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Behavior changes after a traumatic brain injury

A brain injury often has an emotional toll as much as a physical one. When people suffer traumatic brain injuries, there is a chance that they will need family members and loved ones to help the with daily activities of life.

Caregivers sometimes get what seems like the raw end of the deal. This is because they might be dealing with the behavioral changes in their loved one. These changes can make you wonder if your hard work is being appreciated. Here are some important things to think about when you are dealing with the behavioral changes of your loved one:

They can't help it

Most people who have brain injuries don't act out because they want to. In most cases, these changes aren't controllable. They might not even realize that they are being mean or hateful.

In some cases, the negative behaviors are coming out of frustration. Many people who have a traumatic brain injury feel badly that they have to rely on loved ones to care for them. They often think that they are a burden. This can lead to their harboring feelings that fester and come out as an attack on their loved ones.

Structure may help

When behavioral changes are the result of uncertainty or frustration, having some structure might help. The changes in the brain when a traumatic brain injury occurs can make it hard for the person to be able to handle them effectively. Even if they used to be flexible about life's flow, they might not be able to adopt such a constructive attitude now because their brain just can't cope with change.

If the normal routine is going to need to change, even just for a day, you should let your loved one know as soon as you can. You might even need to remind him or her a few times because of memory issues that come with these injuries.

Take time for yourself

Being a caregiver for a person with a catastrophic injury is difficult. Make sure that you take time for yourself when you can. This time to relax can benefit you and your loved one since you will be able to return a calmer and less stressed caregiver.

It is sometimes difficult to think of taking time for yourself. If your loved one can't be left alone, other family members or friends might be able to help. Another option is to hire someone to provide respite care so that you have time to decompress while knowing that your loved one is getting the care he or she needs.

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