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I was wondering if anyone, such as myself with a BI is afraid of returning to work? the fear of getting things wrong, not remembering stuff. its difficult and frustrating as it is at home never mind being in a work environment. and even if i was to go back, what if i got made redundant? who would take on people with a BI? seriously, in the real busines world, who would?

10 Replies

I completely understand, I was terrified, I still get worried now and I've been at work now for a while. I never feel comfortable and every time they make cuts and change contracts I'm on tenterhooks, it's very scary. I have used many aids and my work colleagues know about my bang on the bonce and are very good at letting me know where what when and why.

I have had to take time out and time off when things got too much. I can't tell when this is happening till it get critical so I do rely on others to let me know.

It's all about getting your confidence back. Trying out news things and finding what works for you. I started off by volunteering and then starting on 5 hrs a week, building up over 2 years to 25 hours a week. I could never have imagined working so many hours in the beginning hence the very gradual increase.

I hope this helps a wee bit


I understand your fear. I am 6 months post ABI and I returned to work too soon. I went back after 3 months, I went back to my usual days but half the hours and I really thought I could do it and was bitterly disappointed when it became blatantly obvious that I couldn't.

My advice would be to ask your employer to refer you to occupational health so they can assess what you may need support with etc.

Good luck


It can be scary, and it is a big step.

Are you talking about a return to work as in going back to the job did you did before your injury... Or do you mean returning to work as in finding a new job?

Each has its own set of challenges... and the advice for each scenario would be slightly different.


Hi, i got really worked up about going back, but maybe im just lucky but it worked out well and got my confidence back, i still get very tired but have learnt to manage it, hopefully you will get great support and fingers crossed will be much better than you fear. My girls are proud of me for going back and i hope i am proving that there can be hope after tbi. Good luck.

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Hi Red Spinal, completely understand your uncertainty. All cases are different, only you can know your circumstances, but its is good to share. I wish you all the best with your return to work!

In my case I was desperate to get back to work as a Firefighter. It was mostly about finance for me. Had dropped to half pay after 6 months, which pretty much tied in with my release from hospital. (I realise how lucky I was!) Work were fantastic with me; was told if I could get in for a few days a week, I would go back on to full pay. I went in on light/modified duties, in less than a month of getting out of hospital. Soon went in daily, apart from attending Dr's/hospital appointments, NHS rehab' and Headway. Workmates were fantastic, I attended rehab' at the fire service charity rehab' in Penrith, on four occasions, total of 6 weeks. This rehab' was fantastic and I am so grateful for it, and am aware how lucky I was. The difference in progress achievable when receiving dedicated, planned, programs of rehabilitation, compared with weekly or less! rehabilitation for a couple of hours, was striking. Penrith didn't just help me physically, but brought me out of myself as well. Meeting and conversing with other fire employee's was enlightening. I am so fortunate to have experienced this degree of rehab' and all that time spent washing cars and other charity events, was time well spent. I now donate to the fire service charity as I have left the fire service., so it no longer comes directly out of my wages. I was sent back to basic training and attended a 5 week course the same as any recruit. I climbed ladders, went in simulated fires, cut up cars, ect. I had some challenges but generally equiped myself reasonably well. The sequencing of my verbal commands, and certain aspects of searching with my sight obscured were not satisfactory, and as it was two and a half years post accident, I was eventually retired on ill health. I finally retired 3 yrs & 9 mths post accident, but the decision had been made a year before. 4 years post accident, I was mentally and physically in a much better place to have returned to operational duty, and certainly 5 years after my bang on the head I would have proved my myself capable of returning to operational duty. My local Retained Station were looking for firefighters last month and I considered applying, and was encouraged to do so. Unfortunately dropping hours at my current job, and losing my small pension (given as I was permanently unfit for operational work), meant this was not possible, shame as I believe I would have coped with, and passed recruitment, now and would have enjoyed the challenge; however, what if I had passed, then no jobs were available, (more people passed, than positions available.) After advise I did not pursue the application.

Am now doing what I formally did, 28 yrs ago, supporting people with a learning disability, living in the community. It was an extreme challenge at first, coming from a job, where public perception is generally positive, and so are their reactions, to one where due to personality disorders and communication difficulties, people can be negative verbally and physically! But I have survived and so have the people I support. ;)


I am back in work and have been for quite a while now.

I didn't at the time worry, when I came back but work made it very clear, that I was coming back under a phased sistem and that frankly they would wait, they still make reasonable ajustments now, 11 months on or so.

I am not what I was, but i'd be difficult to remove, clearly I can with ajustments do the job, and as far as employment law is concerned I'm disabled, from the TBI and Dyslexica so i'm fairly sure that would not happen.

this said I think I'd struggle to get a new job.


I am on my phased return now 11 months post SAH. I only work 10 hours a week over 3 days which is a far cry from before where I used to work 10 hours daily!

My work have been fantastic. I have a new role now pretty much cutting out all the stressful bits! I won't earn nearly as much clearly however I believe that my stress levels very much played a part In what happened so when I feel like a failure I remind myself of that.

I had to relearn some things and speech is sometimes a problem.

The hardest thing for me is getting 2 wee ones up, washed dressed breakfasted and out to nursery and still have energy to get myself up and ready and on bus (argh can't drive!!!)

It has done me good though and has helped my confidence.

The only advice I would give is make it very clear about your BI and as someone said previously if you can be referred to Occ Health. They can liaise with your work to ensure they are clear on your limitations.

Good luck!! x


I'm worried too, it's now 5 1/2 months since my bang on the head, my boss has been really good as the same thing happened to her mother, but I'm nervous and worried that I won't be able to do it as well as I don't think the same and my work is all about thinking and problem solving etc. it gets me down :-(


With PCS and Post Traumatic Migraine after a head bump 15 moths ago I returned to work far too early after three months and struggled on only to build up to four hours each morning a year later getting home to collapse/sleep for the afternoon. Eventually I recently resigned since the company were not supportive and constantly tried to drive me out of the department /company since I was taking up a full time position on those reduced hours and they weren't happy about that.They actually said to me at one point'what if we force you out'. I was coming home in tears trying to cope with the constant challenge/pain / tiredness of work along with their hassle.Two weeks after leaving I went self employed cleaning people's houses(ie No 'brain work' but practical work) as I thought nobody else would give me a job anyway and I didnt want to work for another boss !Best thing I did. Still only working on average about 14 hrs a week but I can pace and please myself


The anxiety is completely normal - I was paranoid for weeks before going back. Don't go back too early, like everyone says, however tempting that may be. Phase in working as much as you can. Don't feel under any obligation to do more than you should, take plenty of rest during time at work.

And...good luck.


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