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 AUTHOR
 Kozmo101
Joined: 12/7/2006
Msg: 1
Brain Injury Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Hi, I have a brother who has been recovering from a brain injury for the last 2 and half years. He's been trying and getting better at a fanatisc rate since he was first comotosed. But now he's since platuead and feels that he wll never get better. "He's not like he use to be" He says. I've tried to have open coversations with him, on where I feel he's going, but he dosen't seem to let me in. He won't open his mind to any adivice I foward to him. Telling him thing's i've never told anyone before, what I did/ what i'm stilling doing into molding the person I want to be. I've recently read this book called "radical honesty" and refers to a part about sitting down with your family. Where everyone is telling each other what they resent about each other and what they apperciate. Telling the truth... to get stress off, to gain respect for one another. But he's not willing to attempt it. Would anyone have any opnions on what I could attempt to do, to put things in perspective for him?
At the moment all he does is sit in his room and watch movies/listen to music, when he should be doing his pysho excersises, brain excersises.
 LethargicLass
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 2
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 6:12:59 PM
I don't know what to say, but it's got to be really hard on your brother... he needs to get out of his depression, but I'm not sure you can help with that. Do you have interactions with his doctors? Maybe talk to them about it.
 Kozmo101
Joined: 12/7/2006
Msg: 3
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 6:20:10 PM
I'm currently going to school. If it was not for my mom he would not be where he was today.. that's for sure, she's pulled so many strings, many people can't understand his arrogrant character due to his speaking, so she lies and gets him to all these things through her personality. Now everyone is currently realizing what he is really like, and would rather have patients whom are optimistic. I only know what my mom tells me, i'm going to school full time and working part time.
 DonInVictoria
Joined: 12/24/2006
Msg: 4
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 6:29:24 PM
We only do, what we want to do.

You've been trying persuasion, without great success.

What sort of brain exercises? Might they not be made more 'fun' and interesting for him? Not too challenging, but, challenging enough to be entertaining.

He's probably lonely -- why not get him online in some fashion?

Physio -- just what sort of physio? How could it be made more 'fun' for him? Would videogames help?

The trick is often a case of 'putting yourself, in the other's shoes' (a.k.a. empathy).

Until you understand precisely where he's coming from, you'll not be able to 'reason' very well with him at all.

ps. "watch movies/listen to music" -- fine and well, but, those sort of 'fun' activities should be "rationed" imo, if not by him, then by someone else, until he's keeping up with his developmental routines, which may well take a decade before we really know for sure, just how far he's going to get
 Kozmo101
Joined: 12/7/2006
Msg: 5
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 6:37:44 PM
There was this man in a mental institution, walking around claiming he was a corpse. Everyone would try to convice him otherwise, until one day , a worker got the idea to ask him "Do corpses bleed" The instutilionalized man said "No" So the workers says " Ok well if I prick you, and you bleed will you beleive your not a corpse" "Ok" he says.
So the man is pricked and he looks down at his bleeding finger and shouts " HOLY SHIT! I guess corpses do bleed" The mind beleives what it will i'm just having trouble accepting this. But i think I'll brain storm with my mom about making those excersises more entertaining, intresting for him.
Thanks
 Harry Peter
Joined: 12/25/2006
Msg: 6
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 7:20:49 PM
Inspire through example. I see many people worry and become depressed over trying to help someone out of their depression. Doesn't work. That is like trying to jump into quicksand someone is sinking in, in order to help them out of it.

Keep yourself in check the best you can. Try and feel as good as you can especially while being around your brother. You'll be a greater joy to be around and through that, he will open up more.

Many people through trying to help someone get the person to focus on what's "wrong" instead of getting their minds off of it. This is detrimental in cases where they can't have back what they think they need in order to be happy. Too what extent this applies to your brother I do not know, but felt it's worth mentioning.

If your brother reads, maybe look into the inspirational section in a book store for something he might like. Or self help etc.

