What Can Be Done to Ease Anxiety and Depression After a TBI?
While it is natural to focus solely on the physical problems that a person suffers from in the aftermath of a TBI, it is almost equally important to consider the psychological and emotional trauma that must be endured as well. Many individuals who seemed to have a great mastery of their emotions before the injury suddenly find that they are prone to serious bouts of anxiety and depression. Rather than ignore this and hope that the feelings just go away, it is important to recognize what is going on and understand what can be done to help ease the anxiety and depression in the first place.
Why Does Anxiety Follow a TBI?
Anxiety is essential a feeling of nervousness that is out of line with what is actually happening around the individual. People with a TBI are often unsure of the feelings that they have, and they do not know what is going to happen next. Because of this, out of nowhere, they can begin to feel anxiety to the point that it is unhealthy.
Some people with TBI will develop anxiety to the point that they can have full-blown panic attacks. This leads to an unmanageable level of stress that can have adverse health implications in numerous areas of life. Because the TBI is the trigger for this anxiety, a different type of treatment is needed than would be other people who might be suffering from anxiety-related issues.
How Can Anxiety be Treated?
There are certain things that you can do as a caregiver that will help your loved one deal better with the anxiety that they face after a traumatic brain injury. To begin, you will want to do as much as you can to remove any demands or other aspects of life that provide a source of unnecessary stress. Get rid of these for the time being so that the individual can focus on their own recovery.
It is also important to remember that issues related to anxiety tend to pop when there are too many demands placed on a person’s life. An individual with a TBI who used to be the primary breadwinner for a family, for example, may feel pressure to resume their normal duties as soon as possible. This is simply not a wise course of action. The individual must be encouraged to take their recovery slow and to lessen the demands that are placed on them. Setting strict deadlines should also be discouraged. It is important that an individual with a TBI feel free to recover at his or her own pace. To set certain benchmarks that they need to achieve is not healthy and it could easily lead to bouts of anxiety.
There are also certain situations in life that can cause a person with a TBI to feel quite anxious. One such example is being thrust unexpectedly into a crowd. This can trigger all sorts of emotions, with one of them being anxiety. Instead, such situations should be avoided if at all possible. Individuals with a TBI need to feel in control of their environment and feel free to proceed at their own pace and not feel subject to the will of others.
It is important to recognize the signs of anxiety in people who are suffering from a traumatic brain individual. Your loved one is already suffering from that almost unbearable sensation of feeling that everything is out of control. Anxiety is a feeling that manifests from that emotion. By recognizing how to deal with it, you can an individual much of the anxiety that they may be facing.