Scientific Support to treatments immediately: Small ‘window of opportunity’ for best recovery after stroke — TBI Rehabilitation

by University of South Australia Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain An international study has shown, for the first time, that the capacity of the human brain to recover and rewire itself peaks around two weeks after a stroke and diminishes over time. The finding, published today in the Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair journal, is the result of a study […]

[WEB PAGE] Small ‘window of opportunity’ for best recovery after stroke — TBI Rehabilitation

Signs of Life — Moments

It’s easy to get lost driving through the American Desert, and sometimes there are “signs” of life in places forgot. Aliens in Area 51, The Thrift store on Coachella Ave Salt on Sea. An “Allsup” at a gas station outside of Rosewell. And of course Last Vegas casinos that are long dead and buried. I […]

Signs of Life — Endless Roaming

Alcohol and COVID-19: Behavioral and Biological Effects — ScienceBlog.com

During the course of the pandemic, researchers and scientists from across the biomedical spectrum have focused on the diverse health impacts of the novel coronavirus. For their part, alcohol researchers are investigating numerous ways that alcohol might affect COVID-19 risk and severity, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic may influence alcohol consumption patterns and…

Alcohol and COVID-19: Behavioral and Biological Effects — ScienceBlog.com

The Amygdala – traumatic fearful memories

The other day I was listening to the radio and heard something interesting from a DJ or possibly a Psychologist (I searched but I couldn’t find which it was).

I only listened quickly.

It was mentioned how the Amygdala, a portion below the larger part of our Brains, is well known to control our memory recall. They particularly said how it plays an impulsive role with memories triggering fear. We act on the lasting effects of that fear.

This brought my story of mistreatment during brain recovery back,

“YES! That’s exactly what happens when I’m yelled at.”

I often found that outsiders were less knowledgeable about Brain Injury than one file of a Q&A sheet can answer from the Internet. As my recovery began, I realised I needed to mind map while understanding my emotional impulses and limitations. This was the only way I could be ready for what to expect and to send out a signed consent form to each person before we interacted, so they wouldn’t abuse me. That’s a joke, no consent form was sent 🙂

That was how avoiding abuse felt at the worst times. People use abuse without thinking of how this effects others. The physical damage to the Brain means Brain Injured people have no barrier to handle yelling, screaming and psychological abuse.

Targeted abuse feels much stronger than before an accident.

We all live with abuse or anger because it’s a typical emotion when interacting with other humans. Honestly with other animals too (an aggressive dog or a saber-toothed tiger are good examples).

A Brain Injury is the physical and long lasting damage to brain tissue, the tissue that controls your personal universe. A scream, a yell, emotional abuse or demonization has the same strength as the targeted deployment of a cannon explosion inside someone’s skull. The pain in each moment was intense and I often screamed in pain, though sometimes I learned to take it silently, especially in workplaces.

At the same time, I was dealing with frustration issues from the injury. This meant in the beginning that I would yell to stop how someone abused and instead of understanding their emotional trigger I would often get a scared face, ‘Calm down’ – the same people who would yell if you wouldn’t conform to their domination in the moment. Other people would just increase the yelling.

So I often sat silently alone.

As I healed, the trauma of abuse and anger didn’t subside. It would penetrate my skull, no matter how nice I was. I learnt how to best avoid yelling and abuse. It was time in recovery teaching me to handle it better. Experience.

Interestingly some people asked me, “are you anti-social because of your accident?” Especially those I avoided because they yelled first and thought later.

My answer to this is NO, it’s not that simple. I have become more social after the healing process, bit by bit as my brain physically healed. It may be that I avoid someone because they scream, yell, abuse and trigger painful fear memories in my Amygdala.

I wrote this post for others with this symptom of Brain Injury to know you’re not alone. Try to be honest as best you can with outsiders. If pain persists…stay away.

For those who typically yell and abuse people – PLEASE STOP.

Put an end to the impulse of their memories in the Amygdala or if they recently suffered an accident then you are helping create a constant fear of abuse. Please understand their emotions are not the same as always and nor is their ability to shrug off abuse.

In time anger and abuse can become less confronting, but this entirely depends on the individual’s healing and outsiders shouldn’t imagine a timeline for when they can start abusing again. I think these negative emotions should be avoided.

THIS BUILDS ON A RECENT POST I WROTE ABOUT FATIGUE AND BRAIN INJURY – What I Mean When I Say I’m Tired

Originally posted on Cara’s Corner: I’m sure many of us who have experienced mental health problems have found ourselves in this position. Sometimes, we could be feeling a million feelings at once. Sometimes we might feel completely empty. Sometimes we might not even know how we feel. That’s why, when asked how we are,…

What I Mean When I Say I’m Tired — Disablities & Mental Health Issues

BRAIN INJURY – Changing from your old self into a new you

Brain Injury is complicated because every brain is unique.

