Traumatic Brain Injury
After someone suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury, life is forever changed. Some spend months or years before they fully recover, while others will suffer from neurological damage for a lifetime.
Often caused by blunt force trauma to the head or penetration of the brain tissue, a Traumatic Brain Injury has varying effects on both physical and emotional wellbeing. Each Traumatic Brain Injury is like a fingerprint; each one is different. Depending on how severe the damage is to the brain, symptoms include regular headaches, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light and loud noises, disruptions to sleep, and difficulties with balance.
But cognitive challenges are the hallmark of Traumatic Brain Injuries. Typically they include problems with attention and concentration, impaired memory and learning, slowed processing speed, and reduced problem-solving abilities. If they persist, psychotherapy is proven to be the most effective way to prevent long-term disabilities and the onset of mental illness.
Emotional and behavioral challenges are also common and lead to difficulties in controlling emotions and aggressive or impulsive behaviors.
If someone is predisposed or has already been diagnosed with a mental illness, it is vital to seek immediate help from a mental health professional. Research has proven symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Manic Depression, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are likely to become elevated due to the neurological and chemical changes in the brain caused by the injury. For those who have not experienced bouts with mental illness, experiencing an onset of depression or anxiety throughout the recovery process is common. Depression arises as a person struggles to adjust to temporary or lasting disability and accept changes to their role in family and society. This leads to poor self-esteem and often affects how they view life in general.
After someone experiences a Traumatic Brain Injury, anxiety can manifest for no reason. Some worry about making too many mistakes, failing at certain tasks, or being criticized. Because of this, they avoid crowds or being rushed and struggle with sudden changes to their routine. In severe cases, they can become so overwhelmed with anxiety that they have panic attacks or require hospitalization.
Because a comprehensive, interdisciplinary team approach works best, treatment involves the individual recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury to work with a psychiatrist who will manage medication and a psychologist who will focus on treating the emotional symptoms and encourage them to learn more about their circumstance and accept the challenges they are facing.
The nature and frequency of treatments differ from person to person, but most emphasize on changing patterns of thinking and behavior. Any necessary medications will be selected, prescribed, and monitored carefully.
Psychotherapy is also recommended for those caring for a close family member or friend recovering with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Although every situation is a bit different, it is common for people to become overwhelmed with the increased levels of stress involved in caring for someone going through the healing process.
If you'd like to talk to someone about Traumatic Brain Injury, please contact us.