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.

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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Ten Choices When Life Feels Stuck after a Brain Injury!

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At times we forget how much choice plays into where we are in life. You can choose to feel whatever you want to feel. You can choose to work on making a difference for yourself and others – and you can choose to not make a difference. You can choose to change your life and move it in the direction you want, but along with the choice there comes a commitment to do the work.

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Managing Anger and Agitation at Home

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Last week we talked about how to figure out what causes or triggers an angry response. Now let’s get into how to set up and use a behavior plan. I’ve also included important points to keep the survivor and family safe.

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Brain Injury and Aging

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One of the hot topics surrounding brain injury is what happens to the aging population. Read on and find many helpful tips on staying safe if you or a family member is an aging brain injury survivor.

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Managing Anger and Agitation at Home

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Brain injury can cause many changes in areas of the brain that affect a person’s ability to express and regulate emotions and behavior. When family caregivers of persons who have a brain injury get together in a support group, one of their most pressing concerns is how to understand and help manage anger and agitation at home. Sometimes we’re even reluctant to admit how serious the problem is to friends or professionals.

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The Need for Purpose

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As we all journey through life and get older, the timeless and fundamental human development questions: “Who am I? Why am I here? and What is my Purpose?,” begin to entertain our thoughts. For many of us, it is when we find the answers to these fundamental questions that we begin to gain a sense of meaning or purpose in our lives. When I was a little girl at the age of 6, I recall sitting in my first grade classroom in Germany learning that I could be anything I wanted to be when I became an adult. What does that mean exactly? Could I become a singer just because I wanted to? Or could I become the next Van Gogh using my doodling skills? As I grew older I learned that there is a difference in becoming who you are, rather than becoming what you want to be.

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