We don’t normally have to think about the brain and how it functions- it just does! But what happens when that very critical part of your being gets injured and doesn’t work the same as it used to? It can make life a bit more challenging. After all, the brain is THE organ responsible for all of our experiences, emotions, expressions- EVERYTHING related to what makes us who we are.
Our brain is essentially our identity and to lose any part of it’s functioning due to an injury, disease, stroke, etc. can be devastating! It can change our personality, alter our consciousness, and, if the brain is injured just right, render us unable to work or live unassisted. But there is hope and there are many amazing people who have found ways to cope with their injury. With the help of non-profits, support groups, and memory specialists as well as the TBI Guide, mentioned in an earlier post, people with TBI are learning that there are more options than ever before!
The Mayo Clinic has a vast network of information, including information on how to live with, cope, and overcome TBI. They have come up with a list of strategies that can help injured people and their families overcome some of the more common issues. They are:
- Join a support group. Talk to your doctor or rehabilitation therapist about a support group that can help you talk about issues related to your injury, learn new coping strategies and get emotional support.
- Write things down. Keep a record of important events, people’s names, tasks or other things that are difficult to remember.
- Follow a routine. Keep a consistent schedule, keep things in designated places to avoid confusion and take the same routes when going to frequently visited destinations.
- Take breaks. Make arrangements at work or school to take breaks as needed.
- Alter work expectations or tasks. Appropriate changes at work or school may include having instructions read to you, allowing more time to complete tasks or breaking down tasks into smaller steps.
- Avoid distractions. Minimize distractions such as loud background noise from a television or radio.
- Stay focused. Work on one task at a time.
As a person with a TBI, myself, I have used many of these tricks. When it comes to writing and designing the layout of this blog, I also used a trick called Mind-Mapping. It’s a very useful thought tool that a good friend taught me and you can learn how to do it yourself by reading this article.
There are many ways to live with a traumatic brain injury and I hope this article inspires you to find our own!