Refrain From Saying These Things to Someone with a Traumatic Brain Injury
If someone you care deeply about suffers from a traumatic brain injury, you will understandably want to do whatever you can to help them feel better. Much of that will involve talking. At this point, we will need to be mindful of the power that our words have. Even without intending to, you can say something to someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury that can actually make them feel worse. If you really want to help your friend or family member, there are certain things that you should work hard to refrain from saying, no matter how appropriate you feel it might be.
You Appear to Be Perfectly Ok
Many signs of a traumatic brain injury cannot be seen. You might think that someone is perfectly normal, but that is far from the truth. You have no idea what they are feeling on the inside, nor do you have any capacity to understand what they are really going through. This is why it is so important that you refrain from making such statements.
It is important to understand that individuals with a traumatic brain injury may be suffering from such issues as memory loss, lack of concentration, fatigue, and so much more. You will not be able to see these, but they are nonetheless very real problems that your friend or family member must deal with. Do not make matters worse by telling them that they appear to be just fine to you.
You Should Just Try a Bit Harder
Some things that you feel a brain injury sufferer should be able to do might be easy enough for you to accomplish. However, that is not the case for them. You might get frustrated watching them trying to complete the most basic tasks, but you need to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how much frustration they must feel by not being able to do something that they used to find routine.
One of the worst things you can do is tell your friend or family member that they simply need to try a bit harder. This is the last thing that they need to hear. You have no idea how hard they are actually trying and how tired they are of failing. Instead, you just need to be there for them and help them succeed in the end, no matter how long it takes.
You Seem Angry All the Time
One of the telltale signs that someone has a traumatic brain injury is that they are irritable all of the time. This often cannot be helped. The individual is suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and so much more. In a way, they have the right to be angry. You should expect that and work with them through it until those issues are resolved. It could take a while, so buckle in.
It Seems I Am Always Having to Repeat Myself to You
Many individuals with a brain injury will develop memory and concentration problems. You might tell them something, only to have them forget it in the next instance. This means that you may need to have repeat yourself countless times. If you expect this, then you will both be better off in the end. This issue takes time to resolve, so do not make it worse by constantly getting frustrated over having to repeat yourself.
You Need to Recognize How Much I am Doing for You
It is important to help your loved ones because of your devotion to them, not because you want recognition. In fact, you may get little recognition at first. The person you are helping may even be resentful because you have to do things for them that they should be doing for themselves. Just be there for them and help them through the hard times without reminding them how much you are doing for them.
Remembering what you should not say to a person suffering from a traumatic brain injury is just as important as remembering what you should be doing for them. The key is to help along the recovery and rehabilitation process to the best of your ability. Sometimes that means you must be quiet and keep your thoughts to yourself.