A brain injury changes the nature of relationships. Loved ones may eagerly watch a patient slowly recover and regain their motor abilities, only to find out a person with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is still regaining their emotional abilities. Brain damage can also damage the ability to process emotions, which are so critical to communication in relationships. The person may have difficulty recognizing their own emotions, let alone those of others.

Many brain injured persons can appear to be on an “emotional roller coaster.” Emotional outbursts may not be even be tied to specific events, which makes it hard for the other person to even know what triggered it.

What can be done to help relationships after a TBI?

The brain-injured person can talk to their physician about treatments. These can include medication and behavior-based techniques. Trained therapists may recommend drugs that can alleviate anger, anxiety or emotional issues. Rehab therapists can offer help with psychological adjustments and lower self-esteem – and offer strategies for managing moods.

Loved ones can strive not to take emotional outbursts personally. They can learn behavioral techniques so that they don’t react in the moment, but instead help the person divert to a controlled place again.

It helps for loved ones to know how to offer help. Simple and well-meant gestures like offering to help can trigger the injured person’s feelings of bring threatened. One strategy is to agree ahead of time that during outbursts, the loved one has permission to remind the injured person of his/her chosen calming tools (listening to music, taking a walk, etc.).

Changing Roles

It helps for loved ones to get counseling of their own, and to consider participating in support groups. Family members and loved ones need to grieve the loss of the person they knew. They also may have trouble accepting the changing roles and dependency of the injured person.

It places a burden on a loved one to become a caregiver. This work can be especially challenging if they are caring for someone unable to connect with them, understand their needs, or even show love in return.

Family members can be key to a healthy recovery; but survivors also caution that it’s possible a family or loved one won’t react in a way that the injured person finds supportive. Trying to work through the emotional challenges is key to sustaining relationships for the injured person, but it’s worth the effort to improve their recovery and quality of life.

How A Virginia Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help

While no settlement or court decision can change what has happened to you, a lawsuit can help ease the financial strain. Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) lawyer if you wish to seek out your legal options. Richard Serpe will fight to secure fair compensation for you and your family. Schedule a free consultation to talk about your legal rights.

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