For many friends, family and acquaintances this quality makes your long-term illness slightly irrelevant to their brains. It isn’t irrelevant to you.

When I woke in a hospital bed after suffering my fall off a building, I didn’t specifically feel different. I was still the same person with odd thoughts influenced by Brain Injury while learning what was occurring around me. My initial after accident experiences and hospital administered drugs dominated my mind. My Brain was trying to comprehend a new world, as I experienced the Brain’s physical damage. The world around me didn’t change.

As months passed I recall my focus on ending a tunnel of recovery. There was light at the end of the tunnel with one way forward. During hospital recovery it was like this tunnel had illuminated lights fixed on the edges, with my focus moving forward.

Then I was cleared to work and the lights became dimmer, but I could still see the opening of light at the tunnel’s end. Then within 3 months after leaving hospital there was no particular doctor certificate administered for sickness or special unemployment care. The government social services decided that I was a normal unemployed person.

No tailored and required support was offered.

A side effect of Brain Injury is that the patient feels fine and at times, depending on their typical mental characteristics, they assume they don’t need help.

I want all patients to realise that help is required, be it small or big, and for doctors/hospital staff to think of this process to make a plan for recovery. I was released and everyone had done what the system required. The accident was over. Except for me.

To be honest, the minimal employment support given made the tunnel start to flood with a tiny space at the top to swim desperately, gasping for air. I started becoming desperate to find work, as I wasn’t considered disabled – yes, despite falling 15 metres onto concrete. Again, the system decided no support was required. You should have seen the nurses rush on my bed to service a new patient when I was leaving hospital, ‘He’s gone, YES!!!!!, new bed to make and treat another patient as best the system says we should!’

Then the tunnel lights went out. I lost all support. I still saw light at the end of the dark tunnel, but no help existed to find my way – electricity was cut, severed, irreparable.

This lonesome part of the journey took a longer time than I expected. After learning more, I realised that my time was fast compared to many others.

I grew during the experiences but outsiders often abused me like that was the only way they could offer support. I was treated as though any issue caused from Brain Injury was my fault – yelling would solve it. These issues were finite when I think of my personal struggle but still catastrophic, particularly in the workplace environments I found myself in.

Workplace abuse was the worst. I was not considered disabled and my issues were tiny but constant. I appeared as a normal person perfectly positioned for abuse on the one in 20 tasks I didn’t complete perfectly.

I was a normal dumb idiot in the way of people’s own daily obstacle course to get through life as I saw them making their own mistakes constantly. I traded my past compassionate self for a man who had to deal with trauma and survive it.

In amongst this trauma I was still myself, but hidden in a survival mode trying to handle the abuse my Brain could not during the continued recovery.

What did people who knew do to help?

They abused me or stayed quiet because they had no power in the workplaces I found myself in. The occasional offer of help did exist, but with time this reduced.

SCALING RECOVERY NEED VS. SUPPORT

There were few moments where people inquired if I was OK. Most focused heavily on my physical achievements.

How is your leg?

Some were always acquaintances where the initial friend request on Facebook and bothering while I was in hospital was the appropriate level of compassion. Patients should remember that this is normal and it doesn’t reflect you in any way. We can’t be best friends with everyone.

Part of the journey was a gigantic learning experience about social trauma. My apologies, but I was not told what to expect and how the external world’s judgement above compassion would impact my brain’s recovery. I learnt a lot of what true survival is. Needless to say some thought I complained too much about it. Kudos for helping me with your judgement.

After the process was completed I’m thankful. I am also less likely to care what people think about my world and I – it’s mine after all. People grab snippets to paint a picture of something about you. I hope others in mental illness recovery remember this, as mental damage on a scale of 1 – 10 has its universal intricacies owned by the sufferer. While loneliness occurs, please remember many out there are dealing with their own loneliness, trauma or mental condition.

You can do this! Just push through and I always say people should follow their passions where possible.

Use the period to learn and grow. Some people will stay, some will go and forever you’ll be you. The only difference is experience teaches you wisdom. Your identity may change due to a mental illness but that person inside remains you forever ❤

The old you, the new you, the in between you – it’s all you! ❤

Take care of yourself as no one else can be fully trusted with that important path.

Healthcare and dogs is right up my alley! A Boy’s Journey — Disabilities & Mental Health Issues

During the first few weeks of January, we traveled to Xenia, Ohio, to meet our son’s service dog, Emmet. It was a meeting more than two years in the making. I’m going to try a few new things this year, so I thought I’d share the first part of a video from our trip. I […] […]

A Boy’s Journey — Epilepsy Dad — Disablities & Mental Health Issues