Fixing What is Broken
For people living with a brain injury, one of the hardest things for them to do is to be able to recognise what is broken. Even when people point things out to them they can still struggle to process and relate to this information because the sponsoring motive or thought still comes from the place it always has done – the reptilian brain or what we think of as the automatic pilot.
Intentions retain the same feeling of familiarity because they initiate from deep within the ‘protected’ centre of the brain. It is when this information travels through damaged areas of the brain that things go wrong.
It can be incredibly difficult, or even impossible, for some people to turn off the incessant internal chatter that fills their thinking space following a brain injury. It is for this reason that great care must be taken when people are trying to learn new coping strategies. Some people struggle to link their understanding and fail to comprehend why they are being shown something. It often doesn’t make sense to people that they can’t do the things they could before and for some, there is a clear feeling that they shouldn’t be struggling with everyday tasks, especially those they have been doing since childhood.
It is important to teach people to notice and have awareness of what is going wrong so that they understand what they are trying to fix.
There are many ways we can begin to address the symptoms and outcomes of brain injury, and in this section, we discuss many alternative approaches understanding that we are all unique individuals and what works for one person may not necessarily be the answer for someone else.
A key area for everyone is understanding the effects of inflammation. Sometimes people figure out more for themselves by reading about the symptoms and effects of a brain injury – they will often recognise the things they are struggling with but may need to re-read information many times before they get to grips with what it means for them.