So, on my page... facebook.com/notesfromthebr...

I received a faintly nasty message from a fellow member of the brain community saying...

'I like watching your films, but will you please change the name from Brain Damaged Baron to Brain Injured Baron. I am NOT damaged, I am injured. If you crash a car, you damaged it, if you crack porcelain, you damage it, you do NOT damage a brain, I am injured.'

Now, rightly or wrongly, this annoyed me and I'd like to hear your opinions please.

I replied that I'd seen the brain scans and trust me, my brain is damaged, I can see a whacking great scar on it. I'm not overly bothered what people call me, call me a disabled cripple if you like, I don't give a damn, they're just words.

What I really want to know is, does damaged/injured bother you at all?

'Trevor, The Slightly Miffed Ostrich'

56 Replies

  • Iam glad its now reaferd to as injured but if you want to say damaged about YOURE own head then thats fine with me

  • Phew Andy, this can be a pretty contentious issue. Yes, it's your brain and you can describe it as you wish if that description fits. I also have no problem with using the 'Damaged' word as, even in my case where there was no impact involved, my brain has been damaged by the haemorrhage (I've also seen the scan showing said damage).

    It would be interesting to know which generation this person comes from. The problem could be one of 'labelling' for him perhaps. Decades ago 'Brain damage' was a mysterious, misunderstood condition and, if you were considered so, you were mostly written off as a viable human being and often institutionalised.

    It's only really since great leaps in research and surgery that has kept many of us amongst the general population, albeit with issues but still pretty misunderstood.

    I have to admit that when I use the term myself, I secretly hope it doesn't offend anyone.

    I suppose another way of looking at it is, if you were black, would anyone be offended by your referring to yourself using the 'N' word ? ................ If they were also black, maybe they would ?? ................. think I'd feel pretty uncomfortable to.

    It's all about freedom of expression isn't it, and I (personally) don't think you should worry too much about this choice of vocabulary as it isn't in any way derogatory, unless we choose to hark back to the bad old days. E. xx

  • PS, who the hell is Trevor the ostrich anyway ?? :O xx

  • I think you've hit the nail on the head there. The 'n' word pops up frequently in the music of the (predominantly American) youth, in rap and so forth. Although taboo now to most, they clearly have no problem using the terminology and who am I to stop them?

    Oswald the athletic giraffe

  • Oswald the athletic giraffe.............................' tis a curious world you inhabit, my friend. 8-) xx

  • What's your point? :)

    'Strength in humour,' never forget it!

    Cuthbert The Portly Pigeon

  • Eh-up m'dear, my whole life has been held together by (quite dark) humour and inappropriate quips so I'm pretty hot on the subject.................. :D

    Still don't recognise your feathered friends though.

    But If they're a product of your own imagination, I congratulate you !


  • All my own work. I'm just trying to avoid offending anyone. After all, I'm not a real Baron you know :)

    Terry The Flatulent Ferret

  • Oh-my-god ; I only just got the point of your animal nom-de-plumes ! :O

    You'll always be the Brain Damaged Baron to me.............................. xx

  • Bless your heart :) You might just be my first fan

    The Brain Damaged Baron

  • No 1 fan......................... oh yes ! xx

  • I shall inform Sharon of her demotion :D


  • Oops !! big blunder there then. :x

    No 2..........3.............4 ???

  • 1,234 ? x

  • Technically you were there first.

    Shh, I just wont tell her :)

  • Just hope you're getting the sunshine we're getting here in NW ; think we're having what's called an 'Indian Summer'.

    Sis-in-law day again today, so sadly it's a day of going somewhere scenic and sitting in the sun with coffee & cake !

    :o Life can be such a chore. :o

    See you later kid ! xx

  • To Our Funny Barron , just Jules here.

    Are you around ?

    Im not up to reading all the replies you got (and there was many!) about DAMAGE or INJURED, but just wanted to say I would love you if your Damaged or Injured mate ....

    So many things are so serious and sad, its odd what we focus on sometimes.

    Going to send a post to our other on the forum now Barron, quite lost at the moment.



  • Jules, you're a star, thanks! Sorry I wasn't around, I've been a bit ill so I was tucked up in bed

  • Gosh, it's all a bit of a minefield isn't it Andy ?

