Archive for the ‘TBI’ Category

Common Misconceptions About TBI Survivors

Although traumatic brain injuries are relatively common in today’s society, many people harbor seriously misguided ideas about TBIs, how they occur, and the abilities of their survivors. These misunderstandings can cause people to handle TBI issues poorly and lead to a lack of awareness that’s detrimental to social and medical improvement.

It’s important that the average person understand a little more about those with traumatic brain injuries. Here are the top five common misconceptions about TBI survivors that people need to stop perpetuating.

  1. The survivor looks normal, so they must be fine. This is rooted in the idea that all injuries must be visible in order to have long-lasting effects. However, many TBI survivors show little to no sign of their injury, but they are still dealing with internal complications and mental struggles.
  2. Only severe mental injuries are considered to be real TBIs. In reality, there is a range of TBIs, including “mild TBIs” that have more subtle but still life-changing effects. Not every TBI is of the same severity, and each injury can lead to different challenges.
  3. Recovering from a TBI is a simple matter of mental exercise and medical treatment. Most individuals with even a mild TBI take months or even years to recover, and improvements may be followed by sudden setbacks. Although most TBI survivors can heal to some extent, they may never fully recover from their injury
  4. TBI survivors cannot hold steady jobs without serious mental accommodations. Fortunately, many survivors are actually able to work normal jobs and contribute to society without accommodations. Even if they do need accommodations, they are usually fairly simple and inexpensive. The idea that a TBI survivor cannot be an effective employee is simply false.
  5. Everyone who has a traumatic brain injury also has PTSD. Although PTSD has very similar symptoms (mood swings, social difficulties, personality changes, sensitivity to noise), not every TBI survivor develops the psychological disorder.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider reaching out to the non-profit organization TryMunity. They are constantly working to increase awareness about TBIs, and they offer support to survivors and their families through their online social community. Join today to share your TBI story, give advice to others, and spread awareness to the public. To learn more or sign up, visit www.trymunity.com.

How to Handle Overstimulating Holidays with a TBI

Holidays with a TBIIf you or a loved one has suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury), then the holidays can unfortunately be a time of stress and overwhelming sensations. When other people enjoy twinkling lights, TBI survivors feel overly-stimulated and anxious. While others are enjoying a Christmas shopping spree, TBI survivors are battling panic attacks as well as the crowds.

However, the holidays can be enjoyable for a TBI survivor if they are handled with care. Here are a few ways people with traumatic brain injuries can participate in holiday activities without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Do What Is Best for Your Health, Even If It Isn’t the Most Enjoyable Option

TBI survivors may have to duck out of late-night Christmas celebrations or leave New Year’s Eve parties early, and that’s perfectly fine. Their needs are different, and others will understand if they need to put their health first. Be polite if you need to excuse yourself, but do what’s right for your emotional and physical health.

Avoid Displays of Flashing Lights If Possible

Bright, changing lights can be a source of real stress for TBI survivors. If you can, ask people to turn off their flashing lights and avoid places where the decorations are too much to handle. Fireworks and other bright, startling things will probably cause a TBI survivor to feel uncomfortable, so ask around and find out if you’ll need to head out before the nighttime celebrations.

Bring Headphones Along Everywhere

Crowds, holiday music, bells, cars, and other distracting noises can cause TBI survivors to feel very anxious. By toting around a trusty pair of noise-cancelling headphones, the affected person can escape panic-inducing sounds quickly and subtly.

Establish a Safe Space and Avoid Crowds

No matter where you’re going, establish a place that is relaxing, quiet and comfortable. This could be an outside sitting area, an unoccupied room, or maybe even an isolated bathroom. When the festivities get to be a little too much for TBI survivors, they can retreat to their designated sanctuaries and calm themselves.  

Take Necessary Breaks Frequently

Napping, lying down or practicing some meditation can help ease the stress TBI survivors feel during holiday festivities. If you are dealing with a traumatic brain injury, remind yourself that you can take breaks from other people and activities as often as you need to.
Not sure how you’re going to handle the holidays with a traumatic brain injury? Get more advice via TryMunity, an online community of TBI survivors and supporters. The network of support can provide you with resources and encouragement, as well as lasting positive relationships. Visit http://community.trymunity.com/ to learn more.

