Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment (TBI): Therapy and Counseling Options

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

TBI is an injury that occurs to the brain and is typically caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head from events like car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or assaults. A traumatic brain injury can range from a mild concussion to severe damage resulting in long-term hospitalization and ongoing medical attention.

Symptoms from mild TBIs typically resolve over time, while more severe TBIs may require longer healing time or have lasting complications. According to the CDC, there were approximately 223,135 TBI-related hospitalizations in 2019. Individuals 75 years and older have the highest number of TBI-related hospitalizations, and males of all ages are twice as likely as females to require hospitalization for TBI-related injuries.

Mental Health Center of America specializes in treating post-concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related symptoms.

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Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

There are many potential causes of traumatic brain injury. A TBI often results from a blow, bump, or jolt to the head from events such as:

  • Car or motorcycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries
  • Assaults
  • Firearm-related injuries

Falls typically account for half of all hospitalizations related to TBI, while firearm-related injuries account for the majority of deaths from TBI. If you or a loved one have experienced any event that may have caused a traumatic brain injury, you should be aware of symptoms related to TBI.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of TBI are different in every situation. While mild TBI injuries typically resolve over time, injuries of a more severe nature will likely require a longer time to heal or have lasting complications. 

According to the CDC, symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary depending on the severity of the TBI and can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Loss of memory 
  • Headaches
  • Loss of concentration
  • Behavioral or emotional dysregulation
  • Aggression
  • Feelings of depression
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Personality changes
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

If a TBI is suspected, you should call 911 immediately or take the person to an emergency room.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically occurs in accidents or unforeseen events. While it’s not possible to eliminate the risk of a TBI, there are a few ways you can reduce the risk of a TBI occurring:

  • Wear helmets or other protective headgear while playing contact sports.
  • Do not operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while fatigued.
  • Reduce the risk of falling in your home by keeping floors clear of clutter, utilizing non-slip mats in bathtubs, and installing hand railings along staircases.
  • Wear your seat belt whenever traveling in a vehicle, and prioritize children riding in secured and age-appropriate child safety seats at all times.
  • Properly store all firearms in a locked gun safe or cabinet.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding ATVs, skateboards, motorcycles, roller skates, and bicycles.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can vary based on the event’s severity and how the individual responds to the injury. According to the CDC, there are three main types of traumatic brain injuries:

Mild TBI and Concussion

A mild TBI or concussion can be caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or even a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce in the skull, develop chemical changes within the brain, or damage brain cells.

Most TBIs that occur fall into this category of mild TBI or concussion. Although mild TBIs and concussions are typically not life-threatening, their effects can still be serious and should be treated.

Moderate TBI

A moderate TBI is typically caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or a penetrating injury (such as a gunshot wound). If someone sustains a moderate TBI, they will lose consciousness. The loss of consciousness can last for a few minutes or up to a few hours.

People who suffer from moderate TBI can experience memory loss, confusion, and other physical and cognitive symptoms. Individuals who suffer from moderate TBI will sometimes experience these symptoms for long periods of time or on an ongoing basis for the rest of their lives.

Severe TBI

A severe TBI can be caused by a tremendous impact or penetration injury to the head. If someone sustains a severe TBI, they will always lose consciousness. Severe TBIs cause thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Many people with severe TBI will regain consciousness again, but recovery is a long process involving several stages.

Individuals who survive a severe TBI will likely have life-long health consequences that may affect many aspects of their daily life. Firearm-related injuries, falls, assaults, and motor vehicle crashes are the top causes of severe TBIs.

10 Stages of Brain Injury Recovery

Recovery from traumatic brain injury typically follows a step-by-step path known as the 10 stages of brain injury recovery. Each person recovering from a brain injury moves through these stages differently, and there can be a wide variation in how long each stage lasts.

The head injury team of doctors at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in California created The Revised Rancho Los Amigos Scale (RLAS-R) to measure brain injury patients’ recovery. According to the National Library of Medicine, the RLAS-R is a widely accepted medical scale used to describe brain injury patients’ cognitive and behavioral patterns as they recover from injury. It measures a patient’s recovery from a coma or loss of neurological function.

The RLAS-R grades a person’s behavioral function from stages 1-10 to track their recovery. It is a standard scale for many head trauma rehabilitation providers. The stages are as follows:

  • Stage 1 – No response to external stimuli.
  • Stage 2 – Responds inconsistently and non-purposefully to external stimuli.
  • Stage 3 – Responds inconsistently and specifically to external stimuli. Responds more to familiar people (friends and family) versus strangers.
  • Stage 4 – The individual is in a hyperactive state with bizarre and non-purposeful behavior. Absent short-term memory.
  • Stage 5 – Shows increased consistency with following and responding to simple commands. Behavior and verbalization are often inappropriate, and memory is severely impaired.
  • Stage 6 – Able to follow simple commands consistently and retain learning for familiar tasks they performed pre-injury such as brushing teeth (but unable to learn new tasks).
  • Stage 7 – Able to perform daily routine automatically with minimal to no confusion, shows interest in social activities, and requires minimal supervision for safety.
  • Stage 8 – Independently carries out familiar tasks in a non-distracting environment. Demonstrates improvement of memory and ability to consolidate past and future events.
  • Stage 9 – Capable of shifting between tasks and performing independently. With assistance, able to think about the consequences of actions and decisions.
  • Stage 10 – Able to multitask in many different environments with extra time or devices to assist. Demonstrate the ability to interact with others in social situations appropriately.

Some people can get stuck in one stage of recovery for a considerable amount of time, whereas others can move through the stages quickly or skip stages altogether. It’s important to remember that recovering from TBI can take a long time. The faster someone regains consciousness, the more quickly they will typically recover. The longer a person stays in a state of impaired consciousness or coma, the more likely they will be severely disabled.

Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Options

Mental Health Center of America specializes in the treatment of post-concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related symptoms.

There are many treatment options for traumatic brain injury treatment in Phoenix at MHCA. Our team of therapists uses evidence-based treatment options for TBI and follows best-practice traumatic brain injury treatment guidelines to help you or your loved one see improvement from TBI symptoms.

Our evidence-based treatments utilized for individuals enduring symptoms associated with a head injury include:

Due to the various symptoms that can occur with TBI, a collaborative and multidisciplinary treatment plan is provided for each client by our licensed healthcare providers at MHCA. Our therapists create a custom treatment plan for each individual to facilitate the most effective symptom reduction and to foster an individual’s resilience to thrive after an injury.

Find Counseling for TBI Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms can be debilitating if you don’t seek proper treatment. At Mental Health Center of America, we provide TBI treatment that will help you to improve your quality of life. We are proud to be a top provider of Arizona mental health services and have counselors in Phoenix ready to help you overcome your traumatic brain injury symptoms today.

Our therapists use evidence-based treatment options for TBI and follow traumatic brain injury treatment guidelines to help you or your loved one see improvement from TBI symptoms. Contact us to learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury treatment options in Phoenix at Mental Health Center of America.

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