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Why a TBI Patient Suffers From a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Charles Watson


Posted on December 29, 2020

Stress is basically a defense mechanism that our body opts for to escape uncomfortable or turbulent situations. It is the key factor that stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ response. However, not all kinds of stress are healthy, especially triggered by things that we have no control over, like being stuck in traffic, noises, and flickering lights. This is just the kind of stress that most TBI victims face. 

Effects of a brain injury are mostly inter-linked. A patient’s inability to carry on their normal routine disturbs their body clock. The body clock responds by unexpected and sudden spurts of anxiety and depression. This stresses out the victim and, in turn, leads to frustration. 

The stress stimulates the ‘fight and flight’ response unnecessarily and repeatedly. Normally, such a response elevates pulse rate, blood pressure, dilates pupils, and peaks senses. The brain of a TBI victim is already in a compromised state and can lag behind if it is frequently signaled to multi-task. 

The stress that is generally easy is to cope up, in actuality, uses many different cognitive functions. This includes identifying the stress factors, devising a strategy, maintaining control of your emotions, and then backing all this in your memory. 

Brain injury targets these parts of the mind, leaving the victim unable to cope up with even everyday stresses. Many a time, caretakers and family members disregard the patient’s inability to cope up with drama or whining. In fact, it can be very challenging for a TBI patient to cope up with the stress. 

However, this does not mean that the patient is completely unable to face stress. They can handle a light load of conversations, activities, and noise. Nevertheless, the threshold of stress that a victim can handle improves gradually. Most importantly, it does not have a solid medical of therapeutic treatment and is more of a natural process. 

The inconveniences of stress are further exaggerated by the various other symptoms. The mood swings, frustration, disturbed sleep routine, and constant headaches make the case even worse. It is also difficult for the TBI victim to cope up with stress because they are in denial. Denial of their situation, which eventually makes them neglect their symptoms. 

Accepting the discomfort is the first step to treating it. The patient should understand why and what triggers or worsens his post-traumatic stress disorder. This will lead them to come up with stress management schemes. Once the patient knows what rouses their stress hormone, they can easily classify each factor as controllable or uncontrollable and important and unimportant. 

Getting a third point perspective can allow the person to view the situation better. The burse of family members should be as supportive as possible and help the patient recover as soon as possible.