Category Description:

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.

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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The Need for Purpose after Brain Injury – Part III

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So how can we help those that have survived a TBI reach that next level on the Hierarchy of Needs? How can we help them identify a sense of purpose that will serve as their prompt to press on and not get stuck in a developmental stage? If you are a friend or a family member of a loved one that is a TBI survivor then you can play a major role in helping your loved one reach the level. After one acquires a TBI, their likes and dislikes often change significantly. Before he or she may have loved scuba diving, but now detests getting into the water. The key is to identify in the TBI survivor something that they truly enjoy and feel passionate about now in their current state. Initially, they may need the assistance of another to draw it out of them or to help them see it. However, once it is identified, the hard part is over. Any identified interest can be used as a positive outlet, as a source of meaning and is worth looking into. If, for example, your loved one acquired a love for animals after their TBI, it may be beneficial for them to get connected with a support group of animal lovers or volunteer at an animal shelter and so on.

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Six Stress Resilience Skills for Family Caregivers

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Resilient people share certain characteristics. Research has shown that these characteristics include commitment, control, community, calmness, and challenge. Here are a few suggestions to cultivate your stress resilience while caring for a family member after brain injury.

I think that the most important change you can make is to believe that you deserve to prioritize time for your mind, body, and spirit every day. Caring for yourself is a basic human right. You have inherent worth, in addition to the services you provide for your loved one. Our actions follow our beliefs, so practice talking to yourself in ways that promote self-worth and respect.

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Tucker Taught Me … Don’t Forget to Eat!

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It was a Monday night, over a candle lit dinner with music softly playing in the back ground, when my partner of ten years informed me that we needed to separate. I was shocked. “For how long?” I asked. “Permanently,” she stated. “Then that’s a divorce, not a separation,” I clarified. “Yes,” she answered. “When?” I asked. Suddenly, I was fired as friend, lover and life partner, with a few weeks’ notice. My world began to crumble.

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Reinventing Yourself is not Easy after a Brain Injury

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Kvetching (complaining) is no longer my favorite pastime. Yes I do get pissed off, a lot, but I let it pass, or move it aside and get down to work. There is so much to do and so little time so kvetching is now just a hobby. Before my accident I ‘invented’, my patent portfolio attests to this, or ‘discovered’ (my scientific papers chronicle those efforts) but now, since graduating from rehabilitation, I no longer invent, I re-invent. What do I need to re-invent? Plain and simply put, myself.

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The Need for Purpose after a Brain Injury – Part II

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According to Dr. Frank Crane, “Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.” (Cook, 1993). After experiencing a traumatic event that causes one’s whole way of thinking, way of life and cognitive function to change, it is difficult to focus on anything outside of “I wish I were the same as I used to be.” If a victim of a TBI remains fixated on this thought, the probability of progressing to the next level of recovery, or the next level of higher functioning will be very slim. However, on a positive note, if one changes his or her way of thinking, or the mindset of their fixation, the results could be empowering and allow them to succeed.

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