Category Archives: TBI Care

If you are new to the world of TBI, read these first!

Stages of Recovery can be Emotional for TBI

From Dr. Glen Johnson, Clinical Neuropsychologist and author of The TBI Guide, this article gives valuable insight into the world of traumatic brain injury


We are all different. We all have different family situations, different jobs, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Despite all these differences, there are a number of very common emotional stages that people with a head injury go through. This is based upon my own experience treating patients, but many investigators note similar findings.

Confusion and Agitation

The first phase that I see people going through is a confusion/agitation phase. This can last minutes or it can last for months. I’ve had people get in a car accident and be somewhat dazed for a few minutes, but then direct traffic around their car. Others had been brought into the hospital in a coma requiring intensive medical efforts. When they wake up, they may go through the confusion/agitation phase. In the hospital setting, this is very difficult for family members. Someone who is very meek and mild, for example, can be physically aggressive. They may punch the nurses, or swear and curse at family members. It’s very frightening for family members, and it feels like it is going to last forever. For 99% of the patients that I’ve worked with, this confusion/agitation phase goes away. It may take a while, but people eventually come out of it.
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