We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Process of Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury?

By R. Bargar
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a head injury causing cognitive, sensory, emotional or motor skills impairment to some degree. Recovery from traumatic brain injury depends on the severity of the injury, the part of the brain affected, the age of the patient, and the quantity and quality of treatment. Early and intensive treatment focusing on the recovery of cognitive functions and other skills is essential. Cognitive rehabilitative services work on memory, learning and problem solving skills. Other treatments focus on speech and motor skills if these have been impaired.

Doctors and researchers recognize that the first six months to two years after the injury is a critical time for intensive recovery treatments. This time period is generally when the most progress is made in recovering brain function. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, treatment might continue for years. Some patients continue recovering pre-injury functioning years after the injury occurred. Persistence, frequent practice and therapeutic support during remediation help the patient recover functioning.

For many years, doctors and researchers believed the brain had no capacity for change or substantial recovery from trauma. This belief influenced treatment, as it was thought that restoring lost functioning was impossible, so little effort was made in this area. Now, the concept of brain plasticity — the brain’s ability to restore many aspects of functioning — is widely accepted. Plasticity recognizes the brain’s capability of forming new neurons and new connections after brain injuries. Different areas of the brain are able to assume functions that were once carried out by the damaged area.

As the concept of brain plasticity increases in acceptance, treatment options are also changing. Rather than concentrating solely on life support, long-term treatment now focuses on retraining the brain. Younger brains have a larger capacity for regeneration and recovery, but patients of all ages can experience some recovery with rehabilitation treatment. In the past when there was no attempt at rehabilitation, areas of the brain that weren’t used completely lost their functioning. Now, rehabilitation to retain and retrain brain functions is a major focus during recovery from traumatic brain injury.

Emotional stages have been identified during the recovery from traumatic brain injury. Each person’s injuries and personalities are different, so the length and severity of the stages may vary greatly from one individual to the next. Confusion and agitation are the first stage and generally occur as soon as the patient becomes aware of the brain injury. Denial involves not accepting the new behaviors or limitations the person is experiencing. People with traumatic brain injury frequently become angry or depressed when the realities of the injury and its consequences continue to alter their lives.

Changes in the brain itself and emotional coping capabilities influence many aspects of the emotional stages. A testing phase occurs as recovery from traumatic brain injury leads to noticeable improvements in brain functioning. During this stage, the limits of abilities may be pushed too far, resulting in disappointments. Acceptance is the final stage. The degree of acceptance varies, with some patients fully accepting and others remaining emotionally uncomfortable.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.