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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.

The Journey of Grief after Brain Injury by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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Grief after brain injury is a journey for families, survivors and caregivers. It involves loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning and life can feel suspended during the early stages of shock and grief. Janelle Breese Biagioni explains various types of grief and mourning, including ambiguous grief and extraordinary mourning. By understanding the grief process, families can regain a sense of hope.

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Ambiguous Loss Wounds Veterans and Family by Marilyn Lash, MSW

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Ambiguous loss can not be seen but it is real and felt by combat veterans, their families and caregivers who struggle with the invisible wounds of war. The story of a World War 2 veteran Louis Zamperini illustrates how even the most strong willed and courageous combat veteran found another war at home with chronic PTSD that almost destroyed him. How much has changed with our returning veterans today?

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Hobby Night for TBI Survivor Support by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis shows how having a hobby night at a TBI Survivor Support Group can help build confidence, cognition and language expression. As a long-time survivor of a truamatic brain injury, Bill Jarvis has found innovative methods and practices to continue his cognitive rehabilitation and retraining over the years.

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Take the Danger Out of TBI Caregiver Anger by Janet Cromer

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The anger of the TBI caregiver is too often ignored by family, friends and even professionals. While clinicians focus on helping the person with a brain injury whose ability to control anger has been affected, who helps the TBI caregiver whose anger is often not even acknowledged. Janet Cromer explores why it is important to recognize that this anger is real and gives strategies for TBI caregivers to manage that anger. By recognizing what trigger TBI caregiver anger, she helps caregivers respond with positive strategies.

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Don’t be discouraged, there is always another bus for a TBI survivor! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis contrasts the wish of so many TBI survivors for immediate healing with the challenges of living with a brain injury over years and even a lifetime. Struggles for the TBI Survivor can seem endless. It is acquiring the internal strength of patience that can make living with this injury possible. Your mental attitude towards difficulties can make the difference. By learning from failures, becoming persistent, and having patience, life can be meaningful and rewarding.

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You Can Do More Than You Think as a TBI Survivor! by William Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis is a TBI survivor who found that moving his home became an analogy for moving forward with his life and not allowing his TBI to limit his future. It’s been 14 years since his brain injury and he still deals with fatigue – both cognitive and physical fatigue. But he has found strategies that recharge him and help him accomplish what he needs to do during the day. While many survivors focus on the challenges and limitations, Jarvis suggests that engagement with life – not the past – is the key to moving forward. Moving his home became an analogy for moving forward with his life.

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Talking with Your Spouse or Charlie Brown’s Teacher? Miscommunication in Couples after Brain Injury by Dawn Neumann, PhD

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Couples after brain injury often find that their relationship changes in many ways, particularly their ability to communicate with each other. One partner often feels frustrated, angry, guilty and even avoids the other. Good communication is the foundation for a good relationship. Without it, relationships are as vulnerable as a house of cards. Miscommunication after a brain injury tends to revolve around the couple’s inability to share and understand each other’s emotions and needs. Dr. Dawn Neumann gives couples strategies on how to communicate more effectively.

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A Grief Misunderstood by Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, MD

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My son Neil had been hit by a drunk teenaged hit-and-run driver while walking his girlfriend, Trista, home. He was taken to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and quickly transferred to a Boston hospital’s intensive care unit. His girlfriend was not so “lucky.” She succumbed to massive head trauma and the next day was taken off life support.

I knew we had a long road ahead of us. Neil spent days in the ICU, months in physical rehab, and years in therapy and on anti-depressants. I grieved for everything Neil had lost: not only his girlfriend but also his memory, his concentration, his executive function, his sense of humor. What should have been the time of his life—senior prom, high school graduation, getting into the college of his choice—just turned out to be one long struggle.

But with my grief came guilt.

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The Onion Effect: Understanding the Tears and Layers of Loss by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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Grief after brain injury is a journey accompanied by painful life changing feelings. We usually think of loss due to death, divorce, or other major life transitions, but loss can be triggered by illness or disability. The resulting pain and suffering that accompanies this loss is often misunderstood because the person who has been injured has survived so family and friends often don’t understand a family’s grief. Janelle Breese Biagioni explores the work of grieving and explains why it is so important for survivors and families to recognize and deal with the many losses that can result after TBI.

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Five Foundation Skills for the Resilient Caregiver by Janet M. Cromer, RN, MA, LMHC

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Caregiving for a family member who has a brain injury – whether it be a spouse, sibling, parent, or child – is stressful. Whether you are a new caregiver or an experienced caregiver, these five foundations skills can improve your health and resilience. Janet Cromer explains how to use self-compassion to care for yourself, how to counterbalance your stress response, and how to live mindfully. She explores the importance of connections with others for support and outlets to express your creativity. By using these skills, caregivers are better equipped to deal with the uncertainty and loss of control that is so often inherent in caregiving.

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