For many veterans, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) seem to go hand in hand. In some instances, the TBI could have been caused in an event that then caused the PTSD. The systems are also similar and tend to overlap. In many cases, a person is diagnosed with PTSD, but they have had a TBI at one time and aren’t even aware of it. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a blow to the head to cause a TBI. Whiplash or something blowing up near you, like an IED, can cause your brain to rattle around in your skull, causing injury.
The DOD and the Defense and Veteran’s Brain Injury Center estimate that 22% of all Iraq and Afghanistan combat wounds led to brain injuries. This is compared to TBI in 12% of combat wounds that happened in Vietnam. Veterans also seem to have symptoms for longer than civilians, whose symptoms last from weeks up to a few months. Studies show most veterans will still have symptoms 18-24 months after the initial injury.
The husband was diagnosed with both. It’s hard for me to differentiate which one causes what. I’m sure I’m not alone in this either.
TBI Symptoms include:
Sensitive to Noise and Light
Difficutly with Reason/Logic
This list alone includes several things that can also be associated with PTSD. It can lead to trouble sleeping, but for different reasons. Sleeping leads to nightmares, which can cut your full night of sleep short. Some don’t have a regular sleeping schedule because they know what happens when they sleep. PTSD can also lead to depression (or it may be medication for the PTSD that leads to this). Some vets also have anger issues replaced to the PTSD.
It’s hard to tell what exactly is causing the problems. I still don’t know what causes some of the husband’s issues, but then some things I know for sure.