He sounds like he is depressed. Medication and therapy help SOME. Unfortunately, it can also screw people up more, so I always recommend this last and with caution. And, to expect it to only be a temporary relief until certain changes in mood and habit of thoughts become more habitual.
 Byrd
Joined: 7/19/2004
Msg: 7
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 10:10:14 PM
You work fulltime go to school parttime if you got any free time take him out, go to a concert go throw the ball around, take a walk..Get his mind off (What he has to do) Because he's really depressed and his self esteem is sinking..You don't want him to get to that point of no return..He's your brother you love him if you don't have much time make alittle he's worth it.. I'm wondering at what point is he can he function? Walk? Talk? Understand? Communiate? Can he leave home on his own? I'm curious. I had mennigitis when I was 17 and had some brain damage..Be real with him, honest...
 Flyers_Phan
Joined: 1/16/2005
Msg: 8
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 11:05:29 PM
tell him to get real. Honestly, don't sugar coat things, tell him how it is. Tell him that he may never fully recover, or maybe he will. As for sitting with your family talking about the things you have issues with, I don't see how that'd beneficial at all. Some people just crave the attention and sympathy that others give them If he wants to sit in the basement all day, let him. Let me tell you, there comes a point where one gets sick of it. I know because I've been there, people get tired of hearing the "poor me"crap.

Studies have shown that antidepressants can affect new neuron growth in the brain, neurogenesis is what its called. Even without that, the brain can still regrow neurons and allow one to become "well" Not to give false hope but it does happen.
 parallax
Joined: 11/23/2005
Msg: 9
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/14/2007 11:33:18 PM
Other than following suggestions from your caregiver/health team, the best general information that I could suggest for head injury or brain trauma is the Brain Injury Association of America, http://www.biausa.org/ The link is for the US - I believe that they are trying to get a parallel Association going within Canada.

Speaking as a brain trauma (and resultant complications) survivor, and BIA volunteer, depression is quite common in the recovery - in the victim, and with the stressed out family. Recovery is hard, takes a long time, and complications are difficult to adjust to. As the OP has pointed out, recovery often has a varied pace. Counseling, whether by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker is usually helpful to both the victim and the falmily. Your caregiver should have referrals for counselors that have experience in brain injury recovery, if they don't already have someone in the sidelines.

Music really helped in my recovery; you might be able to combine it with your brother's exercises. I disagree wholeheartedly that it should be an experience to be 'rationed' as another poster suggested; if anything, linkage of the exercises with something pleasurable will enhance recovery.
 smitten2meetu
Joined: 11/16/2004
Msg: 10
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 12:51:45 AM
I think you're being too hard on your brother and expecting him to be like he use to be. I think your brother doesn't want to hear your "radical" honesty, and may never be able to open up to you or anyone else.

I bet he feel frustrated not having the same personality and living with a brain injury that has caused him to feel depressed, overwhelmed and many just "don't get it". Keep it simple and If you do something ask him what he might like to do and if he wants to share what he's experiencing, be non judgemental and show him support.
 Sombient
Joined: 9/29/2006
Msg: 11
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 8:30:09 AM
^^ This is the truth! Your radical honesty is dangerous. Its the LAST thing this brother wants or needs from you.

This 'radical honesty' is a rehash of the old 'tough love' mentality. It might work for a few problems, maybe addiction. Maybe truancy. Not this problem.

This, kid, is something far different. You can't even begin to imagine what your brother has gone through. But some here can. They've crawled back out of the pit of sudden catastrophic brain injury.

And they crawl on their belly, one painful, tortuous centimeter at a time. Towards a fictional goal - nobody - not the patient, family, friends, nor doctors - knows just how well they can recover. At first, the more simple gains are fantastical, as they materialize. But all this time, the patient has this background problem. The comfortable mental habits of daily living and inclinations, the small memories, the *identity* of who, what and why we did things as we did ---> wiped.

And a whole bunch of it ain't coming back. Can't be resynthesized, rebuilt or recovered. Those cells are wiped out. The tissue that regrows is blank. How do you replace what you have no template for?

Thats where your brother is at. He is desperate for the familiar - DON"T YOU UNDERSTAND?? What he is doing IS familiar, its nonstressful routine..

He's retreated mentally to regroup. He's hit the wall of full comprehension of his plight.

