A person’s view of him or herself can be negatively affected by TBI. Feelings of low self-esteem go hand-in-hand with depression.

What might you see?

  • Negative self-statements ("I am worthless," "I’ll never be normal again," "How can you love me like this?")
  • Less interest in personal appearance
  • Social withdrawal

How can you help?

  • Encourage the service member or veteran to express their feelings. Listen compassionately and be nonjudgmental. Try to redirect the person to more positive thoughts.
  • Encourage the service member or veteran to spend time with others and encourage participation in independent activities (for example, reading, listening to music, etc.).
  • Help the service member or veteran to set realistic, attainable goals for themselves. Help them choose activities that can be successfully completed.
  • Encourage them to participate in physical activity (to the best of their ability) on a regular basis – daily or every other day if possible. Active exercise improves self-esteem and can lower their risk for depression.