Rebuilding Your Life: Strategies for Coping with the Challenges of a Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) changes your life or the life of a loved one. The changes are dramatic in everyday life, whether you are the injured or their caregiver.

Coping with the challenges of a TBI is never easy. However, specific strategies may help you as you navigate the road to recovery. From a concussion to severe brain trauma, each patient’s journey is unique. Finding the right strategies for you or your loved one can ease your stress during a difficult time.

Life Changes Instantly Following a TBI

Rebuilding after a TBI requires ongoing adjustment and resilience.

The brain is the most complex organ in the body. Although it weighs only three pounds, it is the home base for intelligence, initiates movement, controls behavior, and interprets the senses. A bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury disrupts these critical functions. The section of the brain injured and the severity affect a victim’s prognosis.

Rebuilding after a TBI is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no quick recovery or return to life as before the injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America provides the following tips for adjusting and building resilience following a TBI:

  • Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do.
  • Reach out for support and help from others.
  • Take small steps and celebrate small victories.
  • Practice gratitude every day.
  • Revise your dreams and experiment to find new hobbies or activities.

A TBI is a sudden and overwhelming life event. Rebuilding your life does not happen overnight, but is possible with support, patience, and resilience.

Managing Cognitive Difficulties

A TBI can affect a wide range of cognitive abilities.

Cognitive challenges can make it difficult or impossible to maintain employment or relationships. A brain injury that impacts one’s cognitive skills can require long-term rehabilitation that is necessary and expensive.

A brain injury can affect cognitive skills in the following ways:

  • Problems concentrating
  • Difficulty understanding and thinking clearly
  • Trouble communicating and learning skills
  • Difficulty remembering information.

Most people take the ability to do the above tasks for granted. Memory or communication problems due to a TBI are beyond frustrating. They are also scary and confusing.

Patients and their caregivers can seek help for managing cognitive difficulties through such means as:

  • Speech and language therapy: strengthen oral motor and coordination
  • Cognitive therapy: targets memory, focus, learning, and judgment.

Rehab therapies are possible tools to aid patients who experience cognitive difficulties. Working with your medical team is vital for securing the best care for all your TBI challenges.

Addressing Emotional and Behavioral Changes

Depression and outbursts are two examples of possible changes.

A TBI can cause significant emotional and behavioral changes in a loved one. Personality changes are difficult to watch. Addressing emotional and behavioral changes can help patients and their caregivers find ways to cope.

Emotional and behavioral changes may include one or more of the following:

  • Unusual, impulsive behavior
  • Trouble controlling behavior
  • Personality changes, depression, and anxiety.

Caregivers can work with medical professionals licensed in emotional, behavioral, and psychological care. Such experts can give them tips on creating structure and modeling calm behavior.

TBI Injuries and Increasing Independence

Safety and protection are paramount for TBI victims.

Caregivers often find it challenging to relinquish control of a loved one with a TBI. Understandably, many find protecting their loved one from harm necessary, given the extent of their injury. The safety and protection of a TBI patient is a top priority when reclaiming independence. Some TBI injuries prevent victims from fully understanding their limits, making complete independence impossible.

Increasing independence is a team effort. Partnership among the patient, the caregiver, and medical professionals is critical for a successful outcome or goals.

It is a gradual letting-go process when it comes to your loved one’s TBI and independence. Gradual steps like those listed below can serve as stepping stones to a better quality of life for everyone:

  • Neuropsychological evaluation: A task-oriented assessment that measures a patient’s cognitive ability to assess the need for assistance necessary for them to function in society.
  • Involve friends and family: Increased independence for a TBI patient requires an army. Involving friends and family in the transition to greater independence makes expectations and guidelines more apparent.
  • Identification and TBI independence: A lapse in memory or an injury-induced seizure can cause havoc on your loved one’s new independence. A medical alert bracelet or other form of identification is a simple yet vital tool for TBI patients.
  • Plan for failure: Planned failures safeguard caregivers against “bad guy” status. Starting with small goals, such as riding a stationary bike before an actual bike, demonstrates to everyone what is possible or too complex.

The loss of independence is profound, no matter a TBI victim’s age. The desire to regain independence is understandable. Protecting patient safety and taking small steps are key to achieving independence that works best for your loved one.

The Stoddard Firm: Your Georgia TBI Attorneys

A TBI caused by negligence deserves justice.

A TBI is devastating; when caused by negligence, it is inexcusable. When a drunk driver causes a crash or a wet floor causes a fall, accountability for a resulting TBI is a must. At The Stoddard Firm, we fight for TBI victims of negligence. We negotiate with insurance companies to pay a fair settlement and what our clients deserve. When necessary, we take TBI cases to court.

The Georgia statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. The law clock begins the moment you or a loved one suffers a TBI. There is no time to wait. If you or a loved one experienced a life-changing TBI due to the negligence of someone else, seek help from The Stoddard Firm.

A TBI is time-consuming and costly. Let a member of our team manage your case for compensation. We offer free case consultation, so do not delay. Let us review your or your loved one’s case as soon as possible. Call The Stoddard Firm today at 470-467-2200.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury LawyerMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is more than a headache. It is a damaging event to one of the brain’s most complex organs. TBIs range in severity from mild to moderate to severe. The severity and the portion of the brain damaged play a critical role in a victim’s recovery and quality of life. Unfortunately, misconceived notions regarding a TBI can lead to additional forms of harm. Victims may...