Fatigue : My accident was on the 17th July 2018 so... - Headway


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My accident was on the 17th July 2018 so this is all pretty new learning to cope with it.

I’m learning way to cope with brain injury it makes me very tired and I have to have an hour sleep in the afternoon otherwise I turn very moody and can’t concentrate. Do other people have fatigue and does it ever go away.



17 Replies

I still cant manage a full day without a nap or relaxation period of around a half hour and its been 8 years for me.

It may not be the same for you no two brain injuries are equal

Take care


I was told for most people with a brain injury it would go within the first year. Others said two years.

Though the general consensus seems to be that fatigue is one of the most reported symptoms of those with a brain injury.

I myself have deal with fatigue alot and I am four years down the line.

I find pacing routine and planners help. Check out headways website and look up fatigue and pacing. Brain injury team helped me create a weekly planner. Look for the term boom and bust and pacing and planners along with brain injury.

As for coping with a brain injury I thought would share these things I figured out along the way just my perspective: I was constantly looking back at the old me and comparing the old me to the new me I kept looking at what I was capable of before what I couldnt do now. Beating myself up for all the mistakes I would and did make in a day. Everything just got so complicated that used to be easy and not to mention all the post the benefit system it was exhausting.

All the problems me forgetting stuff caused and how difficult making decisions had become.

THEN at some point I realised I couldnt get the old me back . I couldnt do everything i did before and I accepted what happened couldnt be changed. I accepted I was gonna make mistakes and not to be so hard on myself. I realised I was a NEW ME and that was OKAY.

Things really improved from that point and it helped coz I was happier I stopped beating myself up.

Not gonna lie and say it sorted out the fatigue but it did improve .

I then started spending the energy i did have on things that are important to me. I stopped trying to climb mountains when the hills were hard enough if you know what I mean. The hardest thing about coping with a brain injury for me was accepting it but once I did things became so much easier to deal with. Now if I am gonna lose three days to fatigue to the point where I have to do sod all coz I have over done it, trust me when I tell you it will be worth it. I can promise you I will never again boom and bust because of the ironing pile. (Memory permitting lol) If anything a brain injury taught me lifes too short oh and that I want to see my kids grow up and I want be an old lady one day. 🙂

2tins in reply to marzy31

Omg!! I thought I’d written that and forgot!!! That is exactly the same as me. Once I accepted it, everything seemed to improve.. My local Headway group sorted me out. Explaining how you may never be exactly the same person as you were pre ‘head band’ but the new you will be even better. I don’t put any pressure on myself now and, fir me, it’s the best thing ever. Be kind to you and so what if we need a recoup nap in the afternoons...🤗

marzy31 in reply to 2tins

Loved your reply. Heres to be being kind to yourself to no pressure and not caring if we need a nap. Love it x

Hi Ben. Brain injury is different from most other types of injury as it almost always leaves lasting residues of fatigue. And one or more of the following after-effects ( impaired mobility, headaches, short term memory loss, emotional instability etc.) are commonplace.

So instead of stressing over stuff which was once achievable but is no longer, we cope better by accepting that life after brain injury is much more challenging and needs a whole new approach.

Fatigue can be managed by acknowledging your limits and (mostly) respecting them.

I've lost fair-weather friends because I could no longer keep pace with the things I used to love such as night clubs, loud music and drinking. But now I've found different friends who're just as valuable and don't judge my need for avoiding alcohol and all-nighters !

It's a hard learning curve letting go of lifetime habits but I hope, like many people here, you'll find the path to suit your needs ; one which offers fulfillment...... and plenty of laughter along the way...

Cat x

Teynboy in reply to cat3

Well said as always Cat 😊

cat3 in reply to Teynboy

Thanks T. !


Hi Ben666, some excellent replies there that should bring you, me and others some peace. It is comforting to know that we're not on our own, I like to think that we are all members of a special club.

I am nearly fours years on and rank fatigue has the highest limiting factor in getting on with life, my body begins to shut down and for me it feels like the earth's core is pulling me down until I relent and sleep, I never set an alarm as my body/mind regularly has 57 minutes! Once or twice a day. I am still registered disabled and can't work, especially in my old career.

Acceptance is the key and that only comes with time and being kind to yourself, that took 3 years. My stubbornness and determination helped to recovery from my many other injuries but I see now that it hindered my emotional and mental well-being.