    According to this article I found, there are a few terms that I may well have unknowingly used in the past that could apparently be considered offensive. For example, if someone described you as epileptic or referred to seizures as fits, would this upset you ?


    I once used the medical term spastic ( I have spasticity, therefore I am spastic ) to describe my condition and it was taken badly. If I had proceeded the word by 'a' then that would be using it as a name and understandably considered an insult. I'm all for being respectful and not offending others but sometimes political correctness becomes overly strict.

    When I looked it up, brain damage is interchangeable with brain injury and does not appear on any of the 'offensive terms' websites I have looked at. So I think it comes down to personal choice. I think perhaps because it is an older term and was often associated with the more extreme end of the spectrum or a severe condition from birth, it is maybe considered a more 'harsh' or inappropriate descriptor by some ? I'm fine with either term but have observed that 'injury' is generally used on this forum, hence I use it also. x

  • I quite agree with everything you've said! The Brain Damaged Baron is basically a name, nothing more. I'm called Andy, as most know, but use the Pseudonym to get across a message, a point. It doesn't offend me, not at all, nor does being told I have had a fit, not a seizure. Or being told, quite rightly, that I'm a bit of a prat. I care not a jot. Why should anyone else?

    Jasper The Limping Hippo

  • As an afterthought ( and I get plenty of those ! ) I wonder if people would feel differently about spinal 'damage' versus spinal 'injury' ? Can have very similar effects to brain injury physically, as it is all one interlinked nervous system. I think it is perhaps the fact that the brain is our intelligence centre that makes it an emotive subject ? x

  • What a minefield we live in, it sometimes makes me want to pull up the drawbridge and forget the rest of the world.

    I'm fine with you calling yourself anything you want, because if you can't then!!!!

    Love Janet x

  • Precisely, Janet!

    Hoping you're well

    Boris The Voracious Badger

  • Does the complainant not have enough other worries without looking to be offended?! Personally I feel very frustrated by the modern trend of people being so easily upset by terminology (usually) used quite innocently. I struggle to cope thinking & articulating as it is, without having to think and rethink whether or not my terminology may cause upset to another. I wouldn't intentionally cause offence. I've had to speak words into my smartphone as I've no idea how to spell them, so far 7 times in 6 lines of text. I've had to so because my brain injury has damaged my brain & ability to spell. We're all just trying to get by as best we can, surely being so sensitive is a waste of precious energy?

    Best wishes

    CC xx

  • Brilliantly put! You're spot on

    Kenneth The Curmudgeonly Stoat

  • Ita just words

    raz the cagey cat

  • In today's world it is possible for any person to identify in pretty much any way they wish...and if you choose to identify the BDB rather than BIB that is your right...just as the complainer has the right to identify as brain injured.

    For me I had an accident that resulted in a brain injury... that brain injury caused damage to my brain and I live with the results...it matters not one jot what you call it. I did a humpty dumpty and it changed my life...trying to wrap the situation in positive words doesn't change a damn thing... they still could not put this Humpty together again ;)

    So if you choose to be Terry Turkey, Robin Rooster or Frederick the Fowl that is your business...

    If you try telling me how I should self identify or what I can and can't call myself, I might start to get a bit miffed though...

  • Yep, sounds about right!

    Percy The Peeved Parrot

  • I have very little time for labels, brain injury is a slightly softer way of saying brain damage, but fudemently means the same thing. Even those of us with milder forms it is brain damage what else is it?

    Oh since the NHS uses fit and seizure both in documenting, and staff. Though I don't have epilepsy number of the guys in work do so see GP/epilepsy specialist plus neurologists etc.

    I personally call it brain damage when speaking to lay people since it's simpler to get a handle on.

  • Yes, I don't think it matters at all to be honest, but there you go

    Dennis The Anxious Weasel

  • Late to this party, and late in the evening so if I had to skim over some of the responses then forgive me...

    I've managed to remain borderline employable (by which I mean by some miracle, people haven't seen through me yet and keep me in a job...whether out of pity I'm not sure ;-) ). As such I would not use the term damaged to describe the root of my challenges to my employer. I think it has negative, perhaps even pejorative, connotations which I would not want to be professionally associated with. Having said that I banter with people who know me well enough about being brain damaged.

