I began by writing a few words, then a few sentences, and then, whole paragraphs. The more I wrote, the better I felt. I wanted, no — I needed to explain what it felt like inside the lonely head of a person with a brain injury and how the world looked.
Changes in social skills after a brain injury or stroke can lead to difficulty communicating, making and sustaining friendships, and interacting in social situations. These blog articles disucss the impact of brain injury on social skills and give suggestions for coping.
C.C. LeBlanc, a mild TBI survivor, has gone through relocation stresses and suggests that before you move, carefully examine your needs for a meaningful quality of life. Almost everything you have developed in your life to be functional will be disrupted. You need to be prepared for stress, that your TBI will be aggravated, and your coping skills will be challenged. C.C. LeBlanc would like to share some guidelines based on her own experiences.
My disinhibition after TBI exposed me to real dangers that I was not aware of. Imagine being an adult suddenly being told by police, “Don’t give strangers your home address.” I learned that in pre-school, and here I had let an older man I hardly knew drive me home. He started emailing to ask if he could care for me and to criticize me for doing things without telling him first. (I’d just met him. I hadn’t even given him my email address.) I had friends and counselors intervene to get me to stop hanging out with people who sucked my life out of me. They guilt tripped me into hanging out and then overpowered me with manipulative stories and comments. I thought I was not being taken advantage of because I hadn’t been before. I was wrong.
Social interactions with other people can be very difficult for a TBI survivor. A person’s personality is the way he interacts with others and the way he responds to various situations. Brain injury can often have cause a person to have heightened emotions and react to situations with anxiety and lack of control. Therefore, a person’s social response to various situations is probably one of the most noticeable dimensions in behavior.
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.
Why do many persons with brain injury have trouble developing and maintaining relationships? It may be due to changes in their ability to read and express emotions. This is essential for communicating and connecting with other people and for sustaining close relationships. Research into the expression and interpretation of emotions by survivors is examining new areas for brain injury treatment and recovery.