Though you may not be able to tell from the outside, there are millions of people around the world living with the after effects of traumatic brain injuries. This type of head trauma can result in lifelong symptoms, ranging from persistent memory problems, headaches, poor coordination, and slurred speech. Depending on the severity of the injury, these symptoms may improve all the time, or may continue to pose difficulties for years on end.
How do those with head trauma cope after the injury? With the help of family and friends, many develop innovative ways to manage normal daily challenges. If you or someone you know are living with a brain injury, you may find these 3 tips helpful in navigating the resulting symptoms.
Sources Of Traumatic Brain Injury
People sustain traumatic brain injuries under many different circumstances; some acquire them while fighting in wars, many football players suffer symptoms after years of accumulating minor brain injuries on the field, and some people suffer brain injuries after commonplace accidents. The famed comedian Tracy Morgan sustained a brain injury after his limousine was hit by a truck. These injuries can happen to anyone.
One of the most important things that people with brain injuries can do to cope with lingering symptoms is communicate their needs to friends and family, so that others understand why they may seem forgetful, unreliable, or otherwise unlike how they were before the accident. Many also find it helpful to join a support group, as others who have never had such an injury don’t always understand the extent of the injury or how they can help.
Avoiding Further Injury
For those with only minimal symptoms after a brain injury, it can be tempting to want to return to daily life as it was before, including participating in sports. Unfortunately, once you’ve sustained head trauma, any further damage can result in much more severe neurological deficits, so it’s important to find new hobbies. You don’t have to be sedentary, but opt for physical activities outside the world of contact sports.
Keeping A Schedule
Because memory problems are one of the most common symptoms of traumatic brain injury, many sufferers find it helpful to keep to a relatively rigid daily schedule. Writing down a schedule and breaking down tasks into steps can also make things more manageable. Consider posting written reminders around the home to make sure necessary tasks are completed, appliances turned off, and other safety and hygiene practices appropriately addressed.
Learning to live with a traumatic brain injury, or to support a friend or family member with one, takes adjustments, but many people are thriving even with the restrictions of such a condition. Ultimately, the key to leading a fulfilling life after brain injury is about finding new ways to do everyday tasks, pursuing new hobbies or even career aims, and maintaining a network of friend and family who can assist you when you’re feeling forgetful or fatigued. A great support network, more than anything else, makes all the difference.