    Ultimately I think it's entirely up to the individual how they describe themselves. It certainly would never have occurred to me to either ask anyone else to modify their self-descriptive language, or to make such changes myself. If someone were insulting me or anybody else then I would be pretty cheesed off and would speak up but otherwise I'd keep my trap shut!

  • Wise words, Fuzzy, wise words indeed.

    Gerald The Fruity Aardvard

  • Hello another late addition. Like the others said, totally up to you how you wish to be perceived or how you wish to perceive yourself. I say I had a brain haemorrhage and surgery if the topic comes up, I avoid words like 'injury' and especially 'damage' as they are too strong and would scare people, but that's just my opinion. Congrats Fuzzyhead on remaining borderline employable! I am trying to sneak back into the workforce in some capacity and won't be parading any labels before me unless asked or unless I feel it is necessary.

  • I say 'brain damage' in informal conversations and on social media, I only trot out 'Acquired Brain Injury' for formal situations. My brain is damaged, by the initial haemorrhage, and the subsequent surgeries, yes, it's 'injured', but it's not a scrape on the knee that will heal and fade to nothing. Your complainant CAN be offended by the word, and if we all considered potential offence that could be caused by everything we said/typed, world sales of gaffa-tape would rocket, and the 'refresh' button on social media would appear to be stuck.

    I'm moderately vexed by your complainant's analogy of 'a car is damaged', because when your car is damaged, it's often as simple as exchanging a part, and that's not possible with brains. The complex organic tissue in my head IS damaged, and I can't just pop out to a garage, or scrapyard, and ask for a new Anterior Communicating Artery for a 1977-model whatever-I-am.

    I don't rightly know 'how' damaged my brain is, by the rupture, and subsequent hydrocephalus, then the emergency surgery, and the elective surgery a year later, but there are bits of metal in there now, that weren't there before, and the associated scarring around said clusters of wires. Those areas of my brain now have 'lumps' in them, where there used to just be clear vascular pathways, they're damaged. Facebook is a minefield of opinions and offence-takers. In my personal opinion. Apologies if that opinion offends anyone. My personal opinion is that my brain is 'damaged', and I will choose to use that term, or the other, depending on the audience I'm addressing. My usual response to "You can't say THAT!" is "I just did."

  • :D Yep, you are 100% right (in my opinion) and I couldn't agree more with everything you have said!

    Horace The Mildly Perplexed Badger

  • Mildly Perplexed Mustelids shouldn't be taken lightly...

    The crux of it is that these lumps of 'think meat', as my adorable son likes to call brains, are ours, and it's up to us to define them, not other people. As ever, mindful of audience, though. I've been pretty unwell today, and it's hard to articulate to an outsider (like my manager), that no, there's nothing she can do, (unless she's a brain surgeon), and that I will risk-assess myself, in spite of her "Oh, I don't think you should be doing that!" It's my brain damage, and I know how it impacts on me.

  • 'Think meat' I like that. :)

    Mustelid has just reminded me that I need some more English Mustard...

  • See, damaged brains can be useful things... The boy says 'think-meat', because I refer to the entire human body as "meat we don't eat". Brains are fantastically complicated things, but they're essentially meat with electrical signals. (I have a scar on the palm of my left hand, from 'helping' my Dad cut up a pig's brain on the kitchen floor when I was about five, I wasn't 'normal' before the haemorrhage!)

  • Cutting up pigs brains? Was it a hobby? :)

  • Nope, I just had a somewhat unconventional childhood. My Dad wasn't always employed, and had pigs, and sheep on the allotment for when the freezer was empty... we had a house-goat for a while, an goat that lived IN the house, and chickens on the back garden.

  • Hello, if I was to think about it, yes my brain is damaged. Like Gaia it has bits of metal in it, bits have been removed via surgery, bits are dead via the bleed but I still quite like my brain even if, at times, it doesn't behave as I wish:) I think we have to love our brains whatever word we use or don't use.

  • Quite right too! I chuffing love my own brain. Scars, misfiring bits and all...

  • The thought of Terry the flatulent ferret made me smile - nice way to start the day.