I know you mean well, but you are wrong. You have NOT put yourself in his shoes. You can't understand his crushing disappointment and emotional fatigue at finding that he will never recover some of his missing memories and hardwiring.

You want to force him back into a mold of expected personal habit and little familiar personal quirks and behaviors - you want your brother back.

Kid, he's not coming back. Your brother is having to create bits and pieces of routine behaviors, from scratch. There is MUCH more lost than you can possibly imagine.

Take a picture, cut it into little pieces, then remove a third of the pile, and throw them onto a blank page. What you get is a fractal pattern of mismatched, missing and disjoint life. Thats your brother.

Now how the hell is he going to fulfill this bellyful of expectations of recovery..from you, your parents and sibs and extended family, his friends??

He's depressed because, where ever he turns mentally...there's blank pages. He has no idea of what was on them. All he knows is that he is no longer what he was.

This is the period of terrible, wrenching adjustment to the truth! He is bearing up under a huge FVCKING pile of expectations, including his own, that he would magically recover and continue on in life.

No, no, no. Nada. Ain't gonna happen.

Now he must come to grips with what he has left and what has been recovered. And he must knit it into a semisolid representation.

This is his real life version of a Twilight Zone nightmare. He's woke up to the fact that his old self.. is not coming back.

You, kid - you are the one who has to get real, get with the program here.
 Byrd
Joined: 7/19/2004
Msg: 12
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 8:46:58 AM
Msg #9 Oh yes music helps a great deal still does..It took me a good 3 years to come back alittle I think I'm still 17 though. Even though I hate to admit it this gal^^^^knows what shes talking about. Please let us know what's going on with him and if he can use a computer try to get him on pof.
 Sombient
Joined: 9/29/2006
Msg: 13
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 8:50:58 AM
What you can do: lookover the post from the poster most familiar with the emotional and physiological fatigue of the long road to recovery from brain injury.

Then we should talk about stress reduction and control. You and he should become masters of this art, through daily practice.

Not surprisingly, when you see a plateau in recovery, its the overwhelming stress of sustained, driving effort for recovery of the old self, coupled with depression as the terribly distressing reality sets in, the discord of shadowy recollection of the old and the uncomfortable feeling of the new.

The depression should be treated organically, rather than with drugs. You do NOT want to program the new cells in an unhealthy balance of neural receptors.

Instead, you use deep relaxation and low key mental focus programming to help restore a that missing sense of wellbeing..this will help ease him out of this despondancy.

And yes, music is the key here to help restore and resynchronize damaged and undamaged brain center function. The brain *wants* to be in harmony - quite literally, in its waved energy harmonics.

Patience and empathy with loving support - thats your key here. Thats what Msg 10 is saying - and I agree wholeheartedly.
 Flyers_Phan
Joined: 1/16/2005
Msg: 14
view profile
History
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 4:34:14 PM

^^ This is the truth! Your radical honesty is dangerous. Its the LAST thing this brother wants or needs from you.


could you be more specific of who you are referring to?
 Kozmo101
Joined: 12/7/2006
Msg: 15
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 6:02:15 PM


^^ This is the truth! Your radical honesty is dangerous. Its the LAST thing this brother wants or needs from you.

Why should I suger coat things for him? I open myself up to him, on my deepest levels, that don't quite add up to what he has had happened to him. I know I can't understand, comprehend what he is going through. However, i've mentioned to him what I think will happen if his attitude towards people who try to help him is always cruel, arrogant and overly hostile. What will happen if he sets realistic goals for himself, and works towards them. He's being nostalgic and I try to get him to understand, we can't live in the past, because nothing ever lives up to your memory which is often exaggerated. We have to start living in the present and start shaping who we want to be in the future, shit happens. Mind you alot of shit has happened to him this is not his first near death expierence, maybe the 6th one of which I know of, and finally a chance for him to create a new life for him. Where he was headed before this accident was no where good, drug abusing, alchohol abusing party animal with no goals in life. I've accepeted the fact my brother is not like he use to be, i was being nostalgic at first too and realized he ain't going to be the same. Come to think of it, I spend more time with him than I ever did before.. he's more of a brother to me as I am to him now, than before.
Thanks everyone.
 late™
Joined: 1/9/2005
Msg: 16
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 6:53:47 PM
I am 13 years post brain injury.

