Backstory: I had several concussions in my youth and then survived multiple explosions during combat operations in Iraq. I call my nemesis “Chaos.” Chaos is the sum results of traumatic brain injury / TBI and Post Traumatic Stress / PTS, i.e. headaches, anxiety, lethargy, irritability, anger, memory loss, frustration, depression, alcohol and drug abuse and bad choices. This leads to weakening links in what I call our mental health “Chain,” or ones newly damaged mind. A healthy “Mental Health Chain” is the result of a lifetime of good morals, values, integrity and intelligence, reinforced by well thought out choices and ethics.
The links in our Chain are constantly assaulted by headaches, anxiety and depression. Chaos attacks this Chain until a damaged link snaps. My blog relates how I “Do The Work” to strengthen this “Chain.” I review and try the many methodologies and protocols that I’ve come across during my years of recovery. “BRAIN PAIN” is my book about the Signature Wounds of these recent wars, “Our Invisible Wounds – Fighting Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress – TBI & PTS. SEE MORE ON THE BOOK AT AMAZON.
TBI – The next Combat Concussion Crisis. A Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI occurs when a blow or some other traumatic injury is inflicted on the body or the head of a person. To what extent the damage is inflicted depends on a number of factors, which includes the force of impact and the nature of the event. I had numerous head injuries growing up, a bad car accident, several blows to the head studying Karate, a fall off a bike, then getting blown up in combat twice, and danger close 3 other times. It’s different for everyone, but the damage is real. It’s invisible for the most part, but the person under going this NEW mind, with headaches and disorientated thoughts, knows.
TBI is the SIGNATURE WOUND of these wars, Iraq & Afghanistan.
It is also called the INVISIBLE WOUND. People can’t see it – therefore they think you’re fine, you’re okay. We’ve all heard about the NFL’s concussion crisis, our warfighters injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan is what I call the next Combat Concussion Crisis!
Most can relate and understand the ramifications of the recent NFL concussion crisis, because the of the lawsuit played out in the media, and because of the movie “Concussion.” The next concussion crisis will come from the aging Vietnam veterans who were not diagnosed and forgotten, and the OIF / OEF combat blast-induced veterans. Remember, many of the injured are A-Type personalities, having experienced prior concussions growing up in high school, college and military training. Multiple concussions can lead to a higher probability of Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE has been found in nearly every former NFL player’s brain that has been examined posthumously by autopsy. Recently published reports have shown that CTE was also found in 4 of 4 deceased US military combat veterans exposed to a blast or multiple blasts in combat. This is literally just the tip of the iceberg. The first concussion crisis was sports related; the next will be our warfighters. It’s catching up with us.
Having dealt with multiple explosions, concussions and a traumatic brain injury, during my service in Iraq, I returned to find myself suffering from severe cluster headaches, depression and anxiety. Even on my worst days, I forced myself to get small things accomplished. Some days, you’re your old multi-tasking self and other days you’re doing all you can just to clean the house. Getting something accomplished is better than getting nothing accomplished. Don’t let “Chaos” assault your mental health “Chain” and allow it to eat away at it, until a weakened link snaps. Get up, get out and “Do The Work” to strengthen your “Chain.” My journey, experiences and lessons will hopefully help you. Keep engaged, busy, fit and challenge yourself with purposeful work. DTW.