notice some psychiatric issues within myself. I really wish the event had never happened, but it is what it is. I have paranoid tendencies, and I tend to hear from my wife that my interpretation of the world around me is not normal. I also have symptoms of PTSD, and I'm highly sensitive to noises. I've kept all this hidden for most of my life, but lately I'm having a difficult time keeping it in. I find that I experience feelings of guilt and humility when I step outside myself and understand the differences between normal thoughts and mine; stress worsens the situations I found myself in. In order for me to regain my mental focus, I force myself to occupy my thoughts with creative tasks. This sometimes turns into an OCD condition, and I begin to clean non-stop until I'm ready to fall asleep. I would like some advice on how I can deal with this. I have found by taking ADD medication, my thoughts are more controlled, but only when I'm on the medication: It makes the OCD worse though. I would like my cognition to be more aligned with what is deemed normal. Is there any hope out there?

rosy thapa's picture

getting ur degree after head injury

12 years back my friend had a head injury and i am wondering if she can get a degree and go to school now? she want to masters in accounting. is it possible for her to go to school?
does anyone knows any success stories?
please suggest

Tim's picture

education after head injury

I don't know the extent of your friend's head injury or her academic potential prior to her injury but she can definitely go to school and earn a degree. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2008 from a motorcycle accident. I graduated with my doctorate in 2011...she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

Brittany's picture

b injury


Colm's picture

The little secret about seatbelts that can take your life!

Please Note:
Am dyslectic. I now find it hard to write, read, understand and remember. 

The little secret about seatbelts that can take your life!
July 1998, I was involved in a car crash; I sustained a rather serious injury. People at the scene say, ‘it's one of the worst ones they've witnessed.’ One car lay crumpled with debris spread throughout the intersection, displaying the severity of the crash. A person that knew me was walking by. He spoke to the Police man. “I saw two people in a badly crashed car. Their seatbelt's held them up. Seeing their faces I knew the person who was driving.”  The police man took note. 

Following the accident, I was admitted to the Casualty Department of the Adelaide, from there I was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of Beaumont Hospital, where I had an operation for a brain haemorrhage; sub arachnoid initiative, cerebral haematoma/surgical evacuation/temporal lobe epilepsy. Coma; I was in Beaumont ICU for almost two weeks. Afterwards, I was transferred back to the Adelaide. After the operation, when I started to talk, everything seemed so strange. I did not know some members of my family, or friends, where I worked, or what I worked at before my accident. Mentally, I returned to my childhood years. During my three month stay at the Adelaide I had to learn to walk, talk, eat, and communicate with people again. Therapists at Tallaght hospital, helped and started me on the road to recovery; it was hard work and all uphill. 

In November that year I was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dún Laoghaire. The first night in St. Patrick’s Ward, NRH, I lay down to sleep in a private room, I spoke aloud. “I have prayed to you since I was five years old…If you are out their God, please help me!”

This was all new to me. New surroundings with new people and Nurses that said, “You must do things for yourself now...” I received help from therapists at the NRH. Was determined, worked hard, a lot depends on one’s self; if it is to be it is up to me! 
In January 1999, I was transferred from St. Patrick’s Ward to St. Bridget's Ward, and started to attend the Rehabilitation Unit. Here, their aim is to return people to work. After eight months, I was discharged, and finished with most therapists at the hospital.

A few years after the car crash, a person needed to meet with me.  
Shortly after I arrived, I was called into their office. They walked over to their desk and asked me to sit down. After a short time they looked at me and spoke. 
‘…The seatbelt holder almost killed you.’ 
As I left the building I wrote down what was said to me. 
Not long after this meeting the same person telephoned my house; they needed clearance from court to pursue this matter? They were asking a person who sustained a lot of head damage to give permission to proceed? 
Having a bad memory, I had learned at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, ‘always take notes.’ After the phone call I noted these words on my computer, but after a few minutes, I could not remember to give them the ‘go-ahead’ to sue the car makers. Back in 2004, I didn’t know my own name.

A Judge at the High Court addressed me in the dock, “Sue the car makers...” 
Cannot understand why this never happened? 
In Dublin City, Ireland, a High Court Judge, was questioning a disabled person who, for almost two weeks, had been in a Coma; 20% alive – sub arachnoid initiative, cerebral haematoma, surgical evacuation, temporal lobe epilepsy.