What Medical Rehabilitation Can Offer You

When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), every aspect of his or her life may be impacted. Speech, coordination, physical ability, and even the way one thinks can be affected, and in many cases, the survivor will face these effects forever.

However, there are steps that a TBI survivor can take toward recovery. They won’t necessarily cure all of the symptoms left by the injury, but they can restore some sense of normalcy to the person’s life.

The term “brain injury rehabilitation” covers many different types of recovery, from specialized support systems to early types of treatment the patient can receive. Some kinds of rehabilitation occur inside hospitals or recovery centers (inpatient rehabilitation). Others allow TBI survivors to return to their home, if they are well enough to care for themselves.

Many TBI survivors work with a rehabilitation team that consists of doctors, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, language therapists, social workers, and other specialists. When so many areas of the survivor’s life are impacted, it helps to have a professional team of experts to tackle each and every problem the TBI patient will face on the road to rehabilitation.

Together, the team will work towards a long-term treatment plan by doing the following:

  • Evaluating physical and psychological struggles the person may be dealing with
  • Helping the patient learn to function as independently as possible
  • Providing resources that will help the survivor and their family cope
  • Training the person to assess their own physical and mental abilities
  • Prescribing the necessary medications to help with moods, sleep, pain and more
  • Assisting the survivor in mastery of difficult activities, including daily physical tasks
  • Teaching the person how to communicate with others as effectively as possible

As wonderful as rehabilitation processes can be for TBI survivors, the entire experience can be anxiety-inducing and confusing for both the patient and family members. However, no one affected by a TBI is alone: there is an entire community of online support at your fingertips. TryMunity, a non-profit organization working to raise awareness and support for TBI survivors and their families, wants you to share your story with others who are experiencing the same trials. Visit http://community.trymunity.com/ to discuss rehabilitation options and other difficult topics.

Understanding the Science: The Clinical Features of a TBI

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from mild to severe, and the resulting symptoms may vary depending on the extent of the damage. TBIs can also fall into two other categories: open or closed head injuries. An open head injury occurs when an object enters the brain and causes specific, localized damage. Closed head injuries occur when a blow strikes a person’s head, as is often the case with a bad fall or car accident. In many cases, depending on the type of injury and its severity, TBIs can result in permanent neurological damage that induces lifelong struggles for the affected individual.

In the instance of a moderate to severe brain injury, as well as open or closed head injuries, a person can experience deficits in cognitive abilities, speech, language, sensory interpretations, perception, emotional behavior, and much more.

To understand brain injuries, it is important to look at the cause of injury and the way the victim’s body reacted in the moments after the incident occurred. If the person lost consciousness from 20 minutes to around six hours, and if they fall somewhere between 9 to 12 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, then he or she will most likely face a moderate TBI. If the person lost consciousness for more than six hours and fell between 3 and 8 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, then a severe brain injury might exist. The Glasgow Coma Scale is a neurological scale used by medical professionals to objectively assess a patient’s state of consciousness after a head injury. It is incredibly important to study a patient’s level of consciousness because the longer someone is unconscious, the more severe the damage may be.

A TBI can occur in two ways: the head trauma can damage the brain at the time of the accident (primary brain damage), or it can occur later on as swelling increases or other symptoms like seizures or increased blood pressure appear (secondary brain damage).

After a dangerous head injury, physicians will go through a series of steps to assess the extent of damage. CT scans, MRI’s, and other brain imaging techniques may be used. Doctors will also examine speech-language abilities and look for signs of physical struggle (trouble staying conscious, seizures, headaches, reduced muscle strength, loss of coordination, etc.). Behavioral and emotional changes can also be indicative of a TBI, as can impairments in thinking skills and a lack of environmental awareness.

Although there are steps a TBI survivor can take towards recovery, many victims never fully regain their independence and health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 1.7 million TBIs occur in the United States alone on a yearly basis. Older citizens (over the age of 65) are even more likely to sustain a TBI, and they will struggle to recover.

