How to activate your brain's superpowers.
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Restoring your life after brain injury
I believed in reading strategies because I believed in my therapist—until I finally had to admit they were an illusion.
When did we as a society come to believe that criticism and judgement are effective in treating concussion?
Concussion affects women in a distressing way, one that statistics, sports articles, and inspirational recovery stories don't talk about.
Recovery from brain injury is like walking into a locked door and hunting for an unlatched window. Then crawling through into an unfamiliar room with its hard decisions and hopes.
Are doctors telling you to rest, and your concussion will get better? I defied their false hope, found treatment, and began to find myself again.
Brain injury defaults alertness to low. Dreams and work die in broken neurons. But my mind wasn’t bopping like some sort of superball out of control. Brain biofeedback was working!
Being in on the early days of brain biofeedback and audiovisual entrainment to treat brain injury means one never knows what to expect and when. It can be confusing and wonderful.
Being in on the early days of brain biofeedback and audiovisual entrainment to treat brain injury required overcoming fear and doubt and managing heavy fatigue.
Brain biofeedback heals damaged neurons, even years after a concussion, but it's heavy, fatiguing work with delayed rewards. Encouragement not inspiration helps one to keep going.
Brain biofeedback is a strange process. The brain trainer connects electrodes from your head to the computer; you play a game onscreen. How does your brain control the game?
Audiovisual entrainment enables a person to achieve relaxed, focused attention, a cognitive skill that brain injury takes away and is necessary to restore other cognitions.
Hope after concussion comes from a clinician listening, ordering good diagnostic tests, and offering effective treatment. I received that over five years after my brain injury.
"Lines flowed in jagged waves across the screen. Nineteen lines of brainwaves." My injured brain spoke volumes through the qEEG, first done five years after my concussion.
"I was never going to relax, never going to stop moving my eyes. Every muscle was jerking to move." The qEEG was novel but entailed the impossible-post-concussion task of relaxing.
Instead of studying CTE as a mystery syndrome divorced from untreated brain injury, let's challenge assumptions that seeming recovery from concussion is real recovery.
Maybe instead of typing “brain injury treatment,” I should search for ADD, I thought. That's how I found the first effective concussion treatments and began to find hope again.
"Early in March 2001, my psychologist sat me down to tell me gently that my brain had plateaued. This is my life."
It's another brain injury awareness month. By its end not much will have changed for those with brain injury; society will not be more informed. What will it take to ignite change?
Friends come; people go. It’s the way of life. But after brain injury, the number of losses increases like a logarithmic scale to infinity. The rate is injurious and grievous.
Research is beginning to show traditional approaches and positivity are inadequate to heal this profound grief.
Does marriage break down more often after traumatic brain injury? Research results are mixed. Therapy must recognize the role of brain injury and the uninjured spouse's grief.
Cognitive empathy lets you imagine a client’s experience, puts yourself in their shoes and act accordingly. How you can use it to help restore reading post concussion.
You don't know the grief of brain injury until you hear a gentle, compassionate voice drop the devastating news that you can't read while you're holding your usual paperback.
I was like you once. Then crash. Life shrunk to medical visits, friends vanished like slowly fading paintings, dreams died. I set out to heal my broken brain when doctors wouldn't.
Shireen Jeejeebhoy is an author who explores brain injury treatments and shares her own discoveries of the ups and downs of concussion recovery.