Serendip Visitor's picture

sub- dural haematoma

My Dad suffered a sub dural haematoma due to a bad fall at work. He fell down the stairs and was left unconscious overnight. Thankfully the swelling on his brain went down and the clot dissolved itself. I dont mean to sound ungreatful as I am so glad he is alive but his personality is definately different. He seems very spaced out and uninterested, emotionless I would say apart from getting very concerned about particular things like a missing part of a camera or money concerns but otherwise he lacks the drive and energy he once had and I really miss that. I feel a bit paranoid because the rest of my family dont talk about the changes.
He sometimes behaves strangely and waves to strangers when driving, approaches people he does not know and he is uninterested in reading which he always loved and never missed the newspapers. He never gets them now.
I feel sad and sometimes look at this man and wonder where my dad is...

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hey my dad was in a motor

Hey my dad was in a motor cycle accident 2 years ago. He suffers from brain trauma. His personality completely changed. He is more aggressive and has lost all of his confidence. He stays depressed and cries everyday. But I'm very thankful to still have him in my life. Deep down I know he's still the same person. And over those last 2 years he has recovered so much. He is able to do more now. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I know what it feels like and it's not great at all but just try and be happy that he's still in your life. Enjoy the time you have with him.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Just to Help


Be strong and there for your father, You have been so already and so much appreciated.

My name is Heather, and I had a skull fracture injury approximately three years ago. I was in the hospital for a month and then in "brain rehab therapy" for eight months to follow. Just to add, I am a nurse......well was soon. I was released from rehab and amazingly, as told by many recovered well. I still see issues with my speaking, I tend to slur words and not really "say" what I mean....yet I am thinking it. It frustrates me and thankfully my friends have not "pointed" it out.....but I know its there. Unfortunately, this will not go away. I use to be a "go out with friends girl" as well, and I could crawl into bed at 4pm and be happy. Our whole world does change, and honestly....YES, I am pissed I was brought in and am still here to deal with tons of this stuff. But I have my daughter, would never leave her, and will carry on.

Keep a smile on your face! My nursing license is being pulled/attempted to be pulled from me right now as they think I am now unsafe. I have been working since, so I have no way to counteract their happened, its there. Career change ahear!

Smile, try, and smile more. We only have one shot at they keep reminding me LOL!


Annie's picture

I am me again

I have read these comments with great interest. I came off a horse on the 23rd July 2000 and fell on the top of my head. There are two main issues with brain injury. One, is the misdiagnosis and poor treatment that very often follows a TBI, and the second, is the loss of 'Self' or the soul.
Through my experience of a serious traumatic brain injury I can confirm that I 'lost' my 'self' and it took me five plus years to fully realise this. Since this time I have 'focused' (I use that word 'loosely') on rebuilding the Annie that existed prior to my injury. This has been a fascinating journey and yes, I am 'me' again. Despite the fact that I still cope on a daily basis with my on-going disabilities, I am fully aware that these disabilities are not 'who I am' but are rather a lack of functionality of my brain. There is a clear distinction for me.
I believe I have worked out exactly why people with brain injury appear to 'change' and can also catagorically state that the person who existed before is still there beneath the disabilities that rage. Please fell free to contact me at . I am in the process of building my own website and have written a book, due for publication fairly soon, called 'My Latent Self, The Recovery of My Soul Following Brain Injury.'

Serendip Visitor's picture


did u write your book- I like what you say!

Serendip Visitor,  Catalina's picture

After my coma, life feels swept from the Tide

I read the article and comments I felt such relief. Because it describes some of what I'm going through. I suffered a coma years back after losing consciousness during a severe asthma attack. I was taken by ambulance, hospitalized, intubated fell into a coma. (There were complications) asthma meds and asthma steroids caused fluctuations in my blood sugar I was given insulin. Although I was only in a coma for a week ( a short time), but during that week I lost something much more apparently than days.
It was My sense of self. After I came home I felt like I'd been in one of Salvador Dali's painting. Everything felt unreal surreal.
The memory loss threw me off. I don't know how I really was before my coma (that part seem to be slated off too) I guess I was a mousy lovable people pleaser from my diaries and poems. Back then I must have been sweet, lovable or congenial.

