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There Is Nothing Lazy About Someone with a Brain Injury

There Is Nothing Lazy About Someone with a Brain Injury

Comments [9]

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Hey guys, it's Adam. I'm here to talk to you today about an email that I received from the wife of a Marine who suffered a brain injury while in Afghanistan. The email reads that, "My husband needs rest a lot more than he used to." "He gets physically tired more easily, and he also gets what they term 'brain fatigue'" where it appears that he's lazy, he's less proactive in his activities because his brain is ultimately tired. And so the question that she's asking is how can she help people and him understand that he's far from lazy but his brain just gets fatigued more easily? To her, she says, "It is insulting." And so really what I'm here to share with you is each person's recovery and each person's symptoms with a brain injury are going to be different. So some people are going to have symptomatologies where it becomes very apparent that they're struggling with brain fatigue, that their brain is really struggling and wearing itself out faster, while other people who may have suffered the exact same injury, their symptoms will be different, and they may experience not very much fatigue at all. They may experience a very fluid and dynamic kind of operating environment or personality. So the best thing to do is kind of fuse a balance between where you're capable of operating and the level of fatigue where it starts to set in. So if you're able to kind of gradually over time measure or put a little mental marker of where your fatigue starts to set in, try and match that on a regular basis. And over time, your therapies may change, your acclimation to your environment may change, or just your resiliency may change. You may be better equipped from time to time as you progress through your recovery to deal with the different levels of brain fatigue, with the ultimate goal of hopefully eliminating it as best you can. So focus on your own recovery, don't worry about the perceptions of being lazy or inactive, and just do the best you can. Thanks.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Adam shares an email from a Marine's wife about "brain fatigue." She worries that people — including her injured husband — think he is lazy or less proactive when it's simply a physiological symptom of the TBI. Adam offers kind and sage advice.

Adam profile thumbnail

Hi, I’m Adam Anicich

I’m a former Army Sergeant, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, a service-disabled vet, and someone with a brain injury. I’m here to share my story with you — along with some practical tips — and I hope that I can help you in your own journey of recovery.

Learn more about Adam >


Comments [9]

You hit the nail on the head my friend. TBI since '99 and NO ONE will understand what we go through on a daily basis...even WE don't understand. It can change who you are on so many different levels, and can wear out relationships even break up marriages. We need all of the support that we can get but sometimes that's not easy to get from doctors who don't understand it and even your loved ones who also don't understand it. Thankfully, I was blessed with a wife who is stronger than she ever gives herself credit for and has stood, and stands, beside me even when things are almost more than she can bare. Stay strong my friend.

Sep 27th, 2016 6:04pm

Spot on my Man, TBI in 09!! summed it up for me!! also personality changes can n do occur n that too is ok.. ty for your service ;)

Feb 5th, 2015 11:32pm

Thanks Adam. I have a BI that I got from an almost fatal illness called ARDS. My sisters think I'm lazy too. I work hard to not let it hurt my feelings. Even tho my partner explained this to them, they still think I'm lazy. So I let them think what they will and trust my supports. Appreciate what you're doing to help!!! BTW, it's taken me quite some time just to write this post!!

Jan 19th, 2015 2:52pm

Thank you Adam for your service to our country and for keeping our families safe. So very sorry that resulted in you becoming a TBI survivor. My son, Adam, suffered a severe TBI at age 15. He is now 18 and he is still struggling with the fatigue. His school isn't understanding any of it. I pray for you, please rest when you feel tired. It is your body trying to heal and you sometimes just need the rest. It is perfectly normal...don't let anyone tell you or make you feel lazy. That is THE last thing you are! You are a hero! God bless you & take care💕

Jan 12th, 2015 11:08am

Thank you Adam, I suffered an AVM that ruptured in 2011. My Neurologist saved my life. I seem to have bouts of fatigue and anxiety & my family physician is a gynecologist who hasn't a clue about brain injury. My head is not a vagina!... when I saw her last, she told me that I don't need anything for my anxiety but I do need a psychologist for my oddities. When I spoke to my neurologist, he had nothing good to say about her and got me on track right away with some required rest and simple relaxation techniques. I am asking anyone with similar problems don't despair, stay on course with those who help and be rid of those who do not/ will not understand what we are going through.

Jan 11th, 2015 3:40pm

Great advice for an ABI sufferer. As someone with a head injury I have to do this every day.

Sep 26th, 2014 12:46am

Thank you and many blessings Adam. Your dedicated service seems to never cease. I am a civilian with a brain injury from West Nile Virus/ Encephalitis. Your efforts affect us all in a positive way. Thank you for your military service  which keeps us safe. And thank you for sharing your courageous battle with brain injury.


Sep 25th, 2014 8:55pm

I am sharing this so friends understand that I am not lazy just because I sleep more your brain heals when you sleep I just wish they would understand this x

Sep 25th, 2014 8:38am

Thanks Adam! I had a major stroke in February and I know all about brain fatigue! Luckily, I have a very understanding husband and family and friends that watch over me.

Sep 24th, 2014 10:37am


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