Less smart after brain injury: Hi my name is michael... - Headway

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Less smart after brain injury


Hi my name is michael and im 19 years old. In 2010 i had a brain injury with a very small non operable epidural hematoma. They did not gave me medicine for the trauma.

Before this i was considered Aspergers and a very smart kid.

What i want to know is if my injury was severe and if it is possible that i became less smart because of this.

Thanx mike

18 Replies

You don't lose your intelligence. But if it's affected your cognitive function it will be much harder for you to access that intelligence, and to express it.

Hidden in reply to lily82

it would be more the visual function which is affected: i have a little bit diplopia. Dr's said i didnt have permanent brain damage so that is the good news but a healer from alternative medicine told me visual function has been affected by the injury...

If it's given you double vision then I'd have to assume that, it's due to damage.

It's certainly possible to loose intelligence due to brain injury but equally the reverse is true.

For myself though high functioning I suspect I'd do less well on IQ tests than I had done previously. I still feel bright to be honest. I guess I should find out in time when I get poked/prodded during rehabilitation.

Hi and welcome

I was considered to be very smart pre-injury. The intelligence and long term memory is still there but it gets muddled by my "executive" functions that cause problems reading and short term memory.

I liken it to a having a Ferrari but with some dodgy steering and an corrupted sat nav - the engines still there trying to go everywhere at high speed but with little control.

There are quite a few things that help which if you trawl round the board or post some more questions - people on here will be more than happy to share.

All the best on journey

lily82 in reply to sospan

Yeah that's a problem for me too. Even if I do understand something in an intelligent way, I won't be able to retain it and I will have forgotten it soon enough. I don't see the point in learning things, because I just forget and I stress myself out and get upset.

But my TBI has ruined my ability to do maths and more complex things. I used to be very good at maths and science, but lost my ability to do it. So it did affect my intelligence. I forgot all the skills I'd learned in those subjects and just couldn't pick it up again.

Have a look at Dr Diane Stolper's book on recovering from Post concussion syndrome and mild traumatic brain injury. She has a chapter on the executive function. Her website and links to the book are here: drdiane.com and you can also try the Nourish Your Noggin book to go with her treatment program by Tina M Sullivan. You can get both on Amazon. There are nice things on the diet like dark chocolate too! Good luck.

Hi Mike, I completely agree with lily as I had a frontal lobe brain bleed 1.5 years ago. My cognitive intelligence was effected and its slowed me down a little but I'm faster thinking in other ways. Recovery with these injuries really takes time so hang in there. Nick


Yes brain injuries are annoying. I myself have very strong suicidal thoughts at the iedea of having lost some intelligence which was so important to me.

I really would prefer to die now that i know that i maybe became less smart....

It is true that i was very curious and became much less curious maybe due to damage.

It does not answer my question was my injury severe or not?

RogerCMerriman in reply to Hidden

In terms if the injury was severe, Headway have a page here.


But remember it's also outcome I'm apparently "high functioning" according to doctors and what not, others who didn't even loose consciousness have had far worse outcomes.

Unfortunately due to wars and hence funding we are starting to learn more about the brain, but curing or fixing beyond eat/sleep/live well isn't realistic at this point in time.

You don't sound happy did you ever get tested and or rehab?


Why is there any cure for tbi, there should be something...


Yes the problem is that i am depressed, i never went to rehab because i never needed for the doctors or was prescribed that! According to headway's guide my injury was moderte to mild but was serious at the moment because of the hematoma!

But for me it is still an injury with consequences such as loss of interest to do things double visiom oraltered state of consciousness... I was tested and it seems that i was Aspergers pre injury

RogerCMerriman in reply to Hidden

It's quite common according to the lovely woman who facilitates the Headway group I went to, for folks to attempt to brush them selfs off, and try to carry on as before.

I certainly did this, and with help from lovely woman after three years I got referred to see a neuropsychologist who I've seen and going to be tested to see what works and what doesn't. Now it's not three rather than six years. But time of it's self is no barrier.

If you can try to separate out brain injury from aspbergers or at least deal with one thing at a time.


I even now feel at some point mentally challenged


Helthline about epidural hematoma:


RogerCMerriman in reply to Hidden

Healthline are being a little um zealous with those pages, I had two Hemaomas one Epidural/Extradural to the rear and a Subdural to the front.

Try not to worry your self with some of the health sites they aren't always correct.

interested in this as was alone in an area so I fought after the attack,to point I can now see may of impeded on my health;only through a bad episode,an speaking to headway,do I know some termnologies,as right now my gp;think lost ,as I moved home from area I was attacked in seems to take forever help;onl;y through trying to do cbt,for my ptsd;as it suddenly become major,,,,reinactment,nightmares,suicidal;memories, completely gone ,try to put it in stages but I cant as remember loads jumbled up ,now maybe with headway too I will get the help;funny how its a maverick;case to cops {unshut}major yet for help for me has been 3 years coming ,not here but suppose to be this new year


I understand your story jacs i had the same thing sometimes as for feeling mentallly challenged is it true, sometimes people at school made fun of me because of my behvior post injury but it seems doctors want to explain it with the depressiom and aspergers even if i feel it is not this.

i really feel mentally challenged, for exemple i cannot do things alone, if i do them alone i get messed up am slow or do the wrong thing.

it is very stressful and i feel very low, as i said i have suicidal thiughts because of this

How have you been ever since? Hope you feel a lot better now.

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