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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.


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.


Last Updated: May 19, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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