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badge2Living your life with a brain injury is much more complex than physical survival and medical progress. These blog articles discuss the long term effects of brain injuries on relationships over time.

PTSD and Your Children on the News

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As troops are returning home from deployments in Iraq, a regular feature on the evening news has become reunions with spouses, parents, and children. Because I live inNorth Carolinawhere there are multiple bases, I see this at least once a week – finally, some joy on the evening news in between the latest disaster, political campaign, or financial report. Especially touching are the reunions when a parent – still in camouflage uniforms – appears at school to surprise a child who has not seen mom or dad for many, many months or more than a year. It is impossible not to smile, and I admit to tearing up occasionally, at the incredible joy of this “parent and child reunion” to borrow a phrase from a Paul Simon song.

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Caregivers – Do Something Nice for Yourself this Holiday Season

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Caregiving is extremely taxing. People do it out of love and they want to take care of their loved one, but the strain and toll it takes on the caregiver’s life is real and should not be overlooked. I know we are raised to NOT be selfish, but sometimes that is exactly what we need to do. Carving out some time alone is often the only way to recharge your batteries. And, we know how exhausting the holiday season can be so as a caregiver, you may feel it even more so.

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Budgeting Grief at Christmas after Brain Injury

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We like to think of Christmas as a time that is rich with tradition and filled with joyful festivities. People look forward to spending the holidays with family and friends, exchanging gifts, indulging in delectable treats and reminiscing about the good old days. On the other hand, for many, it brings tremendous pressure to celebrate it in the way we always did or in the same way others do.

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Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People after Brain Injury

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One of the first things I learned as a writer was to surround myself with like-minded people. This meant that I needed to be around people who understood the creative process and who also held a passion to achieve great things with their work.

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Being Accountable after Brain Injury

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We have all been in situations where we did something that was careless or thoughtless and caused distress for others. An example would be bumping into a table and knocking off a treasured ornament, smashing it into a gazillion pieces. We feel foolish and may even say, “Oh my goodness, look what I’ve done. I am so sorry. That was completely my fault. Please let me replace it for you.” Don’t confuse this with self-blame – this is being accountable for one’s action and making amends or rectifying the situation.

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Marriage and Traumatic Brain Injury: Who is the Caregiver Here?

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I guess for Bill and I, the first thing we had to get over when he was injured was the Traumatic part of the equation. I am sure we have all had trauma in our life, so you know that it keeps coming back from time to time. PTSD, is a real problem and many of us suffer from it, both from TBI and our previous life experiences.

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Being a Group Participant after Brain Injury

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We can experience being part of a group in many ways. These groups may also be called teams, clubs, troops, a crowd or a unit. You may be part of an art group, musical group, theatre group, gardening group, cooking group, reading group, dance group, or a travel group. The list goes on and on. Many individuals living with a brain injury and/or their family members have come to experience, perhaps for the first time, another type of group: Support Group.

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Peer Support after Brain Injury

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Peer Support is essentially individuals supporting other individuals with similar or shared experiences. This support is offered one-to-one or in a group setting. The benefits of peer support are numerous, including that the supporter has credibility and is trusted because they have been through the experience.

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November is National Family Caregiver Month

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Did you know that National Family Caregiver Month (NFC Month) is observed every November? The National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) originated the observance in 1997 to focus attention on the more than 65 million family caregivers who provide 80% of the long-term care services in the US. Studies show that family caregivers provide over $375 billion in “free caregiving services” just in care for older adults annually.

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Expression Through Art After Brain Injury

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When I suggest people use art as a way to express their feelings, often the response is, “I can’t draw.” Art is so much more than sketching on paper and there are many ways in which it can be experienced. Art is a tiny word for an expansive list of activities: music, writing, film, photography, sculpting, drawing and painting, gardening and more.

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