Traumatic Brain Injury - The Top 5 Things Victims Wish You Knew

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion are often referred to as hidden injury is since there is not always an outward sign of them. This leads to problems with the initial diagnosis of the injury as well as with the ability of victims to cope during recovery. Whether or not there are outward signs of the injury they suffer many of the same problems.

The most frustration for many patients is often during recovery when those around them misinterpret their moods, reactions to situations, and physical limitations. There are 5 top things that most people affected by TBI wish that you knew:

  1. Remembering things can be extraordinary difficult for them. To keep functioning they need a lot of rest. They aren’t being lazy by working fewer hours, or taking more days off work or school. Change is difficult for their brains, and too much activity can make remembering things impossible.
  2. They need more time. They may have undergone some temporary or even permanent changes to their reaction times to physical, emotional and cognitive stimuli. Many people need more time to understand what they are being told, and to form the response verbally. This can easily be misinterpreted by strangers to be a sign of other problems, and to alienation.
  3. They need patience from those around them. Their emotional responses may be extreme. Too happy, too sad, too slow, too angry, or simply inappropriate to the situation. They need those around them to be extra understanding, forgiving, and loving. They also need more time alone to process their thoughts and emotions, and to think about your words. They may not be the same person now that they were before the accident.
  4. They wish that people around them understood that just because they aren’t participating in a conversation or answering questions, it doesn’t mean they have nothing to contribute to. They may have a lot to say, it just may not be possible for them to say it right then, or in a timely enough manner to make conversation possible.
  5. They may need a lot of extra support. They may need help in all their areas of deficit like planning the day, shopping, making it to appointments, remember self care. They may need help to exercise, and to have people simply be patient with them. They may need help to help themselves.

TBI and concussion are common injuries that may result in a wide range injuries from minor headache to life long catastrophic injury. They can be sustained by a simply slip and fall involving a blow to the head, buy car accidents, industrial accidents, physical assaults, sporting injuries, and combat injury. Part of the remaining mystery surrounding these injuries is that people suffer different symptoms from very similar events. A great deal of research is being directed to determining the exact cause of specific injuries and their diagnosis.

If you know someone with TBI ask them how you can help them, and be patient with them. Recovery may take far longer than you imagine.