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Brooke Brown Talks About Living with Her Husband with TBI and PTSD

Brooke Brown Talks About Living with Her Husband with TBI and PTSD

Comments [3]

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I'm Brooke. My husband's named David. He's a United States Marine. He was deployed twice to Iraq: 2006 to 2007, 2007 to '08. He has TBI. He was hit by 5 mortars while standing post. The mortars dropped directly under him, and when it came up the post took the shrapnel, but the percussion waves came up and got him, knocked him out. My husband now has extreme PTSD. He has seizures due to the TBI as well as to PTSD. His back is actually fractured. He's got 2 discs that were crushed beyond repair. He doesn't know what he ate last night, but he can remember what he ate 3 weeks ago. The loss of hearing--he can't hear half the time. You have to scream at him to get his attention. The light sensitivity, the lights being outside-- even on a cloudy day he has to wear sunglasses or he'll develop a massive migraine. He has very short tempers, which it's hard to know what the triggers are because it could be a slamming of a door and it just spooks him. He has to have someone with him almost 24 hours a day or at least in earshot, because if he forgets where he is he flips out, and then that's where the PTSD comes in. He'll have a flashback. And if he has a flashback--you know how PTSD is-- it turns him into a monster. And my husband is a hero, not a monster. I have learned now to decipher where the PTSD, the TBI monster is versus my husband. There's 2 people, and I hate this one over here, but I love this one, and I'm going to stick with this one because I want to see more of it. And if I go away, this one is going to take over this one, and there may not be this one ever again. And that's what I'm afraid of. So I want to keep this one in the dungeon; keep this one outside and happy. The light is at the end of the tunnel, but to be able to walk that mile you have to take that first step. He will get better, or she will get better. You just have to stick in there and learn the new normal. And it will come about. It just may take you a little while. But you're still beating everybody else that's out there because, once again, to walk a mile, to get to that light you have to take your first step. And it's going to happen.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

"PTSD turns my husband into a monster. But my husband is a hero. He is not a monster," says Brooke Brown. She's working with him to embrace the hero and squelch the monster.

Watch "Brooke Brown: How I Communicate with My Husband"


Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Lara Collins, BrainLine.

Special thanks to LtCol. Tim Maxwell, USMC (ret), and his wife, Shannon.

Comments [3]

Thank you Brooke for your story you helped me and give me courage my husband also went to all war and came back with TBI and PTSD so I understand hang in there may God give you strength and courage to get through every single day and would you please tell your husband I thank him for his sacrifice and yours that I am eternally grateful for him keeping me safe and my family safe may God bless you and keep you safe

Jun 20th, 2016 1:14am

Thank you Brooke for sharing! I am curious if your husband realizes how much his memory is damaged? In my own case my husband feels that I am literally stripping him of his manhood when I suggest that his inability to remember and perform multistep activities has been effected.

Oct 20th, 2015 8:19am

Brooke, David and family, My heart goes out to you. What are the most effective treatments you have found in your management of the TBI/PTSD? You are right, though, in my late boyfriend I saw the man he was before a TBI added to his PTSD and he went into a hole that he couldn't come out of. I miss that man.

Jun 15th, 2014 12:39pm


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