Brain Injuries PT. II

201501.22
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EFFECTS OF HAVING AN ACQUIRED BRAIN INJURY

Having acquired brain injury (‘ABI’) heavily impacts a person’s life and the way in which they do things.

Living with an ABI affects every aspect of a person’s life including relationships with friends and family. The extent of the problems depends upon severity and location of the damages.

The main types of changes are cognitive changes and physical changes.

Cognitive changes may include:

  • Memory Problems – memory issues can may everyday experiences turn into a nightmare of confusion;
  • Poor Concentration;
  • Depression – this is a common emotional consequence after injury. It is also adjusting to the change in a person’s lifestyle;
  • Lack of initiative or motivation;
  • Poor planning and problem-solving;
  • Communication including the ability to talk, loss of basic language skills;
  • Lack of insight;
  • Slowed responses;
  • Inflexibility – inability to cope with change in thought or routine;;
  • Impulsivity – loss of a filter, that is not thinking before you speak;
  • Irritability – quite often people with an ABI are easily frustrated and angered;
  • Socially inappropriate behaviour including sexually inappropriate behaviour;
  • Self-centredness;
  • Dependency;
  • Emotional lability – inability to control behaviour and emotions.

Physical changes may include:

  • Loss of taste and smell;
  • Dizziness and balance;
  • Epilepsy and seizures;
  • Fatigue;
  • Headaches;
  • Visual problems;
  • Chronic       pain;
  • Paralysis;
  • Hearing problems.

Seeking the right type of medical treatment and having the right rehabilitation team for support is important.

It is important that the injured person’s family and close friends are educated and kept informed so they know what they can expect rather than getting angry or frustrated with the injured person.

NEXT TIME: Stay tuned for our discussion on ABI and Rehabilitation Issues.

All information for the above article has been sourced from “Acquired Brain Injury The Facts” 2nd Ed, Brain Injury Association of Qld (now known as Synapse)