Near-fatal, basal skull fracture, cardiac arrest (2X), bit of a coma, intensive care, neurology ward....

50/50 chance of survival the first night.

Recovery is usually limited to around 2½ to 4½ years, there are ups and downs, ...the biggest enemy is stress. Stress WILL slow and even reverse recovery.

He may have indeed reached his plateau, mine came at about 3 years, and in the decade since, ...I'm still getting used to me.

Some recovery peaked after a year or so.

It's been over 13 years and Sombient's right, ...the missing bits of "self" are gone for good, and never coming back. The brain DOES compensate, new pathways are created, often some of them will re-wire imperfectly, and sometimes wires "cross".

Sombient is very articulate in expressing the mechanics of this, I can only relate from experience that her description is as accurate a one as I've ever heard.

I had to re-learn a lot of things including sense of smell, balance, peripheral vision, verbal lanquage was and is still a sporadic problem, mild aphasia. I still have train wrecks, I've learned to live with it.

I still have to be careful where I look if my head isn't oriented 'normally', ...vertigo. I can't work under a car laying on my back without a LOT of struggle to focus, ...the world starts to spin.

My vision isn't the same, I seem to perceive things differently out of my two eyes, shaving in a mirror can be disorienting.

If I am thinking about something while laying on my side, ....and I "switch" sides fast? ....Thought gone, ...to the great bottomless abyss where lost thoughts go, never to be seen or heard from again.

But the worst of all is the missing bits of "self", not the loss of memory per se, I can still remember conversations, events, sights, sounds, ....from when I was a child. What I can't connect to, ...is hard to describe, ...for the most part, because it's gone, ...even shadows of "it", gone. I don't remember who that child was.

This part of it was zero recovery, it's no different than when I was released from the hospital.

Because of this, on some levels, I don't know who I am. It's a discontinuity, a burnt bridge that can never be rebuilt. Some days when stressed, it is oppressive in ways that I can't even describe.

And you can't possibly understand this, nobody can, ...not even me, I can't even find words to describe it in a way that I feel "communicates" an understanding of it, ...there are no words.

I spent most of my recovery on my own, finding my own way back, on my own terms, and in my own time. Nobody forced me to "heal", nobody scolded me, or questioned the fact that I had to do things differently from before, ...instead, the few people I interacted with (friends) were 100% supportive.

I had a girlfriend when I was injured, she bailed after seeing me in the emergancy room the night I was injured, that's a good thing, ...she probably would have not been able to separate me, from my injury.

I was lucky though, as a life long musician I had music to focus on, the 5 years after my injury, I did a lot of gigging, a lot of studio work. The one thing I didn't "lose" was my musical abilities. And having already played for a few decades, I had that place to go to, ...for your brother it may be something more passive, video games, TV.

What ever it takes to RELAX, to sooth, to comfort, ...a lot of good comes from these things.

Reading was also a help to me, if he was ever a "reader", offer to take him to the library, though if he turns down the offer, don't judge him for it.

The worst thing you can do to somebody with a brain injury is to cause them stress, in some ways they are no longer wired to cope with it in a way that you would recognize as rational, ...but it's ALL they know now.

In some ways recovering from brain injury is like finding your way in the dark. Empathy is key, don't try to pull or push them through it, ...help them find their way in the dark by shining light where they step, when and if they ask for it, ...pulling/pushing someone through the dark doesn't help.

What may seem to you as "fumbling" their way through the dark, is the mindset you have to shake loose from, it's their recovery, not yours.

He is in a very emotionally vulnerable state, not a good time to "prod", "scold", or "shame" him into anything.

YMMV


However, i've mentioned to him what I think will happen if his attitude towards people who try to help him is always cruel, arrogant and overly hostile.


This might be a response he has no control over, one would hope that those trying to help are aware of Ben Franklin's definition of insanity.


What will happen if he sets realistic goals for himself, and works towards them. He's being nostalgic and I try to get him to understand, we can't live in the past, because nothing ever lives up to your memory which is often exaggerated.


