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Adjusting to Life After Brain Injury by Charles Watson


Posted on July 22, 2020

How does a person and his family adjust to living with a brain injury? How do they accept that the person who is injured has changed? It is easier said than done. For the family, it can be an ordeal to accept and adjust to the changed individual, who is also fighting to recognize and accept his changed fate. 

For a victim to accept that they might never be able to function like before can be really upsetting. Patients and their families can go through extended periods of grief as they experience fear and anxiety about their future. This is where psychotherapists play an important role in the recovery and adjustment process. 

Knowing how to navigate through life after a brain injury and the challenges that the road to recovery present can be unbelievably traumatic. Here is a guide to making the process less stressful.

Change your definition of success: life after TBI can be difficult, so celebrate every small achievement and do not compare yourself to how you performed before the injury. Focus on what you can do and what you can improve, this will help you redefine success. Explore ways you can be successful, and no matter what state you are in, you can improve yourself, enjoy relationships, and live a meaningful life.

Ask for help when needed: it is important to ask for help before the situation turns into a crisis. After a brain injury, your tolerance levels to noise, lights, and in general environmental disturbances is compromised as is your physical and mental wellbeing. Hence it is necessary, to be honest with yourself and let people around you know when you need help.

Be kind to yourself: After a brain injury, taking time to heal and respecting that your body needs time to mend itself physically, mentally, and emotionally is of utmost importance. Do not be hard on yourself; that will only make things difficult for you and those around you.       

Break down your goals into small, more achievable ones: when you keep the ultimate goal in mind, it can seem unachievable, but if you break it down into ones that you can accomplish day-to-day, the task may seem less daunting. Even after recovery, breaking down your goals may make them more manageable to achieve.

Build a support system: support and understanding of loved ones can help stave off feelings of loneliness. Reconnecting with friends and family who may have become distant after your brain injury, can make you feel loved. Joining a support group is a great way of reconnecting with people who may have similar experiences.

Patience is the key to success: the road to recovery will be long, but you need to be persistent to get there. With all the emotional turmoil and change in status, it is natural to feel defeated and lost. But it is crucial to believe in yourself, take a step back and relax instead of becoming frustrated. 

With time and perseverance, brain injury victims can lead an independent life and also overcome some obstacles that, at some point, seemed impossible.