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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.

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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Relationships after TBI and how to improve them! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Adjusting to your new life and interacting with people is a common problem following a brain injury. There are reasons why relationships after TBI are so difficult. The first obvious outcome always results in the Survivor not being the same after the injury. Friends and family expect the same person in personality, temperament, and general reaction to events of everyday living.

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Relationship: Where is the Love? by Matthew and Cassondra Brown

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Matthew and Cossandra Brown talk openly about how the effects of his TBI and PTSD changed their relationship and almost destroyed their marriage. His anger, drinking, and sexual demands drove his wife away and they separated. Even his young children were scared by his anger and outbursts.Losing contol over his life and with his marriage dissolving, he sought counseling and help for his PTSD. Cossondra reveals what it was like for her as a spouse and her concerns for her children during this tumultuous time. Now reunited, they are rebuilding their marriage and future. .

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Preventing and Healing Compassion Fatigue by Janet M. Cromer, RN, LMHC, CCFE

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Compassion fatigue is a form of complete exhaustion that results from the prolonged stress of caring for a very sick or traumatized person. Compassion fatigue depletes our physical, emotional, and spiritual reserves, so interventions must replenish those dimensions. It even interferes with how the body and mind function. Living with this extreme stress is dangerous because it can contribute to medical illness, mood disturbances, behavior changes, and substance abuse. Compassion fatigue builds up slowly as the stress response stays in overdrive for weeks, or even months.

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Wounded Families in the Aftermath of PTSD: The Invisible Emotional Wounds by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

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For so many returning service members and veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the question may be, “Are your emotions ready for intimacy?” Sex and intimacy are very different. While sex is a physical act, intimacy is an emotional connection. loss of intimacy. Tt is the elephant in the room that too often is not discussed with family, friends, physicians, or counselors. When the connection between loss of intimacy and PTSD is not understood, too many partners “take it personally” and feel unloved, unworthy, unattractive, and rejected. Whether the demands for sex are constant or sex is avoided for long periods, loss of intimacy can undermine the very core of a couple’s relationship.

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Brain Injury and Grief: Fact or Fiction? by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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The grief that follows a brain injury often perplexes relatives, friends, and coworkers. After all, if the person survived the brain injury, shouldn’t the reaction be joy, relief and gratitude? Janelle Breese Biagioni explores the meaning of grief and loss after TBI and why mourning is so important for emotional healing.

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Mapping New Directions in Caregiving by Janet M. Cromer, RN, MA, LMHC

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Janet Cromer has professional and personal experience as a caregiver. Having survived caring for her husband after his anoxic brain injury, she uses her expertise to help families recognize and manage the stresses and rewards of caregiving, especially when faced with the cognitive, social and behavioral changes that so often accompany a traumatic or acquired brain injury.

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Surviving Separation and Divorce after TBI by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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A traumatic brain injury can result in so many losses with the physical, social, emotional, behavioral, and financial changes. TBI survivor, Bill Jarvis, shares how his relationship with his wife changed as she became his caregiver. The toll eventually led to their separation and divorce plunging him into despair and grief. Sustained by his faith, he has rebuilt his life and found new meaning. He shares what he has learned with tips for survivors on how to head off a divorce.

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Many Layers of Loss after Brain Injury – Grief is like an onion

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Grieving after a brain injury is like peeling an onion. There are many layers. The more you let yourself feel, the more you mourn what has been lost. But how do families grieve when the person has survived a brain injury? As Janelle Breese Biagioni, an expert on grief and loss says, “The only wrong way to grieve is not to grieve.” But so many family members are confused by their feeling of loss and grief – because, after all, the person survived their injury to the brain – shouldn’t they be feeling grateful, relieved, even joyful?

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Magic as Therapy after Brain Injury

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Being disabled is not fun! A car collision for me in 2000 resulted in a coma, fractured C1-C4 vertebrae, a Traumatic Brain Injury, and one and a half years in hospitals. During this time, magic has helped me greatly in rehabilitation. I have spent years in recovery and still continue to benefit from performing magic. Years of teaching in public schools and working as an Education Professor at Taylor University Fort Wayne gave me a background in how to motivate children. My experience in magic and a Merlin Magician in the IBM provided a unique tool for rehabilitation improvement.

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