TryMunity, a non-profit organization, is working to increase awareness about the science behind TBIs while giving support to individuals and families who have been affected. Through their online community, TryMunity provides a platform for TBI survivors and supporters to bond and encourage one another on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a TBI, visit http://community.trymunity.com/to join in the fight with others who understand.

How to Find Community After a TBI

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can turn a person’s life completely upside down in so many ways. The physical and mental struggles a survivor may face can be incredibly alienating, and families often need guidance when it comes to supporting the injured individual. That is why it is vital that those who’ve been touched by a TBI reach out for help.

Every year, more than 1.7 million Americans suffer a TBI, and as a result, there is an entire network of information and support available for those who have been affected. By connecting with others, you can learn how to handle the difficulties of TBI while also receiving emotional support from others who have been in your shoes.

Finding a community for TBI survivors has never been easier, thanks to online resources. The Brain Injury Association of America and many other organizations can provide you with a range of resources from caregiver alliances to support groups and community programs. You can also turn to social media for recommendations from local friends and professionals. Even joining a Facebook support group can help you get through confusing times.

Turning to professionals is another excellent way to find a TBI community. Doctors, especially specialists who deal with brain injuries on a regular basis, often have a large network of counselors, support groups, social workers and other resources that they can recommend. Even if they aren’t directly involved in a TBI community, they can at least point you in the right direction and give you a few ideas.

If you’re struggling to find a comfortable community, don’t stop seeking support. Instead, build the community you need by reaching out to others. Start monthly meetings with others who are facing similar challenges near you or create an online forum for those with questions about TBIs. The important thing is to form a network of a support. After all, no one deserves to face a traumatic brain injury on their own.

TryMunity, a nonprofit organization spreading awareness about traumatic brain injuries and offering support to those who are affected, wants to help you find the perfect community. Through the organization’s online social community, you can find a network of survivors and supporters who want to share their stories and advice. Visit http://community.trymunity.com/ if you want to join the conversation and learn how to thrive after a TBI.

Most Common Signs of a TBI

TBI

A traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on your well-being, which is why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of a TBI.

Mild TBI

A mild TBI is the most common type of a brain injury. This is akin to a light concussion – considering that this type of TBI is not severe, it can sometimes go unnoticed for far too long. Some common symptoms include a headache, fatigue of any kind, memory loss, dizziness, loss of balance, or some type of emotional disturbance that is abnormal for you.

Severe TBI

When, on the other hand, it comes to a severe TBI, this is a bit different. Moderate to severe characteristics of a traumatic brain injury is more serious and can vary more widely. Symptoms can include (but are not limited to): serious speech and language issues, cognitive deficits, different physical or emotional changes, differences in social behavior and interaction, and any type of sensory difficulties.

If you notice a change in your physical, mental, or emotional state after an injury, it’s important to take care of this right away. See a doctor at your earliest convenience to ensure that you get the help you need and deserve. TBIs should be treated right away!

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about the most common signs of a TBI? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.

After a Concussion: How to Avoid Further Damage

Hearing from your doctor that you have sustained a concussion can be scary and challenging. Although most individuals will recover completely from a concussion, it is still important to know the steps to take to feel better. Even if you are only experiencing minor symptoms from your concussion, your body has still experienced a lot and needs to be taken care of. Read below for some tips on what to do after a concussion to avoid further damage.

Avoid physically demanding activities

The number one thing to do after a concussion is to REST. You may not be able to do the normal day to day activities that you are used to accomplishing, and it may take you longer to complete certain tasks. Be sure to listen to your healthcare professional’s guidance as to when you can return to your normal activities and when you can continue more physically demanding activities such as working out and house cleaning.

Take care of your body

Make sure you are also eating a good diet. If you need more support to get healthy food or meals, reach out to friends, family, or local organizations for support. Now is the time to be patient with your body and allow it time to heal.