Needless to say after the coma I'm still thinking ( I am that same person I was before) but in reality I was different, very different.
I seemed to have less restraint, more mouth and more energy more passion. The sad part was everyone wanted the Old quiet me back. They treated me differently as well. Either as if I'm a child to be talk down too or patronized, or if my difference in personality is an act or a phase that will blow over. I withdrew from my family only because basically they withdrew from me. I feel like grieving cause I can never be that person "they remember". It causes arguments and friction. They don't like nor accept who I am now. The general consensus is they make excuses and try to attribute my personality change to other things. The plain Truth is before my coma, I had no "personality" or "memory" or "vision" problems. If they only realized this, that other things were affected as well. I have sensitivity to light, my depth perception and peripheral vision is gone. Slowly my visual acuity is disappearing. I have no short term memory I forget things instantly... I have to write everything down or else I forget it. I can never get those things back either. Hopefully my family will come around. I love them even though they seem like familiar strangers to me.

I could get angry but there really is no one to get angry at. It is what it is. I am grateful I am alive and survived. I'm happy I lost tons of weight (but in a good way). Now I am very active ( The OLD me was sedentary ). I've set new goals for myself,. Still I am sad that I can never regain the closeness I once shared or the memories that made us close. I envy all those lucky people whose family remained close after their traumatic injury. A brain injury isnt like a broken arm or leg that people can physically see it's been damaged and physically see if its healing or not. I will never be that Old Catalina. I can only hope to find friends who will like and accept the me I am now, the new me.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Brain haemmorage

Thank you, Last October (11 mths ago) ago i suffered a brain haemmorhage & subsequent brain surgery. I am 46years old. The only warning was constant migraines for about a month .It is hard to explain to people just how you feel or function differently. All the comments posted have helped me enormously. I am in Australia & have not been able to access much information or support. I too have friends that have said " Im not the same person i was before. I was a typical organised over achieving A type peronality before this. I have always been very sociable but now find it hard to talk to people, especially in a group situation. I am still finding it hard to concentrate, and never seem to sleeo more than 4 or 5 hrs each night, so begins the vicious cycle of being exausted all the time. I am learning to slow down & trying not to put so much stress on myself. I still feel extremely lost & feel like i've lost friends, family and my career. thank you to all the people who have shared their experiences on this site.

Tiffany Hill's picture

Thank you all for sharing

Thank you all for sharing your stories and experiences! Although, I cannot say that I understand what you all & your loved ones are going through, I do understand how seemingly losing yourself can be a terrible and unfortunate struggle. I want to tell you all that Jesus is a healer and there is ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM too difficult for God to solve. Please, be encouraged my brothers and sisters, for, "...we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). You are blessed beyond knowledge. There are many people who have suffered tribulations such as yours and who did not live to tell their stories, give their testimonies and help those who may be awaiting a similar fate. We are all unaware of what the future holds, but God is using you all to aid someone, perhaps even myself, who may soon experience a brain trauma. This person needs to know that he/she is not alone. You are reassuring them of this right now! Therefore, you are being "called according to His purpose" and so, "all things [will] work together for [your] good." Please, trust and believe. God knows your hearts and you have not lost your souls. The very fact that so many of you want to be better and desire to be loving, caring and joyful people testifies and provides proof of the inherent goodness of your hearts and souls. You are alive and thus, your souls are alive! Remain good and righteous people! Do not let the enemy steal your joy and convince you that you are no longer useful and honorable. I do not know you and yet, I can say without a doubt, that I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE LOVED BEYOND BELIEF! Once again, Thank You All!!! You have truly been an inspiration to me!!!!

Rango's picture


I'm releived to hear i'm not alone, but scared at the same time for the fact that this is all real.It's hard to grasped because i only want to be my old self again.

