Tag Archives: Depression after traumatic brain injury

How to Spot the Emotional Stages of Recovery from a TBI

We all have different family situations, different jobs, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Despite all these differences, there are a number of very common emotional stages that people with a head injury go through. This is based upon my own experience treating patients, but many investigators note similar findings. Here are a view stages to spot when a loved one is recovering/suffering from a TBI.

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Confusion and Agitation

This can last minutes or it can last for months. In the hospital setting, this is very difficult for family members. Someone who is very meek and mild, for example, can be physically aggressive. They may punch the nurses, or swear and curse at family members. It’s very frightening for family members, and it feels like it is going to last forever. It may take a while, but people eventually come out of it.

Denial

The patient says, “There’s nothing wrong with me.” For example, they’re in a motor vehicle accident, they’re briefly seen in an emergency room, and they go home. Suddenly, they’re having difficulties. They’re forgetting things or burning food. Family members may say, “you seem different.” But the head-injured person says “No, there’s nothing wrong with me.

Anger and Depression

Denial is a very common problem, but eventually it breaks down. Head injury problems just don’t go away. The same problems happen over and over and over again. This leads to the next phase, in which the person has a limited awareness of the head injury, beginning what I call the depression/anger phase. When you realize you are different and can’t do things like you used to, you may become angry or depressed.

 

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How to Help Veterans with TBI

The holidays are coming and we have the ones we love on our minds more than ever. Veterans who have experienced TBI, including some who didn’t know they had a traumatic brain injury until later, talk about their experiences.

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Listen as they describe the signs and symptoms of TBI and its effects on their families. By reaching out for help, they were able to overcome these obstacles and live better lives. Check out this video that Make the Connection created –

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What Your Friends & Family Need to Know About Your TBI

Do you have a friend or a family member that has just been in an accident and is now suffering from a traumatic brain injury? Here are some key points about traumatic brain injury —

  • The effect of a TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury and where it occurs
  • Around 1 in 3 injury-related deaths involve a TBI
  • Roughly 2% of Americans live with a TBI-related disability
  • The majority of TBIs are caused by falls
  • TBI symptoms may include confusion, persistent headaches and sleeping problems
  • If someone receives a head injury and experiences convulsions or slurred speech, they should seek urgent medical attention
  • A concussion is classed as a mild TBI
  • In America, TBI is the third most common injury to result from child abuse
  • Blood pressure can severely drop after a head injury.

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Mertes suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. But she is more than a survivor. She has turned tragedy into triumph, helping others who have had their world shattered pick up the pieces.

Through Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Lt. Col. Mertes financially aids people in the Tampa Bay community whose careers have been altered by injury or unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

“Imagine if you could no longer do what you are trained and experienced to do today.  What if everything you have worked for educationally and professionally was gone in an instant? This is my story. Following my injury and treatment, it became apparent I could no longer perform the work required of a military officer with a Top Secret clearance.”


plaintiff-101-cover-audioGrab your copy of her Amazon Best Seller, Plaintiff 101, here!

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Over A Decade Has Passed Since Her Nearly Fatal Accident – A Look Into Karen Mertes’ Triumph Over Her TBI

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Mertes knows what it’s like to have your life suddenly altered. On Feb. 7, 2007, her life’s path was forever changed. Stationed at MacDill Air Force Base at the time, she was struck by a drunk driver who was traveling over 100 miles per hour on I-75. He had a blood alcohol level of .221, nearly three times the legal limit. During the crash, “I made a futile attempt to regain control of my vehicle as my car slid sideways down the interstate, with cars in the remaining lanes veering around my car to avoid hitting me. As my life hung in the balance, I made a bargain with God. I promised God that if I were blessed to live, I’d spend the rest of my life helping others. This promise was the genesis of my nonprofit Fulfill Your Destiny.”

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Mertes suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. But she is more than a survivor. She has turned tragedy into triumph, helping others who have had their world shattered pick up the pieces.

Through Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Lt. Col. Mertes financially aids people in the Tampa Bay community whose careers have been altered by injury or unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

“Imagine if you could no longer do what you are trained and experienced to do today.  What if everything you have worked for educationally and professionally was gone in an instant? This is my story. Following my injury and treatment, it became apparent I could no longer perform the work required of a military officer with a Top Secret clearance.”


plaintiff-101-cover-audioGrab your copy of her Amazon Best Seller, Plaintiff 101, here!

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Is My Career Over Because of my TBI?

After suffering an injury from a car accident, however mild or severe it may be, you must learn how to live life with your injury. It is important to remember that no matter how frustrated you become, some of these effects will only be temporary. Although, you may need to learn a ‘new normal.’

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Initially, you may experience a period of denial where you’re unable to realistically assess what could be your reduced performance levels. Given my injury, I was no longer able to achieve my pre-injury performance where I had consistently exceeded expectations.

Unfortunately, depending on the severity of how your injury may impact your work performance, it could pose a threat to your case. The defense will use whatever new challenges you face at work as a litigation advantage.

You may be placed in a “no-win” situation. If you cannot return to work, his [the defense attorney] bargaining position has improved due to your lack of limited resources to live on. Also, his experts will likely opine you are a malingerer. If you do return to work, even under duress and in pain, he will argue you did not suffer economic damages as you continued to be “employable” post-injury.”


For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

Above quote excerpted from Plaintiff 101: The Black Book of Inside Information Your Lawyer Will Want You To Know.

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Tips for Communicating with People with Traumatic Brain Injury

Some people with TBI may have trouble concentrating or organizing their thoughts. If you are in a public area with many distractions, consider moving to a quiet or private location, and try focusing on short-term goals.
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  • Be prepared to repeat what you say, orally or in writing. Some people with TBI may have short-term memory deficits.
  • If you are not sure whether the person understands you, offer assistance completing forms or understanding written instructions and provide extra time for decision-making. Wait for the individual to accept the offer of assistance; do not “over-assist” or be patronizing.
  • Be patient, flexible and supportive. Take time to understand the individual, make sure the individual understands you and avoid interrupting the person.

 

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How to spot a Traumatic Brain Injury

When tragedy strikes, your adrenaline kicks in and you try to diagnose the situation. But what happens when someone you love is hurt but the injury isn’t transparent? Here are some ways to get your loved one the help they need —

 In the presence of other life threatening injuries, which is often the case with motor vehicle accidents, closed head injury can be missed. The focus is on lifesaving measures.

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Mild traumatic brain injury may not be diagnosed until the individual begins to have problems in what were once easy tasks or social situations.

A detailed neurological examination is important and will bring out evidence of brain injury.
Brain imaging with CAT scan, MRI, SPECT and PET scan may be useful.
Cognitive evaluation by a Neuropsychologist with formal neuropsychological testing.
Evaluations by physical, occupational and speech therapists help clarify the specific deficits of an individual.

Be very cautious when you come in contact with someone who has just been in an accident. Although your gut reaction may be to pick someone up, wait for EMS. Don’t try to self-diagnose leave that to the professionals so you can get yourself or your loved on the help they need.

For more information check out this website! http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/symptoms-of-tbi/diagnosis/

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