A sudden and strong blow or jolt to the head can cause severe head injury. In traumatic brain injury (TBI), the normal functioning of the brain is disrupted. The person who suffers a traumatic brain injury may think and behave differently after the incident. Hence, offering proper support is a delicate and demanding task.
Things to keep in mind if someone has a traumatic brain injury
If you have someone with a TBI, it is crucial to learn as much about the condition as possible. This will help in taking an active role in caregiving. After the patient is released from the hospital after TBI, doctors will provide proper guidance. As a caregiver, you can help your loved one continue their recovery.
Be patient: One of the most important things is patience. For someone who has suffered a TBI, it may be the most devastating experience of their life. Hence, it is natural for them to feel impatient and frustrated. This is because of their inability to do the simple tasks they used to do before the injury. As a result, you must understand them and show utmost patience. Keeping patience can be difficult, as your loved one with TBI may show hostility towards you. In such situations, you need to understand that your loved one is more likely frustrated with themselves and not with you.
Education: Educate yourself concerning their TBI and its effects. This will help in a better understanding of why your loved one is acting differently. Knowing what is going on with your loved one can help you understand their ordeal in a better way. Also, it provides validation for your feelings.
Believe in their emotions and pain: It can make a vast difference if feelings, pain, and emotions are validated. Traumatic brain injury does not come with a time limit for pain and suffering. Hence, it is essential to tell your loved one with TBI that their pain, emotions, and feelings are valid. They could deal with some side effects after the injury. Do not doubt them when they say they are in pain or are tired. For someone who has experienced traumatic brain injury, suicidal ideation is possible. Do not brush off such feelings and thoughts and take them seriously. These emotions are real and painful for someone with TBI. Hence, it is necessary to acknowledge them and deal with them appropriately.
Why does offering proper support matter?
Although there is no exact way to deal with a traumatic brain injury for the injured person and the caregiver, providing support is essential. Rehabilitation offers physical and emotional support. It can do wonders for the patients recovering from TBI.
Family and friends can help medical professionals as they can provide information about the injured person. Caregivers can provide crucial information about the general character, choices, likes and dislikes, and long-term goals of the injured person. Also, they can easily detect subtle changes in the TBI patient that medical professionals may miss because they lack a close connection to the injured one.
Apart from offering valuable insights about the TBI patient, proper care and support can positively affect their rehabilitation process. The caregiver understands and encourages them to stick with a recovery routine. Traumatic brain injury can cause drastic changes in behavior and personality, but the rehabilitation process can take less time with proper support and care.
Providing support and care for someone with traumatic brain injury is often exhausting. It may take a toll on mental health. Hence, self-care while offering support to TBI patients should be a priority.