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badge2Symptoms of brain injury can range from loss of consciousness and coma to changes in physical, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral abilities and skills. The range and severity of symptoms are different for each person as each brain injury is unique.

These blog articles discuss the variety of symptoms from the persepctive of clinicians, survivors and families. They give readers a broader understanding of the complexity of brain injury symptoms and their consequences for a meaningful life.

The 80% Rule After Brain Injury

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Fatigue is a common issue following brain injury. Generally, we encourage people to get lots of sleep and to take rest breaks during the day. When a person doesn’t listen to cues their mind or body gives them (i.e. feel as though you have hit the wall; can’t take in anymore information etc.) the physical and emotional fatigue can result in unintended consequences (i.e. outbursts, tears, anger, agitation).

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Brain Injury and Fatigue

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Recovering from an illness or injury is hard work. The person is often fatigued and it feels as though it takes all their energy to get dressed and brushed their teeth. This is also what it is like for the individual who has sustained a brain injury.

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The Importance of Routine

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Routines are important for everyone, including business people, children, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, parents and individuals in rehabilitation. Everyone resists routines at some time or other – that’s part of the human experience. This happens because a person feels like he or she is in a rut or that they just need a break from the daily hustle bustle. Nonetheless, they return to a routine, albeit one that may be varied or altered from the previous one.

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To Counter Burnout, One Must be Rekindled after Brain Injury

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When one sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it not only changes his or her life from that point on, but also changes the lives of his or her family members. It is for this reason that it is claimed that when a TBI happens, it happens to the entire family. Family involvement is inevitable after a loved one endures a TBI. The level of family involvement needed however, depends on the severity and nature of the TBI that was obtained by the loved one.

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Getting Organized After Brain Injury

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Getting organized and being able to complete multiple tasks is often a real challenge for a person who has sustained a brain injury. It is extremely disheartening when they previously could juggle a dozen things at once to not being able to complete one task, let alone two.

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Motivation!

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It is very challenging to get motivated when you are not feeling good about your situation. It’s normal for individuals to experience a drop in motivation following loss. Survivors may also experience a lack of motivation resulting from the injury to their brain. In any instance, a lack of motivation can result in the person becoming isolated and taking a direct hit to their self-esteem. It’s a vicious circle… don’t feel motivated, feel awful about myself, feel awful about myself… don’t feel motivated. Breaking the cycle isn’t easy, but it can be done. It requires determination, creativity and most of all, patience.

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Social Skills Development

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The recent economic status of our country has brought the need to acquire or attain skills to the forefront of people’s minds. With the competitive job market, the more one has to offer, the greater are their chances to succeed. It has become evident that skills are needed in all aspects of life. Life skills are needed to live independently; specific work skills are needed to do a specific type of job (i.e., a carpenter is needed to build), social skills are needed to interact in society; relational skills are needed to maintain healthy and meaningful relationships and so on. Napoleon Dynamite even noted the need for skills when he stated, “You know, like nun chuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” The reality is that skills are needed in all aspects of life, but not all skills are needed as much as others. Social skills for example, are not only needed, but one must really work to attain so that they can continue to reach new levels in their life.

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Dependence, Independence, Interdependence after Brain Injury

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In the contract work that I do in the brain injury field, our goal is always to ‘work ourselves out of a job.’ This means that we strive to help the individual move towards independence and to living a life that is filled with meaningful activity, positive interactions with others, and achievements.

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Far Away from TBI

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It happened on a spring night in May – driving home from church with my younger brother and after dropping off my girlfriend after a Wendys’ dinner. It was about 5-10 minutes before I had to be home while someone (the writer of this email) forgot to use the restroom before he quickly rushed out of his girlfriend’s house to hurry, get home, and not be late…

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Know Your Limits after Brain Injury

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One of the difficulties in life is to know our limits. Following a brain injury, it is extremely important to know your limits so that you can manage stress, anger outbursts, and emotional and physical fatigue. Yes, it is important to build up stamina and to work hard in recovery, but pacing yourself to increase your abilities will actually work in your favour

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