tracey samson's picture

brain injury

i have problems spelling words, i hope that i can exsplain what happen to me . it was 24 yearsago i was driveing with my friend one day and we were comeing back from work , and at the time i thought that day that something felt different at the time so i got on my friends motorbike and we started to hid back home . i can never stop thinking about that i cant wate till i get home and from some reason my thoughts went blank and the next thing that i remember was that i had a bad headake and every thing that i saw was just blerey and i couldent rember anything i did not wno i was and who was the people were in the hospitly i did not no who was my mom and dad was and my brothers were to from some reason my thoughts were not clear at all there wee only parts of things that were so funny like makeing my mother cry and telling everyone to go away it fineily took me 2 yerars to get my head tgeter and when i did my mom tod me everthing that what happen to me she said that my friend was driveing real fast and that we allmost hit some rearvew windows going end and outer laines driveing fast she told me that someone cross the highway and didnot stop at the stopsingh and hit us and thrugh my friend 120 feet in the middle of the laine and i was pined to the bike and whin it hit the curb i was trone about 160 feet and landing on the nutralgroung she told me that i had no halment on my head she allso told me that the ems pernoce me dead forabout 4 to 5 minets thay tod my mother that my pouse was not reading at all but from some reason they were able to bring me back ,and i told my mom that how can i not died from not haveing on my halment. well i can tell you more but i have trouble spelling if there someone willing to write about my exsrerence please write to i was so good to tell you about my braine trommar think you and god bless

Amanda Faulkner's picture

Never the same

Many thanks to all those who have shared. Nice to know I am not alone. I was brutally attacked in 1985 - walked down a well-used road in daylight, woke up in hospital about a month later with my head wrapped in bandages so much I looked like a "mummy-in-the-making".

I remember waking in the hospital, & telling my parents that they should have left me where I was to die, & that I don't want to live. I repeated this statement for at least a couple years after.

Previously, I had been a well-organised, calm, level-headed person with ambition. I had set up my own training schedule for my sport as I was extremely competitive & dtermined to be the best in this country. I enjoyed sports with the family, but was socially reserved (embarrassingly shy, mum calls it).

I had Frontal Lobe damage & right-hand side damaged too, (basically the skull had been shattered).

I was put on Phenobaritone for potential epilepsy fits. This medication took me from the highest high to the lowest low in a heartbeat - no trigger required. I was then put on Tegrotol as an alternative.

Now, I don't understand or know myself. I have emotional extremes - there is no medium - very happy or very sad loving, or hating. I have acquired a temper like one I would punish my kids for. I am so disorganised, I can't anything of importance. My house is in total disarray. I write lists - of everything, thoug I never used to. Short-term emory is shot - long-term is not so bad.

I am now seriously intolerant, impatient, spontaneous, a shopaholic, alcoholic (although trying to dry up). I have found my voice therefore being somewhat outgoing rather than shy.

What scares me most, is that when I am angry, I say things to the other person I know are going to hurt, & hear a voice in my own head telling me to just stop - don't say it - but I contine anyway & feel really bad afterwards. I feel like once I get started, I can't stop even though I want to. And then I just want to die because I was such an awful person & don't deserve to be on this planet - just a waste of space.

I know others don't understand me. But how can I expect them to when I don't either?

What hurts most is that the perpetrator has never been caught. I know my family tells me that God pays debts without using money, and most times I can settle for that, but other times ... I get so wound up cause I want that person to suffer the way I have for the last 26 years.

I kids myself that things are getting better ... but I know its a lie. I still have difficulty concentrating, & still get really blinding headaches, but worse - I don't like myself anymore.

The incident happened not long before christmas while on school break (I was 16yrs). I was back in school on first day of following school year (wearing a head-scarf to cover injuries). All but one of my friends shunned me on sight, & althoug I was a promising student the previous year, I couldn't remember any of the previous years work, & my school grades plummeted.

Heather Goodfellow's picture

Brain Injury & severe memory loss

I was involved in a car accident in 1982 where I was sitting in the back seat, my friend was sitting in the front seat and she was killed. I suffered paralysis of the left side and severe brain damage for 10 years after. My personality changed completely, where I was quiet and shy and I am now a very confident person. I do not remember anything about myself and my life before the accident, I do not remember being in hospital for 2 months, or in a coma for 2 weeks. Now 2012 I am completely recovered physically but I do still get into terrible moods on occasion. I do not get on with people I work with (women mostly). I don't care about myself even though I do try to. I write lists to remind me of things but forget to look at them! I don't think about anything, making my mind up about anything is very hard to do. My memory has not come back, my brain hurts like hell when I try to remember, photos etc don't trigger anything. I hate being like I am and just want to be a normal person with normal memories and be able to talk about my childhood memories.

