How NOT to Talk with a Brain Injury Survivor
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) eludes even the leading neuroscientists of the world, much less the average layman. It’s okay to occasionally feel confused or frustrated when caring for someone who has this complex condition.
What’s NOT okay is to offer unsolicited opinions or advice, or to snap out of frustration. If you find yourself saying any of the following things to a TBI survivor, step back and reevaluate yourself because you’re probably acting out of line:
“Stop being lazy”
No TBI survivor chooses to be depressed, fatigued, or apathetic. These are all common symptoms of brain injury. Rather than talking your loved one down, be a strong advocate for his or her recovery and take an active role in finding a solution.
“I don’t see what the issue is”
Some symptoms of TBI – memory issues, trouble focusing, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, etc. – may be invisible, but they are real just the same. Don’t invalidate your loved one’s pain just because you can’t see what’s going on. Be empathetic and acknowledge the difficulty of his or her situation.
“Why do you always forget what I tell you?”
Yes, it’s frustrating to repeat yourself over and over, but could you imagine how frustrating it would be to constantly forget things due to a brain injury? Instead of getting irritated, find ways to help your loved one out. Simplify the task. Create a reminder system. Establish routines.
In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, irritability is common in people with TBI. Again, not a choice. That being said, it’s very difficult to deal with someone who is constantly moody or angry. Thankfully, there are treatments available that can help to reduce irritability.
“You don’t appreciate everything I do for you”
Your loved one is probably well aware of your sacrifice, and would do anything to not be a burden to you or anyone else. Or he or she may simply not have the capacity to understand the situation. If you need to ventilate, do it with someone else you trust, like a good friend, family member or even a therapist.
Has your loved one sustained his or her brain injury in an accident caused by another party? If so, contact Wilshire Law Firm for immediate assistance. We can get you relief for your financial troubles from medical bills and other damages. To receive a comprehensive evaluation of your best legal options, call us today at (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations.