October 14, 2014

5 common effects of brain injury

Fatigue
The brain is a complicated well-oiled computer. When damaged, even slightly, the computer doesn’t work so well. It has to try harder to keep up and when the brain gets tired, so does the person. We are not talking about physical fatigue, but mental fatigue. We have all had times where we feel we need to sit down, relax and “chill out” even though we have not been doing tiring physical activity. Often this is because our brain has been “overworked” and needs a rest. Brain injury often means the person gets fatigued more easily as their brain needs to rest more often.

Disinhibition
There are areas of our brains that stop us acting or saying inappropriate things. When these areas are damaged, things are said or done without forethought. How many times have you looked at what someone is wearing and thought, “oh dear, that looks terrible” but gone on to compliment the wearer? That is a prime example of your inhibitor working to stop you from embarrassing yourself. A disinhibited person is more likely to make the insulting comment and not realise the its effect.

Memory
We all forget things from time to time, but imagine living life constantly forgetting things you used to be able to remember. Things such as driving off and forgetting to pay for fuel, or putting the oven on to cook food and forgetting about it are examples of memory failures with potentially serious consequences.

Concentration
We take for granted the ability to read a newspaper or watch a film. However, when our brains decide enough is enough, they slow down, refusing to focus on the task in hand. Losing the ability to concentrate for long periods is a real problem following brain injury, leading to frustration, anger, despair and inability to live independently.

Dysexecutive syndrome
Our brains are responsible for everything we do, from making a cup of tea, to designing a power station. We problem solve all day, whether it is working out child care arrangements or buying food to eat. Dysexecutive syndrome refers to the inability to plan, organise and think things through. To lose this ability is devastating to our very existence and means reliance on others to fulfil this function.

In many cases we have worked with clients who have all or a combination of the above problems to the extent that someone has to be appointed to oversee their financial affairs and welfare. That someone is known as a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection. Power is vested in the Deputy to help the brain-injured person to live as independent a life as possible.

We take our brains for granted. The fact is, damaging a brain will often lead to a devastating outcome.

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