Serendip Visitor: Amy Lifestar's picture

Sorry for your loss that derived from your head/brain injuries

Dear Amanda,

I am truly sorry for your loss that derived from your head/brain injuries and dysfunctions when you were only 16 years old. Being injured at age 16 definitely can take a toll on a person’s life. Actually, being injured at any age due to third-party liability incident is a “severe loss for a human being to bear in life!”

The truth is it is a lot to ask of us when bearing such torments (i.e. head/brain injuries and the harmful consequences in living with such injuries) in life when life itself is not easy already! Just take one step at a time and “do what you can do to help yourself to function as best as you could whether it is focusing on a good/healthy diet, taking daily supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amnion acids, etc.), focusing on activities that you enjoy doing or activities that take your soul/heart home and so on! Take care and be patient, kind, and compassionate with yourself!

By Amy Lifestar

Kathy's picture

I have a brain injury from a terrible work accdent

I finally found ones that can relate to what i'am going through , I don't remember how my accident happened , just what i was told ...a heavy 500lb metal unit fell on me , cause someone pulled a four wheel dollie out from underh=neath, I was unconscious and was told it took 10 guys to lift the unit up , that i was under.

I suffered a fractured skull, fractured orbital bones under my eyes, fractured my sinus cavity , which i lost my sense of smell, i get dizziness, severe ongoing headaches like it's going to explode or I'am underneath water trying to get air and breathe, my vision is blurry , neck stiff, back is bad, i suffer short term memory probelms , and yes i have those emotional probelms , where i'am a different person and it's scary , especially for my kids , cause they're not use to me this i use to be a calm, outgoing person , now i'am the opposite and no one understands , it hurts to make the people u love feel sad and confused .

I 'am so worried of the future , cause of how i feel , this pain is too much , constantly. is there anyone who has gotten better after a brain injury,? I worry of swelling , bleeding in my brain, etc .

Please take care

iluvgod's picture

brain hemorragge

I want to say i'm almost shocked at everyones stories,but i was searching for the same reasons.I've found them on this site..On that note, i'm releived to hear i'm not alone, but scared at the same time for the fact that this is all real.It's hard to grasped because i only want to be my old self again,and sometimes i feel like that is not going to happen..I am 32 yrs. old.I had a Brain Hemorrage in 2009, hospitalized, ct scans,MRI..but thankfully no brain surgery.Then i had my second brain bleed in 2010, almost exactly a year apart.i am very on edge,more blunt than ever, easily angered,inpatient,and even sad and cry. Not all the time, but i notice it more about 2 weeks before my period, which is scary because females are already in rage with PMS,then add a brain hemorrage and ,it's one big dissaster.i wasn't aware of my behavior for a while till it was brought to my attention.Then i started noticing it for myself, without openly admitting it.I love God and he is always been #1 in my life, but there is sometimes i feel completely out of control,and almost like a robot, or even sometimes,nothing at all.i feel just as lost as the rest of you all, i feel it is really sad that we are all suffering from this, and there is not a doctor, that i know of ,that really will completely know what are true feelings are..But i'm here to say that Jesus is a doctor,healer,and teacher,he will pull us through this together.He will stand up for us and fight our battles for us.All we have to do is believe in him,trust in him,and make him your only option and put him first in your life.Get on your knees and pray to him, get a bible and pray with that bible in your hands, and tell god to take this from you..You didn't sow it and your not gonna reap it, we will all overcome this, if god be before us,who be against us, if god be before us,then whom shall we fear...GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU...i will do my best to pray for everyone who is suffering from this...including myself

Tiffany Hill's picture

Humbled and Hopeful...

Hello! I cannot say that I understand what you are feeling. I have not had to endure the things that you all have suffered through. All I can say is that you are precisely correct. Jesus is a healer and a redeemer. He will right the wrongs that the enemy has placed on your lives. I do not pity you all, I respect you as SURVIVORS! There are not many people who have been through the trials that you all have been through and have lived to help others. You are more than conquerers! I pray that God will continue to give you all the strength to fight and vanquish over your tribulations. I do not know you, but please believe me when I say, I Love You! God placed a wonder in my heart which led me to this page. I have prayed for you and you will beat this! As long as you are alive, there is always a chance for recovery. I pray that you do not allow discouragement to steal your joy! Life WILL get better! God has sayed it and thus it is true! In the name of Jesus, be encouraged my brothers and sisters. There is a rainbow just around the bend!

