Monthly Archives: January 2020

Getting Emotional Help

Following a brain injury, it is important for brain injury survivors and their families to identify different forms of help that they may need. Some of these forms of help may be more obvious than others. For instance, if a survivor has lost income due their injury, the survivor likely needs help paying for bills. Similarly, if a survivor has trouble with balance, the survivor likely needs a shower chair to bathe. However, some forms of help are less intuitive.

One of the important forms of help that is often ignored is the need for emotional support. The brain injury experience can be a long, difficult marathon. Survivors often need emotional support through this process. The support can be in the form of formal therapies with trained psychotherapists, psychologists and counselors who are able to identify emotional issues. These professionals can help the patient manage their mood/stress and cope with adjustments. Emotional support can also come in the form of support groups, in which brain injury survivors and their families come together to share comfort, experiences and knowledge with each other. Support can also come from friends and family who can be a shoulder to lean on during rough times or help inspire when motivation is low. None of these forms of emotional support are exclusive of each other. Survivors can take advantage of all of these forms of emotional support through the brain injury process.

Sometimes, it is difficult for survivors to ask for support because they feel that they need to be “tough” or they are used to being the support providers rather than the people in need of support. However, it is important to recognize that not only do ALL people need support at some times in their lives, but that ALL survivors deserve support through their brain injury experiences. No one needs to go through such a difficult experience without a strong emotional support team.

Just as it is true that brain injury survivors need emotional support, the families of brain injury survivors also need emotional support. Many families ignore their own needs while focused on the needs of the survivor. Ignoring emotional needs can contribute to a lengthy list of emotional and physical illnesses such as depression and stroke. Families of brain injury survivors should consider creating their own emotional support team which can include personal psychotherapists, psychologists and counselors, brain injury support groups, family and friends.

It is often easy to see some needs such as physical and financial needs but if survivors and their families do not fill their emotional needs, the brain injury experience is often significantly more difficult.

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