  • Being pedantic, surely an injury is something which damages you. If you injure your foot, for example, and it heals, but leaves residual damage, you probably wouldn't describe your foot as "injured" - you'd be more likely to say you injured your foot in the past and it's left you with problems. So technically, of the two options, "damaged" is the more correct one.

    Personally, I don't care which term anyone uses - I've been fortunate not to have as much damage to my brain as you have had (though the injury was probably just as severe, if not more so) and it functions pretty well in general, but I still say I'm brain damaged. Like many other health problems, there's a spectrum and the damage can vary from very little to a lot.

  • Hi Andy,

    My opinion is "Brain injury or brain damage? Like it matters, It's not the end of the world".

    For me it is the same or very similar term.

    In all honesty this person is very pedantic in pointing that out.

    If a person smacks their head heavily on the ground, they likely sustain damage to their brain. If a person has hydrocephalus, encephalitis, stroke and so on... They will likely damage their brain.

    When I were little, I didn't know anything about brain injuries/damage. I remember sometimes hearing the term 'brain damage' but never 'brain injury'. I even remember watching an episode of "Kenan and Kel", a kids tv show I watched when I was a teen, and in one episode they mentioned "brain damage". Later on in life I join Headway in 2007 and that is when I first hear that the service users at Headway have brain injuries.

    "Damage" might make some think of permenant damage but if some folk think of permenant damage then they should say "permenant damage".

    One other thing is that I wouldn't go changing my name because someone told me they don't agree on it. If you like it, that's all that matters, right?

    I think in your next video, if you make one, start off by saying "Hi, and welcome to the brain DAMAGED Baron's video".

  • Yes, I might try that

  • Roget's thesaurus, looking up 'injure' - and we get 'weaken; enfeeble, debilitate, enervate, unnerve, frighten; slacken loosen disunite; strain, sprain, cripple, lame, disable; hurt, injure, wound; cramp, obstruct; disarm, cushion, blunt; improverish, starve, deprive, rob, take away; reduce, extenuate, abate; dilute, water down, mix; devitalise, eviscerate, neutralize, counteract; decimate, render few; muffle, mute; invalidate, abrogate; damage, impair; sap, undermine; dismantle, demolish.

    Take your pick, I say.....Tis only words

  • Exactly!

  • Hi Andy,

    Interesting post :) Here's my contribution; After my accident I was told 'You have damaged your brain. The parts of your brain that are damaged won't ever repair themselves - that's not possible, but the rest of your brain will hopefully start find new ways to do the things that the damaged part used to do'. So according to the neurologist, I'm 'brain damaged' because of a traumatic injury to my brain, and my brain has been injured. So basically either term is correct.

  • The more replies I read the more I realise it's not really an issue and I was quite right to be a little miffed

  • Whilst unable to sleep last night (courtesy of brain injury damage), I remembered a recent visit from an ex supervisor I worked with pre-accident. Every year on my birthday she visits with a card, gift & patronising platitude about how "I'm better off than those still working at the company". I think it's good of her to make an effort to visit & kind of her to buy me a gift, I could do without the work moans though. I'd love to be at work & have that sense of purpose & usefulness. Anyway this year's gem of a comment ....... "It could have been worse, you could have been left like a cabbage" a kind lady but not known for her pc attitudes!

    How offensive would your complainant find that comment?!

    Best wishes

    CC xx

  • Good grief, some people really do have all the tact of Bernard Manning don't they.

    Having said that, my brother and I did once spend an afternoon trying to conjure the most offensive name possible for me. I don't mind one bit, they are just words people! :)

    The Brain Damaged, Epileptic Moron

  • I've been called an anomaly.

    'deviation from the norm' 'an irregularity.' :)

  • Ooh, that's a new one, I quite like that :)

  • hi baron i have seen a lot of your short films on facebook they are brilliant the cards you hold up to camer what a great idea at last something and someone i can relate to my wife has watched the same short films and was quite moved by them as i was keep up thregreat

    work regards peter aka fedupspark

  • Thanks Peter, that's just the sort of response that keeps me going, and proves there's a need for what I'm trying to do. Keep watching, my friend. More to come, when the laryngitis has died off...


You may also like...