Unfortunately, yours and his frame of reference may not be compatible here.
 DonInVictoria
Joined: 12/24/2006
Msg: 17
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 6:54:08 PM
OP msg 15 "with no goals in life."

Well, it sounds like you're trying to counsel him, and while that's potentially of great help, you are not trained or skilled at this, so imo, are as likely to be ineffective, do more harm than good, or be helpful, during your efforts. At least he probably enjoys the company.

Has someone arranged professional counselling for him, lately?
 smitten2meetu
Joined: 11/16/2004
Msg: 18
Psychology
Posted: 1/15/2007 9:13:16 PM
I think we could all describe what its like to have a brain injury from mild to severe, and not everyone will understand how hard it is to understand the dynamics around the injury.

Over 14 yrs ago I had head injury that caused trauma to my neck (C2 & C3) and I'm fortunate that my neck didn't break or I wouldn't be here or in a wheelchair if the break was any harder. In my first year of my injury I had a post concusion with mild brain injury on my left side and I found the simple things I use to do where hard to do even understand let alone do. I could think of simple sentence, but couldn't write the words on paper, I couldn't remember conversations unless I wrote down the information. In my first year, I had to quit my very physical job and deal with my injuries and through the help of a great physio & massage therapist, swimming and lots of time, I can say after the first year I was on my way.

Today I have 90 percent mobility in my neck, have to turn my head sideways to look up, unless its in the water. My pinch nerve in my neck flares up approx 3 to 4 yrs causing vertigo, neck, back pain and migranes and to this day i can only sleep on my back or right side. When my symptoms return, I see my physiotherapist, swim and stretch more in the water and do balancing excerises. I have a strong knowledge of fitness, so when my injury occured, I turned to the water for rebuilding my body and water is a great healer for all kinds of injuries. I could go on for hours, like everyone else could explain until they're blue but I don't think it help this man out for information.

Late ^^ injury was severe as mine was mild and didn't have to endure the same struggles or hardships. What I can tell you as Late ^^ and everyone can, the more pressure you put on the person, the worse the injury can become causing the person to feel uncontrolled. When your life is not balance, you find things that fit, even if it small, for some in here, it might be music, watching tv or for me it was the water & swimming. Every day was a reminder what you took advantage of doing simple and I know it made me want to try harder, but no two people are the same in brain, neck, back & spinal cord injuries.

Allow your brother time, and lots of it, and if you can't get off the brutal honesty crap, then you need to remove yourself until you can just accept. It doesn't matter how much drugs, booze, partying, stupid stunts he did or didn't do, this reality honesty isn't working and what he needs is someone to trust him and move at his own pace.
 aries moon
Joined: 1/12/2007
Msg: 19
Psychology
Posted: 1/16/2007 12:47:43 PM
I had a bad accident at work 2 years ago where I fell 3 storeys and ended up on my head. I had an emergency craniotomy because of subdural hematoma, I was in a coma for a week. The last 2 years of my life have been the toughest ever. My friends and family really tried to be there for me but I pushed it all away. Near the end I began to realise that it was hard for people to understand what I was going through. I heard things like "it`s been a year and a half now, you don`t have anymore excuses" and "life goes on" life does go on but it doesn`t happen overnight with a tbi. Things are finally starting to balance out for me. I lived with alot of stress and I think that prolonged things but I`m starting to accept the help that`s offered to me. Your brother is going through something you will, god willing, never be able to completely understand. Don`t use judgement, it doesn`t help. He might never be the same again but he`ll start improving when his brain is ready. Just be there for him and he`ll remember that later, he`ll also be grateful that you let him get better on his own without telling him your thoughts on how things should be. A phycologist I saw probably said it best when he stated that your brain is your computer, if you drop it it might look fine but then you go to use it and your like "what the hell". A brain injury takes time to heal, don`t push it, you`ll only make things harder
 late™
Joined: 1/9/2005
Msg: 20
Psychology
Posted: 1/16/2007 6:05:08 PM
A phycologist I saw probably said it best when he stated that your brain is your computer, if you drop it it might look fine but then you go to use it and your like "what the hell".


