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badge2Care and treatment of acquired and traumatic brain injury must address wide array of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

Writing to Heal: The Veterans Writing Project by Barbara Stahura

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Ron Capps manages the Veterans’ Writing Project which helps wounded warriors manage stress and cope with PTSD and TBI by writing and journaling as self-expression. “Either you control the memory or the memory controls you.” These words on a sign in Ron Capps’ office remind him not only of how he has learned to deal with his own past but also how his new work helps others. Fortunately, he learned from his doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that “the arts bring back the higher brain function.” Writing, his chosen art, helps him get control of his traumatic memories, unlike “therapy, medication, and whiskey,” which didn’t, he says

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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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Strategies to Rebuild Your Life after Brain Injury by David Grant

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Traumatic brain is like a giant eraser that removed parts of your life. David Grant explores how he developed strategies, that along with his personal stubborness, helped him reclaim his life. Strategies don’t remove the challenges but they can help improve the quality of your life – as his experience shows.

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Top 5 Youth Activities That Result in Traumatic Head Injuries by David Dwork, JD

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Sports are a major cause of head injuries among children, especially among boys. Football, soccer, playground falls – the numbers are staggering. A brain injury is an injury to the brain that generally results from an external trauma, such as a blow to the head, but it may also occur without any physical contact to the head, as in a sudden acceleration/deceleration injury caused by a car crash. A person does not need to be knocked out to sustain a head injury. However, there may still be injury to the brain, which can cause deficits in a person’s functioning. Play is important for children but keeping them safe while they play is critical. Whether you are a parent, educator, coach or relative, know the signs of concussion and know who to protect your children by prevention and safe play.

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Work: A Better Approach to Finding Jobs after Brain Injury by Dawn Westfall, CCC-SLP

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When finding the perfect job for a person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury, most speech therapists and vocational rehab counselors look at the person’s weaknesses so she can find a job that does not require these skills. This has been a common approach in vocational re-entry for years. Although it is important not to set up anyone with a TBI for failure, basing a job search on avoiding weaknesses is often a very limiting approach. I propose a better one: Look at people’s strengths and interests, and build the job from there.

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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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My Concussion Changed Me By Catz LeBlanc

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Catz LeBlanc describes the impact of a concussion she sustained as a sports injury that was soon after compounded by a car crash leaving her unable to work or function from day to day. Suddenly she was not the competent independent woman she knew but found herself struggling to understand what had happened to her. Losing her friends and family and her job was tough enough, but losing her ability to think clearly and negotiate the cognitive challenges of daily life was devastating. Her reflections and insights about what it means to have a brain injury and the misperceptions of others about “what was wrong with me” have led her to asking many new questions.

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Helping Children with TBI Succeed in School by Janet Tyler, PhD

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Children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often face many cognitive, academic, and behavioral challenges after their injury. New difficulties in school may arise as school work becomes more complex with each passing grade. By working closely with teachers and educators, parents can help ensure that their child has the best possible chance of succeeding in school. Dr. Janet Tyler discusses how parents and teachers can collaborate to learn about brain injury, how good parenting skills at home can make a difference, and the benefits of tutoring. Parents and educators will find this article practical and helpful.

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TBI and PTSD: Navigating the Perfect Storm by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

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Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are separate conditions but many of their symptoms overlap. It can be hard for the person who is living with the dual diagnosis of TBI and PTSD and for family and caregivers to separate them. Just as meteorologists predict “the perfect storm” when unusual and unprecedented conditions move in to create catastrophic atmospheric events, so can the combination of PTSD and TBI be overpowering and destructive for all in its path. The person with TBI and PTSD is living in a state unlike anything previously experienced. For the family, home may no longer the safe haven but an unfamiliar front with unpredictable and sometimes frightening currents and events. This article describes similarities and differences with PTSD and TBI.

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Make Your Life’s Story Better with Journaling by Barbara Stahura

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When Barbara Stahura’s husband Ken was hit on his motorcycle by a hit-and-run driver less than a year after their wedding, she was thrown into the new world of caregiving. With the uncertainty of his prognosis and their future along with the stress of caring for a spouse while learning about traumatic brain injury, she quickly became exhausted. As a professional writer, she began journaling as a method for coping with her stress, anxiety, and grief. Journaling literally became a life saver for her and helped her own healing journey from the secondary traumatic stress known as compassion fatigue. She describes the benefits of journaling and gives tips on getting started.

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