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  • Writer's pictureHollis Lyman

Do you have a brain injury? It may be time for therapy.

Updated: Feb 28

Surviving a brain injury is a life-altering experience that can impact various aspects of an individual's life, including physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. While much attention is often given to the physical rehabilitation process, it is equally important to address the psychological impact of brain injuries. Seeking mental health counseling can provide invaluable support for survivors, helping them navigate the emotional challenges that often accompany such injuries. In this blog post, we will explore why survivors of brain injuries should consider seeking mental health counseling and provide insights on how to recognize if you have had an acquired brain injury.

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Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) occur as a result of damage to the brain after birth. These injuries can be caused by various factors, such as traumatic accidents, strokes, tumors, infections, or oxygen deprivation. Symptoms of ABIs can range from mild to severe and may include physical impairments, cognitive difficulties, and emotional and behavioral changes.

Identifying the presence of an acquired brain injury can be challenging, particularly in cases where the injury is mild or the symptoms are subtle. However, some common signs may indicate the need for further assessment:

1. Physical symptoms: Persistent headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, or changes in motor skills could be indicative of an acquired brain injury.

2. Cognitive challenges: Memory problems, difficulty concentrating or paying attention, reduced problem-solving abilities, or slowed thinking processes may suggest an underlying brain injury.

3. Emotional and behavioral changes: Increased irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression, impulsivity, or changes in social behavior might be linked to an acquired brain injury.

4. Sensory disruptions: Sensitivity to light or sound, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or altered sense of taste or smell can be potential indicators of an acquired brain injury.

A brain injury does not have to result in the loss of consciousness or a hospitalization. If you have ever "had your bell rung," or experienced any altered consciousness, you've had a brain injury.

Why Seek Mental Health Counseling as a Brain Injury Survivor?

1. Emotional well-being: Adjusting to life after a brain injury can be emotionally overwhelming. Survivors often experience grief, frustration, anger, anxiety, or depression. Mental health counseling offers a safe space to express these feelings, develop coping strategies, and foster emotional resilience. It is a bonus if you can find a therapist with experience in brain injury.

2. Cognitive rehabilitation: Brain injuries can impact cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, and executive functioning. Mental health professionals trained in neurorehabilitation, can provide targeted interventions to improve cognitive functioning and enhance overall quality of life.

3. Coping with change: Brain injuries may require significant adjustments in various areas of life, such as relationships, employment, and daily routines. Counseling can help survivors navigate these changes, set realistic goals, and develop strategies to manage challenges effectively. Ideally with a counselor you can continue to grow and craft the incredible human you are becoming.

4. Building a support network: Counseling provides an opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar challenges. Support groups or group therapy sessions can foster a sense of community, reduce isolation, and provide valuable insights and encouragement. Look for therapy with low stimulation, brain injury awareness, and extra fun (for example, Dungeons & Dragons Group Therapy!)

5. Enhancing overall well-being: Mental health counseling promotes self-care, stress management, and self-advocacy skills. It can equip survivors with tools to effectively manage their emotions, improve relationships, and maximize their overall well-being.

Survivors of acquired brain injuries face unique challenges that extend beyond physical recovery. The importance of addressing their mental health cannot be overstated. Recognizing the signs of an acquired brain injury and seeking mental health counseling can significantly contribute to the healing process, enhance emotional well-being, and foster a positive outlook for the future. By accessing the support they need, brain injury survivors can embark on a journey of recovery, resilience, and personal growth. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and an essential step towards a fulfilling life after brain injury.

Do you have a brain injury? It may be time for therapy.

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