Serendip Visitor VM's picture

Personality change post brain trauma

A fascinating book I am reading--Revelations for a New Era--offers a paradigm-shifting chapter on "Soul Transference." As part of one of the "Matthew" books (in which the author transcribes telepathic messages from her late son), this particular chapter describes how a comatose body can be the site of a negotiated "soul transfer," where memories are transferred, but where personality changes can be distinct.

It was sufficiently intriguing that I hopped online--and the testimonials above certainly resonate with the "changed personality," "as if it's a different soul."

I offer the reference in case it might offer insight to others.... I have no experience with this type of trauma.

Revelations for a New Era : Keys to Restoring Paradise on Earth
by Suzanne Ward
Paperback - Second Edition
ISBN-13: 9780971787520Pub. Date: 09/01/2001

Savala's picture

no emotion after accident, life is just images

We are in the dark ages when it comes to brain injury treatment, understanding, and recovery. The way I see it is like trying to explain DNA to someone from 1000 years ago. We have no idea. And when we try to explain to someone what it is like, there is no understanding. Even most doctors will not recognize that such an extensive injury can happen without it showing up on an MRI or CT.

I suffered a closed head injury 3 years ago. Prior to this, I guess you could have considered me a jack of all trades. I was a successful computer programmer, music producer, artist, singer, writer. I was an even keeled person with good social skills. Then in one day, in 1 second all this is taken away. I feel nothing. No calm, peace, joy, wonder, love, awe, anticipation, excitement. I can feel anger.. to an extent, but that is stunted even. I can cry, but there is no calming release afterwards like with a normal brain. I can still speak, remember, communicate... so people think, well.. she will be fine. But I am not.. and know I never will be again. They still see the woman that was externally. But internally I am gone. I mourn the loss of my soul every day. For that is what has happened. That which defines us is our ability to feel. And there is no "rehab" for getting that back. I miss who I had made myself become. In moment, my life experiences which shapes my personality were destroyed. I would trade the loss of a limb, my sight, for my mind. But we can't make those trades.

I hope 1000 years from now, we will be about to repair someones soul as easily as we suture wounds today. The thing I find so troubling is how God could have made that which controls our soul so fragile... so easy to be destroyed. For it is far more important to our survival than many of the other functions that heal so easily. But I guess if we look at our minds as computers, I can understand. It is easy to replay keys on a keyboard, or rewrite software, but once the CPU is damaged. there is no hope.

wayne knapton's picture

my brain

I fully understand how you feel and what youre going through. i had a brain bleed last year september (2007) and spent 3 weeks in hospital i was only 41 then. i just woke up one morning, had the worst headache ive ever had in my life and couldnt see that well either. it was frightening, i live alone. i collapsed in the ambulance and woke up a weeek later. it affected my eyesight, all be it mildly, my speech and balance were the worst. i had no warning at all and no symtoms. i had worked the day before as normal. i had a ct scan in november and got the all clear. 3 weeks later in december my speech was slurred and i kept being sick. My best friend took me back to the hospital where upon arrival i had a ct scan and another bleed. this time they didnt have to give me a caranial operation, the drugs worked, i spent about 8 days there. ive had physio to walk and my speech is vastly better too. i had 6 months off work in total, i wear glasses all the time, my speech and balance are about 95-97% there. ive returned to work, im an inspector for a local bus company. my job funilly enough helped me lots. the down side is as you say, on the outside you look fine, but inside your different. people expected the old take it on the chin wayne back, they were wrong. im alot more forthrite now, more gun ho. speak my mind more. do things differently. in so so so so many ways im very lucky, im fortunate. to look at me you wouldnt know, theres no signs. i got off lightly. the big big difference is my personality. ive changed, i cant help it, dont mean it. i just wish people could adapt with it, but its me- and im really sorry for that.....

Paul Grobstein's picture

repairing souls?

Many thanks for your story; I'd like to hear more. It raises some very interesting issues, not the least of which is the relation between brains and computers. My guess is that an important difference between the two is that computers are built to do particular tasks and so can indeed be broken in non-recoverable ways whereas brains, among other things, themselves define the tasks they wish to accomplish and retain that capacity despite quite substantial damage.

Along these lines, I'm reminded of