Posted on November 3, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 17 of 20 in the series Steven

Anxiety After Severe Brain Injury: Steven Part Seventeen

Steven and I talked about the medications he is on and if he takes anything for anxiety after severe brain injury.  He states that he is only on something for attention-deficit.

Are you currently on medication?

The only thing is, Adderall for attention deficit.

Are you taking anything for your anxiety?

No sir.

Steven Doesn’t Believe in Medications for Anxiety after Severe Brain Injury

Have you ever been prescribed anything for your anxiety after severe brain injury?

I don’t believe so. I’m not a big person on mental health drugs.

You’ve given us a number of, of examples of things that will increase your anxiety after severe brain injury.  Can you talk to us about the anxiety after severe brain injury you feel, what triggers anxiety after severe brain injury and how you adapt to it and what you can’t do because of anxiety after severe brain injury?

That’s something I still work on right now is trying to figure out how to get past it.  I really don’t know.  There’s a traumatic brain injury support group I became a part of on Facebook of all things.  There’s this lady in Canada that I’ve gotten real close with that I think it’s like four years removed from hers they get a little bit better medical care. She’s got me taking  MB12 stuff, it’s like Methylcobalamin I think.

Over the counter drugs for anxiety after severe brain injury? 

Yes sir.  And you get it like any health food store.  It’s like something about when I get overwhelmed or like the triggers there’s a glutamate over, that like flood in your brain or something and that helps slow it down to where it’s not as bad.  It doesn’t completely get rid of your triggers or how you react to them.  They won’t be as intense maybe and I’ll take usually that on the onset of something and then there.

A lot of times the best thing I can do is just completely pull myself away from whatever situation is.

Sit in the dark?

If I can.

Do you have problems with temper or depression?

I was getting the depression question all the time before I became, I got approved for my disability the last time.   Every time I was asked it, the only thing I could come up was if you were in my position you were surviving on nothing and you had no help and nobody was worried about you, would you not be depressed a little bit?

Do you think you have any depression that’s clearly related to your brain injury, not necessarily the circumstances itself but because the mood centers of your brain have been damaged?

I can’t say that I don’t .

No one’s ever diagnosed that?  No one’s ever concerned themselves with it?


You’ve never been treated for what they would call “organic depression?”

They tried to but I was pretty dead set against that one.

What about temper problems?

I was having it pretty bad like in the first year or so after the accident and that’s why I originally started seeing any kind of a professional about like moods and emotions. But it’s something that I’ve been aware of pretty much from the onset of the accident and I work at it every day to try and not let it just not to succumb to it I guess.

Did you have problems with the woman who lived with you for a year and a half with temper?

That’s why I originally started going to a doctor about the stuff in the first place.

Did you have problems with violence?

It wasn’t violence but I would get so mad that I would like break my own stuff.

What would set you off?

I really think at the time it was just if something didn’t go right and it was just the constant piling up of things over and over and over that once it just got to a certain point it just, I had to let it out or it would go, I would go even crazier.

Did you have problems with impatience?

I’d say yes probably.

One of the limitations of TBI Voices has been the inability to interview more of what would be called the “collateral” voices of those who new our interviewees best.  With Steven, the one person who might shed the most light on some of these issues is what I have referred to as his “pseudo girlfriend.”  Because of the end of that relationship, real insight into what he moods were like during that period isn’t available.  This is a common problem post TBI, as so often the temper and stress of surviving TBI, not only result in failed relationships, the endings tend to be bad and bitter.

Next in Part Eighteen – Describing the Headaches, Pain and Neurological Problems After Severe Brain Injury

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447