Yeah, ...sometimes it would bring me to tears, still does once in a while if I dwell on trying to find the missing bits.

Early in my recovery, I would often have bouts of aphasia and lose my train of thought, forget things, and have to sit where ever I was if vertigo hit.

All my friends, without exception, would smile and say, "oh yeah, your brain thing", ...and let me get my bearings again. Aside from that, we didn't talk about it unless I brought it up. I think this is probably why I made a lot of progress early on. They knew they couldn't understand, and didn't hold it against me.

For me the most frustrating thing is the aphasia, which still happens sometimes if I'm communicating verbally. I don't handle being interrupted well, I lose track.

I also get frustrated filling out forms, which often have questions I can't answer because they're often worded badly.


A brain injury takes time to heal, don`t push it, you`ll only make things harder


Absolutely, and you're still in "peak" recovery, it tapers off soon for you and the OP's brother, and some things get easier to cop with, ...but unfortunately, the truth is, there will always be some rough spots to "work around", ...don't let other people try to talk you into trying to work through the things you can't, ...it will just frustrate you and them.
 DonInVictoria
Joined: 12/24/2006
Msg: 21
Brain Injury
Posted: 1/17/2007 7:56:16 AM
OP " But now he's since platuead and feels that he wll never get better. "

I totally agree with LATE's remarks about stress's ill impact on mental functioning (and add that it can be very demotivating, too. Stress cripples our limited abilities and in self defense we just have to withdraw and do less). Your best role as I see it, is to limit your involvement to being a pal and friend to your brother, and not try to be a motivator, certainly not on a 'reasoning' level with him (you just lack the experience and training to do it right, imo, and odds are almost certain, you'll do more harm than good). You see, the other side of the stress coin, is that if you're happy and feeling good, you'll have a greater capacity and alertness.

My own experiences in coping with stress have been notable, as I've extensive experience in helping brain damaged older people: I've been my parents' principle caregiver, at first in a small way but it quickly became a fulltime role and then some. For my Dad this was from late 1994 to mid-2001 (he had "Parkinson's Plus" and passed on at 85 when he started swallowing into his lungs). For my Mom, it's been from 1995 to the present (she's passed 90, her mental affliction is multi-infarct/mini-stroke dementia).

In both instances, their brains slowly and irregularly deteriorate, and they've needed substantial help in just getting through their day, as well as coping with being disoriented due to growing blank areas in their minds. Now, no small part of my way of handling them involved avoiding stressing them, as their limited capabilities to function on a rudimentary level, would quickly fade moments after they became stressed or frustrated. There's just no reserve that you and I take for granted, to tackle the added burden of coping with stress.

Stress is mentally debillitating on healthy people. I've handled my caregiving role quite well, my brain function's normal enough, but anyone here who's watched my posts and attempts at starting threads here, can hardly failed to have noticed how irregular my writing style is (in particular, the sharp contrast in the writing style/lack of being able to follow an extended line of thought, in my attempted threads versus my short posts in replies to others' threads). (I've not had a vacation or more than a few hours daytime break, for over a decade, but it's mostly the consequence of living with no clear end in sight, 365 days a year of caring for someone who's rarely improved and unpredictably worsens slowly but steadily as they age, that just, well, gets to you, despite various stress relief methods that in self-defense I've become quite adept at.)

Now, your mother's been his principle caregiver, correct? Her experiences in raising you two from babies, and her recent ones in helping your brother have likely heightened her capability to care for him, so she ought to have a fair sense of his likely reaction to this or that approach. Is she online? How about getting her to sign up here?

I'd be pleased to correspond with her and I ought to be able to come up with some approaches and training methods for him to follow, that your brother would find far more palatable. He really has to want to get better, and careful thought and effort needs to be put into designing a program tailor-made for his present capability and personality, so that it's something he'll enjoy and cheerfully pursue, in it's own right and not just because people are saying it's good for him and what he 'must' do.
 Sombient
Joined: 9/29/2006
Msg: 22
Brain Injury
Posted: 1/17/2007 8:53:47 AM
A cautionary note:

The OPs brother is reported to engage in extreme risk-taking behaviors - indeed, they include the accident that resulted in extensive brain injury for which he seeks advice here.

