Regret, lost opportunities, looking back instead of forward, dwelling on the past
The past cannot be changed but current actions can change the future.
I regret with weeping, all the times you tried to bring me comfort. To help me put the past behind me and recapture what once was.
You believed I was unappreciative, and I pushed you away. No more did I take delight in your surprises, of driving through quaint little towns, or tasting new food, from a different resturant.
I glanced out the car's window, void of feeling. Turning down your suggestion to stop. . . . . "Just take me back home."
I use to enjoy walking in a shopping mall. Now I appeared bored. I was your lifeless companion. Nothing you could say or do, I wanted. I was drifting away, detaching from our friendship, I was " gone".
The brain injury may cause "slow motion" thinking. Bright lights, too many people talking, radio or television may be overstimulating. When the senses get overloaded, the person may withdraw, get angry and irritable, cry, pace or become combative.
Keep activities and surroundings relatively simple. Too much, too fast, too soon causes confusion.
LACK OF INITIATIVE
Initially or early in the recovery process from injury to the brain, apathy or lack of initiative will often develop. Your family member is confused and unable to conceptualize and plan activities. All projects or goals, however small, are overwhelming, so it is less threatening and less anxiety provoking to just sit and do nothing. This lack of initiative is extremely frustrating to families. They are aware of the precious time that is taken away from rehabilitation efforts when the patient says, "I don't want to do anything."
"I was 'adynamic,'" she said. "I didn't generate ideas or actions. I couldn't plan, organize or make decisions."
Social Difficulties may be apparent, such as impaired social capacity resulting in self-centered behavior in which both empathy and self-critical attitudes are greatly diminished. Brain injury can result in difficulties in making and keeping friends, as well as understanding and responding to the nuances of social interaction. Regulatory Disturbances include fatigue and/or changes in sleep patterns, dizziness or headache.
After a brain injury, you may experience emotional changes. There is usually a level of frustration, especially when you're unable to do things you could before, or when you can't recall day-to-day information.
The brain controls our thought processes and all bodily functions. In short, it controls behavior. When the brain is injured, behavior often is affected. Unfortunately, many changes in behavior following brain injury are not adaptive or acceptable to other people. Such behavior can take many forms. Many people experience increased agitation for a period of days, weeks or months following brain injury. In many cases, the agitation goes away as the brain learns to function in its newly acquired injured condition.
Damage to the frontal lobe, can cause specific behavior problems. The frontal lobe controls decision-making, judgment and other executive functions. Often when the frontal lobe is damaged, an individual has great difficulty tolerating frustration or overstimulation. In many types of brain injury, a person has difficulty with concentration and judgment, as well as problem-solving, making decisions and understanding subtle environmental cues. In many cases, behavior problems are the result of impaired ability to process information or understand situations accurately.
Responding to Cues:
Following damage to the brain, a person no longer may be able to respond to customary cues as he/she once did because he/she does not notice understand or process cues quickly enough. What previously had been a cue to do a simple chore may be misunderstood as a hostile or demeaning threat. Or, an individual may have trouble keeping up with family or friends in terms of responding to social cues from others, and may express his/her frustration with aggression or withdrawal.
Yes, I shed tears. I grieve the death of ME. I regret the times of laughter and anticpation of waiting for the arrival of a dear friend. . . for that now is part of my distant past.
I am getting better now, it is called "acceptance" of my impairments. I have tools to help me cope.
I will heal, in time. My eyes will cease crying. I am learning how to be more patient, listen and become more humble. Continued Page 8
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