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TBI and Total Force Fitness

Psychological Fitness

Psychological fitness is the ability to integrate and improve cognitive, emotional, and behavioral practices. People with a TBI often experience psychological health challenges, and require a comprehensive approach to treating the injury.


Messages for Communicators

  • Even a mild TBI can cause changes to your psychological health and impact the ability to stay mission-ready.
  • The brain affects how we think, feel, and act. Damage to the brain from TBI can affect physical function, thinking ability, behavior, mental health, and more.
  • TBI can range from mild to severe. More severe TBIs increase the risk for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as sleeping problems.
  • When your psychological health is compromised, it can have compounding effects on your overall wellness.
  • Your psychological health connects to every area of overall wellness, including exercise, diet, relationships with friends and family, and clear thinking.
  • The circumstances that lead to TBI may be associated with events that contribute to post traumatic stress, like witnessing psychologically disturbing events.
  • Diagnosing post-traumatic stress can be complex, as the physical and psychological symptoms can be similar to TBI.
  • If you’ve had a concussion, talk with your health care provider about activities to avoid and which ones can help you recover.

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Social Fitness

Social fitness is the ability to engage in productive personal and professional relationships, positively interact with unit and command networks, and use resources that promote overall well-being. Strong interpersonal relationships can help identify possible TBI, and can assist in recovery.


Messages for Communicators

  • When you experience a TBI, changes to your personal and professional relationships are common.
    • Some TBI symptoms, like mood swings and personality changes, can stress relationships.
    • Friends, families and coworkers who notice these changes, and are aware of a possible head injury, should encourage medical attention.
    • Seeking medical attention for a potential TBI is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Encouragement from family members and friends is crucial in identifying and recovering from TBI.
    • Family members and friends can play an important role in encouraging someone who may have a TBI to contact their healthcare provider for assistance.
    • Strong, resilient relationships can also help people overcome some symptoms of TBI, like depression.

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