Posted on April 3, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 31 of 36 in the series Zachary

TBI Frontal Lobe Deficits: Zach Part Thirty One 

It is difficult to assess TBI frontal lobe deficits in survivors without collateral interviews, as one of the most prevalent frontal lobe deficits is insight into those deficits.  Many of our interviews have included interviews of family members or friends, to help us assess those issues.  As a result of the travel involved in doing Zach’s interview, we didn’t have the benefit of that here.

We haven’t talked about TBI frontal lobe deficits and I want to discuss those to some degree.  You went through this transition from being the cool homecoming king through the honorary of every homecoming king.  Did you TBI frontal lobe deficits being grown up enough when you were with your friends?


Can you talk to me about the TBI frontal lobe deficits that pertain to maturity?

Well I don’t, I don’t know how much is this is my injury but I feel like (I might say something) to have fun, you know. I might say to you something like that’s inappropriate and, but I think it’s funny and they think it’s funny.  So, I don’t see the harm in it.

Part of what is lost when a survivor is described as having “disinhibition” is the filter that is developed as to what is appropriate to not just think but say, gets thrown off.  As you age, you get more and more sense of what might offend someone  – what seems funny to you, but isn’t going to be felt to be funny.  This maturing sense of the appropriate occurs progressively as the frontal lobes develop, and continues even into the 20’s.

Do you have difficulties blurting out things that you shouldn’t blurt out as a TBI frontal lobe deficit?

I don’t blurt things out.  But, I actually like think about it and I’ll go yeah, that’s funny and then I say it and I’m like, I don’t think I should have said that.  You know.

And at your age you can get away with it, it might be a bigger problem, in two or three years.


The one thing you mentioned was that your girlfriend felt like she was more your mom than your girlfriend.  Why did you say that?

She wrote that to me.

Do you have any insight as to why she might have felt that way?

I think she probably just wanted a guy who could do everything himself.   And that’s not me.  I’m looking for someone to like –  we share, you know.  I help you do this, you help me do that.

What can’t you do by yourself?

No, I can, I can pretty much do anything for myself now.

But, before like, she’d, she’d get mad at me because I put in the GPS to get us back from Hampton Beach and I was like, I was just following the GPS – we’ll get home eventually, it doesn’t matter how long it takes us. And, she’s like no we should’ve went this way, we should’ve went that way and I’m like, would you just relax?  Like, we’re just going to go on a ride real quick, like, like it’s not like a big deal, you know?

To view:

Next in Part Thirty Two –

Anxiety Bigger Issue than Mood After Severe Brain Injury

About the Author

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