Beyond Adversity

Enjoying Life After Adversity

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Typical Effects


Brain Injury EffectsBrain injury can affect a survivor’s physical, cognitive, and psycho-social functioning.  According to Make the Connection, the effects of brain injury on survivors “sometimes cause other difficulties such as sleeping problems, depression, and anxiety.” The following list of typical effects, does not describe every possible situation nor does it apply to every survivor. The impact on caregivers, family members, friends, employers, co-workers, therapists, and social workers is not addressed in this post, but it is a definite concern.

Items in the following list that end in an asterisk (*) were added or inspired by Fantastic Frank.

Physical effects may include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Trouble hearing
  • Loss of energy, fatigue, and/or extreme exhaustion
  • Change in sense of taste and/or smell
  • Loss of mobility
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Inability to drive

Cognitive effects may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Repeating words and/or actions
  • Misunderstandings
  • Confusion
  • Poor memory
  • Understanding financial statements and invoices*
  • Difficulty writing checks*

Psycho-social effects may include:

  • Agitation
  • Frustration
  • Irritation
  • Isolation
  • Retaliation
  • Depression*
  • Addiction*
  • Low self esteem*
  • Organizing*
  • Planning*
  • Scheduling*
  • Initiating*
  • Follow through*
  • Talking without thinking
  • Acting inappropriately (body language, words, or actions)
  • Inability to differentiate between fact and fiction

Financial effects may include:

  • Sorting mail*
  • Paying bills*
  • Managing money*
  • Making unwise financial decisions*

There are dozens of categories and hundreds of effects that are not in this list.

Call to Action

If you believe the list is missing a significant item, please describe the category and item in the comment field below this post.


Thanks to Make the Connection for providing the majority of symptoms that appear in this post; Fantastic Frank for adding to the list of effects; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to use the picture and text I used in this post.

Even after brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to eradicate his brain cancer, Scott continued to work; continued to study; and earned professional certifications from the Project Management Institute, American Society of Quality, and Stanford University School of Professional Development. How were all of these achievements possible at a time when Scott was struggling with the hurdles of brain injury? The answers are in this blog.

3 Responses to “Typical Effects”

  • Fantastic Frank says:

    Hi SCOTT there is at least one more item that comes to mind and there may be others too as I am writing this reply..
    The first one is difficulty managing or following through on goals. then the next one is appropriate money managing..
    being easily taken advantage of, because one often lacks the ability to be able to discern or differentiate people’s true intentions, then there are some people who get addicted to stuff like pot drugs, porn, have low self esteem or self worth issues…

    I am sure there are many more but they are as different for each individuals as are their unique TBI’S.

    The one common thread though is that they all seem to originate from the individual loss caused by the TBI. and that they all seem to stem from their individual loss of their ability to receive love or know how to fill the void that must be filled up whenever something changes in the TBI’S life. I trust that this is helpful LOVE FF

    • Scott says:

      Fantastic Frank, I appreciate your comments, and I will add them to the post — giving you credit of course. I am working on a different post right now, but as soon as I reach a good stopping point, I will update the list. Thank you.

    • Scott says:

      Fantastic Frank,

      I have updated the post based on your recommendations and given you credit for the great ideas.

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**** About The Author ****

During the past 13 years, I have been diagnosed with cancer, brain injury, balance issues, stroke, ataxia, visual impairment, and auditory challenges. I have overcome significant adversity! I can explain how to overcome your challenges. I am a very active Toastmaster and a motivational speaker.