Live Life – Don’t Settle for Mundane After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Dec 10, 2013
Tagged with: Live Life - Don't Settle for Mundane After a Traumatic Brain Injury

One in 50 Americans currently suffer from some form of traumatic brain injury. Emotional, physical and spiritual issues all come in to play as you regain your identify and reaffirm your goals, desires and motivations for life. Some people recovering from traumatic brain injury have further to travel than others. But, every survivor needs to remember that regardless of the reason for the injury, life goes on and there are things you can do to get back to life, participate in events and improve your brain’s ability to function.

Memory Issues
Closed head injuries act as a major cause of memory loss and impaired brain function and require medical support, as well as emotional support. Individuals suffering from memory loss as the result of an injury may exhibit an array of often frustrating symptoms. Confusion, difficulty communicating with others and problems staying on task can make create feelings of worthlessness in individuals suffering from brain injury. Add on the stress of medical bills, appointments and the expectations of others around you and it can seem that life is simply overwhelming.

Getting Medical Support
When things get difficult, remember that there are places you can go for support. Others have been through and understand the issues you suffer with. TryMunity is here to help you recover and grow as you accept your condition and make the decision to improve. First, you need to know that you aren’t a helpless case and you can improve with memory stimulation exercises. Don’t give in to feelings of despair and self-loathing. There are games you can play to help improve your mental function. You may even find that these games increase your ability to function in skill areas you never knew you had. Crossword puzzles, tackling a new skill like karate or creating origami, games like memory and other activities that keep you actively thinking can help you improve.

Building Dopamine
Many addictions are caused by a desire to seek out activities that increase dopamine levels in the brain. Each time you experience something new and exciting, dopamine levels increase. Don’t run from life, go out and experience it. Make it a goal to get outside and do something active each day. Search the Internet for new recipes to try and schedule time for yourself to actively seek out new activities. The more you push yourself to improve, the more active and motivated you become to seek out relationships that can help you recover. Increased levels of dopamine have been shown to increase memory, learning and attention in subject studies according to a report in Nature Review, by Roy A. Wise, Chief of the Behavioral Neuroscience Section at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dopamine levels are important for establishing the reward systems we come to look towards as motivation for completing a task.

Memory Stimulation Exercises
Learning to play an instrument can greatly increase connections in the brain and help you improve your memory and physical coordination. You don’t have to be Mozart to benefit from learning to sing or play the piano. The act of learning to interpret notes, expressing them with an instrument and memorizing music can greatly improve your self-worth and ability to function. If playing an instrument is not of interest to you, that’s fine. There are plenty of other activities out there that can aid in stimulating your mind just as much. You can help regain your ability to function by taking swimming lessons, starting a regular running routine, joining a quilting organization or even by just picking up a book. Stay active and don’t fall for the lie that just because you suffered from a brain injury that your life is over. Use your mind if you are not physically capable of moving. Communicate with people and put yourself in social situations that require you to interact. Depression is a common side effect stemming from traumatic accidents. A traumatic injury to the brain can make depression even worse.

Get Professional Help
Immediately following a traumatic accident most people have a few days to months of euphoria. Living through the accident was all that mattered and you were just grateful to be alive. The Franklin Institute has shown that brain injuries actually change the way you think. It might not happen immediately, but without professional counseling and regular activities, you may suffer from the psychological impact of brain injury years after the accident. This can come at the worst time since most friends and family often don’t understand why the person they have come to love is suddenly changing. Counseling and community support from both brick and mortar and an online support network like TryMunity can help you overcome these hurdles, improve your life and get the emotional support to meet challenges face on.

Author: Shelly Duell