I spent the first 3 months of my concussion lying in bed at home, in a dark room, and on complete brain rest. This brain rest meant that I could not watch TV, use a computer, phone, text, read anything, do any sort of homework or exercise. In other words, I could just sleep and lie in bed.
Featured Brain Injury Articles
Brain Injury Information – learn more about the effects of brain trauma, TBI, concussion, blast injury, and PTSD. Whether you are a survivor, family member, civilian or veteran, you’ll find our blog articles filled with information and insights. All articles are free of charge and can be printed and copied – but please give us credit as the source at www.lapublishing.com/blog
Traumatic brain injury in the United States:
At least 1.4 million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year. Of these, about 50,000 die, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department. (CDC)
Wounded veteran Matt Brown has fought many wars in mind and body since he returned from Iraq. In this poem, he captures the transformation of children playing at war to the reality of service members in combat seeing death and the wounds of war every day. Our returning service members and veterans are changed by the experience of war and the innocence of youth is forever lost.
Students with traumatic and other acquired brain injuries often have such difficulty with attention that it affects their ability to pay attention in class, study effectively, do homework and succeed in school. Katherine Kimes provides educational tips and strategies that teachers can use in the classroom to help improve a student’s attention and performance. These practical suggestions for students with brain injury (TBI) can be used by all educational staff as well as parents.
Living with PTSD can feel like fighting another war for a veteran. But this time it’s a war fought at home and it’s personal. It’s not the bullets and explosives that are coming at you but your memories and feelings that are wounding you. Matt Brown, a wounded veteran of Iraq, describes his fight to look within himself to identify his triggers for PTSD and to fight once more for his life now that he is home.
“With a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI, ‘normal’ daily activities become huge tasks. These are the things I do every day that I used to take for granted – things I never thought would be hard to do. I’m lucky because my TBI is a mild one, but I still struggle some days.” These are the words of Matt Brown, a veteran of Iraq, who finds that nothing can be taken for granted anymore as he lives with the wounds of war.
Learning to tell the story of our life after a brain injury, either as a survivor or a family caregiver, is a powerful method of exploring what we now believe to be true about ourselves and our lives. Our brains naturally perceive through story, and we live according to the stories we believe to be true. Most of this happens without our awareness, but by journaling we can consciously explore our beliefs and choose to release those that no longer serve us in positive ways. And when our pre-injury story no longer holds true, we can use journaling to create a new one that acknowledges our new reality and builds upon it.
Managing the behavior of students with traumatic brain injury can be challenging and frustrating for teachers, therapists and parents. Katherine Kimes explains four types of behavior management strategies that can be used in rehabilitation as well as at home and in school. By understanding how to identify changes in behaviors that are related to the brain injury or TBI and then measuring those behaviors, educators and therapists can develop and implement a plan to encourage positive adaptive behaviors and to decrease “problem” behaviors in children and adolescents.
As a veteran with PTSD, Matt Brown knows the terrors and triggers for the storms that can rage inside his mind. In his words…
“This piece was written during a pretty bad storm in NC. It made me begin to think on how fast the storm was on top of my house. It just seemed to sit there for what felt like hours. I then began to feel that this storm was connected with me. There are some days when the things that trigger my PTSD seem to only trickle in at first, but then they start to compound each other. Then they start to rage in a huge storm.”
As a combat Veteran, I have faced many ups and downs in my life. Some of the stupidest things can trigger a bought of depression. Something as simple as a TV ad or a picture in a book. When I feel the “slide” happening, I try my best to remember the things I am thankful for. Family, friends, the air I breathe. My worst enemy these days is my own mind. Sometimes deep in thought is more hurtful then helpful. Half the battle is self awareness. No longer in combat, Matt Brown is fighting a new battle with PTSD and depression.
Changes in a child or adolescent’s behavior after a brain injury can be upsetting for parents and frustrating for teachers at school. A brain injury can cause behavioral, emotional and psychosocial problems, issues that were not once there for the student. Katherine Kimes describes what these changes in behavior may look like in the classroom. She discusses the complex interaction between damage to the youth’s brain, reactions by the student, and the child’s pre-existing abilities.