According to the Center for Disease Control, around 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur every year. A traumatic brain injury commonly causes development delays and cognitive impairments. Improving the quality of life for those living with a TBI is possible through coping strategies and a few tips and tricks.
Starting with Stats
Statistics have a way of scaring people. The truth of the matter is, stats show that a traumatic brain injury can occur to anyone at any time and change everything.
- By estimation, a TBI occurs every 16 seconds.
- Currently, there are five million people living with disabilities as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
- The leading cause of TBI sistumbles and falls.
- However, motor vehicle accidents are the leading reason for TBI-related deaths.
- Contact sports or repetitive injury to the head accounts for 16% of cases that result in a traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
No two people with a traumatic brain injury experience the same symptoms, because no two cases of TBI are alike. It is important to not ignore even the slightest red flag.
Mild signs of TBI:
- Blurred or fuzzy vision
- Mild headache or reoccurring throb
Severe signs of TBI:
- Diminished motor function
- Memory problems
- Impaired speech
- A decrease in cognitive function
Moving Forward in Life with TBI
Coping with a traumatic brain injury is more than accepting a diagnosis and facing what is next. Strategies, tips, and tricks are ways to provide a bright quality of life.
The emergency room, surgeries, and rehabilitation are necessary steps in cases of severe TBI. The assessments of functions, speech, and physical abilities can be exhausting and sometimes disheartening, but normalizing emotional and mental health is the most important aspect of living a happy life moving forward.
Successful coping skills are not only medical or mental. It is how you approach life with TBI. The following list of tips exist for those with a traumatic brain injury to enjoy their overall quality of life.
- Social support is a must. Friends, family, and support groups are a great source of inspiration and a sense of acceptance.
- Everyone has a time a day they prefer. Tasks that require physical or mental exertion are best saved for the most productive time of day for you.
- Any exercise is good exercise. Choose a type and time of day to work out the tension. It improves attention and sleep.
- Take breaks. Warning signs of overexertion include loss of attention, lowered productivity, and an overwhelmed feeling.
- Make notes and reminders of important tasks, dates, or events.
- Repeat what you say and hear from another person to guarantee the understanding of both parties.
- Do not put pressure on yourself. Take additional time for any task at hand.
- Never hesitate to seek out quiet and safe places as needed.
Living with a brain injury is more than breathing and doctors. Take your time, and, most of all, enjoy life.