A pre-existing behavioral abnormality is present. Its either a manifestation of drug-induced damage to risk/decision processing brain loci OR manic behavior associated with mood or personality disorder.

A competent psychiatric evaluation is required to determine this underlying condition and its treatment.

Do you understand, Don? He may have profound depression as a result.

I can make recommendations for orthomolecular treatment - but in order to treat neurological metabolic pathway deficits, I would have to know symptoms and history.

I *really* doubt that either the patient or family can provide that information. And I suspect that a therapist will find questioning the patient on symptoms to be a tricky business due to memory loss and present stress recovery impairment.

Its a difficult chicken and egg situation.
 late™
Joined: 1/9/2005
Msg: 23
Brain Injury
Posted: 1/17/2007 9:10:04 AM

I *really* doubt that either the patient or family can provide that information. And I suspect that a therapist will find questioning the patient on symptoms to be a tricky business due to memory loss and present stress recovery impairment.


Absolutely.

This is one of those situations where even the experts have to tread lightly.

If BC's health (or private insurance) coverage extends to extensive neuropsychological evaluation (A $9000 test for me here in Ontario), it should be seriously considered.

This kind of thing is not for amateurs.
 DonInVictoria
Joined: 12/24/2006
Msg: 24
Brain Injury
Posted: 1/17/2007 9:51:13 AM
msg 22 " He may have profound depression as a result. "

Indeed, I'd anticipate that goes with the territory, as brain injuries can be so very socially isolating, never mind the impact and shock of being shut out from one's earlier lifestyle.

I've no clinical qualifications in that area as well, but (largely as a consequence of my extended familiy caregiving role), I do have plenty of experience in coping (successfully, so far anyway) with varied depths of depression for much of the past fifteen years (only once when feeling despondent and suicidal, having to resort to Prozac a decade ago for six months), so, I'd be hopeful of recognizing where offering a tip or two would be helpful towards keeping things on track.

Yes, B.C.'s healthcare system is great, except when it's not. Let's hope getting in for such an evaluation proves manageable. Canada has 'universal' healthcare, but, so many critical things slip through the cracks due to budget constraints, waitlists and miscommunication. In some ways, the well off and rich fare much better at times as they can just cross the border and pay for private treatment in the U.S., a method which avoids delays and the consequences of not receiving essential medical care for some things. Just now in B.C., there's a back and forth tussle over allowing private clinics and doctors to operate on a direct fee and/or subscription basis, to sidestep our system's deficiencies.

Current counselling is a course I still urge, as there's nothing quite like having someone who's trained and on the spot, interacting with the patient. If there's a trained counsellor that's actually experienced the syndrome, or cared for a family member with it, that, imo, would be the best choice of all. [It's common, in the psychiatric field for those with 'problems' early in their life, to choose a career in that field as part of their search for a solution, which makes them all the better at counselling others in their later career, as they've "been there, done that".]
 Sombient
Joined: 9/29/2006
Msg: 25
Brain Injury
Posted: 1/17/2007 10:15:16 AM
No. You misunderstand.

The OPs brother already had BIG PROBLEMS with neurochemical balance, driven by shitty lifestyle decisions and a possible pre-existing genetic predisposition.

Suspect behaviors are mapped to the portions of the brain involved in cognitive functions. This portion of the brain 'thins' - or its damaged and the damaged tissues fails to undergo repair - over time at a rate roughly comparable to stress load (and 'stress' is a term that has many connotations, but here we refer to oxidative stress byproducts, free radicals, that fail to be 'mopped up' before they inflict membrane damage) we associate with the aging process in brains.

Thus, the OP went into this accident with prefrontal cortical volume issues directly connected to an imbalance of excitatory versus inhibitory chemistry in these cells.

Now, superimpose drastic tissue damage and the added stress of the effects of extreme cognitive disorientation, and you have added physical and chemical collateral damage to the significant biochemical deficits present before the injury.

Does this make sense?

You can't promote repair until the basic system of repairs is returned to normal.

It wasn't functioning properly in this young man in the first place.

Late, read this and understand it pertinence to your recovery.
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