Additionally, it is also important to be managing your medications that your physician has prescribed and also avoiding any other kinds of drugs or alcohol until your physician says you are well enough. If you have difficulty remembering to take your prescribed medications, be sure to ask a trusted friend or family member for help.

Prevent further concussion opportunities

While you are healing, it is very important that you try to reduce the chances of pumping or jolting your head. Because your brain is still healing, it is important to reduce any chance of further physical damage.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about avoiding damage after a concussion? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.

5 Reasons to Seek Out a TBI Support Group

TBITraumatic brain injuries are a serious health problem in the population at large – each year, nearly 1.7 million people are estimated to be affected by brain injuries (whether traumatic or not). And yet, unfortunately, there’s still a dearth of collective knowledge, and even conversation, surrounding this issue. People simply don’t talk about it, and the media is even less inclined to focus on the true extent of brain injuries.

When such a large percentage of the population is affected with something so life-altering, it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to disseminate awareness and education amongst our communities – after all, chances are that you know and love someone who’s struggling with a traumatic brain injury (or TBI).

One of the best ways to become more aware and educated on the issues surrounding traumatic brain injuries is to join a support group! Here are the top five reasons to seek out a TBI support group.

  • Brain injuries can be inherently isolating, and it can help to have a community afterwards.
  • Family members and friends can become more educated about what the TBI survivor in their lives has gone through.
  • Education is a critical part of the advocacy process, by which survivors can build awareness and acceptance in their lives.
  • Building a support network is important during this time.
  • Knowledge is power!

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about the reasons to seek out a TBI support group? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.

Neurologists, Physiatrists, and More: Understanding the Roles of Rehabilitation Specialist

brain injury supportAfter experiencing a traumatic brain injury, the last thing you want to do is have to figure out all the terminology that goes along with it — particularly when it comes to rehab specialists. Here, we’ve outline what exactly a rehabilitation specialist does:

People with disabilities, whether physical or emotional, often need a particular type of support to be able to live independently — particularly those people that have experienced a TBI. This is where rehabilitation counselors come in. They help individuals cope with the effects of their disabilities as they relate to independent living. Without the services of these counselors, many people who are quite capable of living on their own would instead be forced to live in some type of a care facility. Research has shown that when people can be supported to live independently they are far healthier, are less reliant on family caregivers, and are more productive members of society as a whole.

And, rehabilitation is a team effort. The team of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation specialists usually includes physiatrists, neurologists, rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, social workers, recreational therapists, and case managers. This team seeks to reduce disability in certain areas that can crop up, post-TBI.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about how to understand the roles of rehabilitation specialists? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.

How to Look for Work After a TBI

TBIReturning to work after a traumatic brain injury can be daunting and incredibly challenging. TryMunity is here to help! Here are some tips for how to look for work after a TBI.

  • Help your union promote a “Return-to-Work” policy for injured workers.
  • Work with your doctors and your employer to prioritize tasks, timelines, hours of work, and even location of work, i.e., telecommute. Allow extra time for completion of tasks, and when necessary negotiate for additional time, and /or support services.
  • Familiarize yourself with your employer’s policies on rehabilitation, re-employment and assistance for job re-entry.
  • Federal law requires that disabled workers be given reasonable accommodations concerning re-employment.
  • Educate your employer concerning the types of accommodations you need to help make your return to work efficient, and productive for all parties.
  • Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers. Discuss the types of  support and assistance that they can offer to assist you in your return to work
  • If you are a member of a union, help them to help you. You can make a difference not only for yourself and your co-workers, but for future generations.
  • Work together and adhere to Occupational Health and Safety practices.
  • Make workplace safety foremost in the minds of your co-workers. Join with them in sticking to the practices.

Join the TryMunity Community – We’re Here for You!

Do you have further questions about how to look for work after a TBI? Don’t hesitate to contact TryMunity. Here at TryMunity, we provide a vast, comprehensive web of resources for just that! We also have several support systems for those afflicted with a traumatic brain injury, or who know of someone who is. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! Join the TryMunity community today, and take advantage of all that we offer. We’re always happy to speak with you, and offer our assistance.