I tell people that I am permanently fatigued.

We all have other stuff to deal with, not just the day to day normal stuff but other symptoms of our ABI, and indeed other medical needs.

Because of the polytrauma I suffered, I live with the constant intractable (ranked second) physical pain, memory problems, anger, depression and anxiety. Dealing with the loss of friends and family who can't understand so now don't try...anyway my point being, there's soo much going on for our brains to cope with its not surprising it needs to rest and reset, however frustrating it is.

I do hope that you have a good team of caring and understanding folk around you, that is the best medicine.

Be kind to yourself ;)

Hi Ben. It’s four years on for me

And I still nap at least twice a day. The secret is to try and nap for 20 minutes-no more. Not easy but set an alarm. I vary the amount of time I nap depending on what I need to do next. I still work so need to carry on! I’ve even managed a 5 minute nap before!

Just be patient and kind to yourself! You’ve been through a lot!

When I had my tbi I was 15. I was told the side effects would improve for 2 years and then level off. That was 30 years ago. Yes, fatigue can still be a problem but I have got used to making sure I get rest, exercise and try to stay positive. Focus on what you can still achieve instead of what you can no longer do.

Good luck

I’m not dissimilar time wise as I had my injury right at the end of last June. The first couple months I had very little energy and was off work. Going back to work was really hard and I started with just 1 day a week and then 2 and 3 etc.. I was absolutely knackered after each day and to be honest after the first hour. What I have learnt is to pace myself and mix up and break up tasks. Very few tasks are ideal but somehow I have been lucky enough to hang in there with my job and my employer has shown some understanding though it has waned after several months! I love one of the comments about accepting you are not the old you. I am about half way there on that score! Hope these comments help you make some sense if it all.

Great comments from everyone 😊

It's almost as if I've written those responses myself.

Yep, was told that most symptoms improve after a year, then two years and then probably never.

Fatigue hits me daily and it's so inconsistent. It could be as minor as not being able to concentrate for a few moments to wiping me out for the whole day.

The key is acceptance. I spent many years fighting it but finally, after 6 years, I was offered support from the local community hospital.

I've since learnt to manage the fatigue by pacing myself, resting/switching off on the good days too and realising that some things are not as easy as they once were.

Hi Ben,

I am behind you on the curve - my accident was last February 2019. I certainly still suffer fatigue. I often run out of steam in the afternoon and cannot stay awake past about 8.30pm. Reading others' stories here I think this is typical and although many recover completely it can be a long journey. After a year I am getting better at wondering when it will all go away and learning acceptance but certainly have not found it easy. Also find the longer it goes on, the harder it is for those around me to remember and understand. Wishing you all the best. Keep napping!

Hi Ben

this year will be 10 years after brain injury for me. I still get fatigued now some days, if I do to much or not sleep well. I suffered immensely, the first few years with fatigue, would say thats the main problem for me, then the cognitive stuff and cloudy head and sweating. But fatigue can really bring you down sometimes, for me i used to get angry at it for stopping me doing things. I used to be very active, reasonably fit but now because of fatigue tire quickly, which really annoys me. Its took me years to stop beating myself up for not being and looking how i used too. That person has gone, im now a new person, learning to accept that was hard. Now i know, when i feel fatigued i need to rest or sleep, without feeling guilty that im not joining into an activity which i may have been doing. Teaching my family was a bit hard too, so they know that when i say i need to rest, I mean i really need to rest. They leave me alone and then i can get back to whatever we were doing. Brain injury is different for everyone, i think my fatigue is just an ongoing thing, hopefully for you, you will find what works for you and your family. Im sure as time goes on you will know what your limits are and learn how to cope. Wishing you all the best x

I appreciate everybody’s comments and feedback and advise, this is my first time contacting others with a brain injury and similar issues so this all a bit over whelming

Thanks Ben666

cat3 in reply to Ben666

Take your time Ben ; we're always here..... x

5 years on for me. I still get fatigue but I'm also a total insomniac, during the day I need power naps to help me though, the key is no more than 20 minutes at a time for me. More and I'm more groggy than usual, and irritable too, less and I'm wiped out.

But at night I cannot sleep, rarely sleep longer than 5 hours at a time. Have never felt truly rested in the last 5 years, since the incident, which is a shame I loved my sleep before!!

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