Life After Brain Injuries: Are We Still the Same People?

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Biology 202
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Life After Brain Injuries: Are We Still the Same People?

Alyson Dymkowski

During the summer of my junior year, a friend of mine, we will call her "Jen", got into a horrible car accident. Apparently sitting in the middle of the backseat, only strapped in with a lap belt, my friend hit her head on the side window, smashing the window upon impact. After 3 weeks of being in a coma, my friend eventually recovered. Even though she was deemed "physically" healed, my friend was truly never the same. Not only had her demeanor and interests changed, but also it seemed as if she had become a completely different person after her accident. I thought it very sad at the time, because the friends who had been close to her before were no longer close. I did not understand what they meant when they said that she had become a different person. Certainly, I realized that she had changed, but I could not fathom that she was now so different that they could no longer treat her like the old "Jen". I believed that this new "Jen" was still the same person as before-that the inner soul with which they had become friends had never and, indeed, could never change. However, after reading Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, by Antonio R. Damasio, I regret the harsh judgments I made about "Jen's" friends. Dealing with someone who has suffered from a tremendous change in personality is not as easy as one would expect.

Descartes, a famous philosopher, once made the statement, "Cogito ergo sum" (6). Like, Descartes, I previously believed that a separation between the mind and one's body existed. I believed that the mind of an individual was his or her soul and that the brain and body were just the machinery used to share that soul with the outside world. I never thought that an injury to the brain could cause a change in the entire essence of a person. However, Damasio espouses beliefs which are the exact opposite of Descartes. Damasio argues that the brain and mind are two inseparable entities and that thinking is the function of the brain. Aristotle once stated, "If the eye had a soul, it would be seeing". Using this format, a soul is defined as the function of something. If the function of the brain is to think, then it would follow that the soul of a person exists in one's mind, where the capability to think is lodged. If this mind is the consequence of a functioning brain, then it can be said that when a brain suffers an injury, an individual's entire essence is injured as well. This idea of a person's essence, or soul, changing is controversial. I believe this controversy arises because it is too frightening for a person to fathom that his intrinsic being could be permanently changed as a result of an unpreventable action. However, the evidence in favor of the premise that the mind is a function of the brain, or the brain is equal to one's behavior, is astonishing (5).

Brain injury is any injury that results in damage to the brain. For many people who suffer from brain injury, the problems associated with it become a permanent part of their lives. The problems that develop depend upon which part of the brain is injured. People can lose cognitive and motor functions as well as their ability to express thoughts and perceive their surroundings. The most unnerving consequence of a brain injury can be a change in personality. Often after being injured victims, like my friend "Jen", develop an apathy and decreased motivation for life. Emotion can run to both extremes: a forever high, or as in the case of my friend, an absence there of (1). In society there is a difference in the response shown to someone who has suffered a brain injury that changes his or her personality, and someone whose injury has affected any other part of the body, or even other types of injuries to the brain. What accounts for this difference? If an individual loses a limb, he loses the function of that limb as well. It makes sense then that when an individual loses part of his brain, the function of that part goes too. This is in correlation with the statement, brain = behavior. Each part of the brain seems responsible for different behaviors, a fact that is reinforced when examining injuries to different areas of the brain and the varying results that occur. For example, if an individual suffers injury to their amygdala, he becomes calm and almost devoid of emotional ups and downs. People have therefore reasoned that this area of the brain is responsible for exhibiting anger and possessing violent emotions (9). If the function of a specific area of the brain is a defining characteristic of an individual's personality, then it is almost as if a new person develops, in place of the old, when an injury to that area occurs.

In the summer of 1848, a man named Phineas Gage incurred a traumatic injury to the frontal lobe region of his brain after a sudden explosion sent a rod straight through his head. Against many odds, Phineas survived, but afterwards his demeanor changed dramatically. Once a calm, balanced, and levelheaded man, Gage became an overly emotional, unbalanced and quite vulgar man upon recovery. Friends he had had previously, now compared him to an animal and made the perplexing statement, "Gage was no longer Gage" (3). The most frightening thing about this story is that, although Gage was very different, he was not aware of the changes within himself. In class we have explored the nervous system and noted that there is a separate I-function involved, making one aware of the "self". With each class, it becomes more evident that this I-function has less and less control on the rest of the nervous system. Many times the I-function is not aware of things that the nervous system is doing until the person is told what his or her nervous system is doing, (i.e., when the brain makes up an image for the place of vision, the optic nerve, where no sensory receptors are located). So the question I have for people like Gage, who seem to be totally dissimilar people after suffering a brain trauma, is whether or not their I-functions are aware of the change in personality? People suffering from a personality change are unable to will themselves back to their old personality, even after their I-function is made aware. This furthermore, supports that brain equals behavior, because if behavior was independent of the brain, one would be able to change their personality back despite the brain changes. However, can we ever be sure that, because we are not mind readers, that even though their personality changes, they are not thinking in the same manner, as Descartes would argue? And if the individual thinks in an entirely new manner, would that really be enough to consider him or her a totally different person?

The likely reality is that when someone's brain is injured, the function is forever injured as well. There is no separation between mind and brain. Popular opinion of the mind's function is that it is a result of a brain process. Although when the brain loses a function, it is not unlike the reaction incurred in any other part of the body, but the more important query remains. Which characteristics do we use when defining a person's being? If Gage had suffered from a trauma to any other part of his body and survived, his friends would never have said that Gage was no longer the same person. Often when people undergo a personality change, their IQ remains unaffected by the injury. This is because of the various tasks delegated to the brain. The frontal lobe has evolved to be the main organizer. If people, like Gage, damage this region of their brain, their persona changes because this region is imperative for defining one's personality. However, if Gage had suffered from an injury to his temporal region, his personality would seem the same, only his memory would be adversely affected (9). An example of a personality change as a result of frontal lobe damage is a 12 year old boy who was in a car accident. Since the accident, the child has been aggressive and suffers from unpredictable destructive fits. Although his I.Q remains at 128 since the accident he has been expelled 3 times from different schools for his hostile persona, brought about after the damage to his brain (4). What, then, is the most important factor accounting for the way a person becomes defined; what has happened to make the various regions of the brain become so specialized? Has there been a gradual process through evolution that makes the loss of the frontal lobe harder to deal with than the loss of other regions of the brain, or other body parts? Or has the brain always functioned in this manner? When examining the responses to what appears to be injuries that are all serious in nature, it becomes apparent that some injuries are, indeed, more acute than others. Although an injury which is noticeable may on the surface seem more life changing, it cannot be argued that it is the injuries which are held within one's mind that are the most devastating to a person's being. Yes, they are all injuries to the body, but only those touching the brain have the capacity to change the "soul" of a person.

References

1)Brain Injury Society, A good site defining what brain injury is, its causes, and its treatments

2)Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide, a good diagram of the frontal lobe of the brain and a good description of its functions

3)Cyber Museum of Neurosugery, a good site about Phineas Gage

4)Alasbimn Journal, a legal page discussing the issues of aggressive personality change and the law

5) Antonio R. Damasio, Descartes' Error, New York: Avon Books, Inc., 1994, a great book with much about Phineas Gage and other Brain injury victims

6) Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., 1998, can't read one without the other!

7)Athiest Site, a site dedicated to atheism that explores some of the questions this paper raises

8)American University, a site outlining the neurospychology of emotion

9)University of Northern Iowa, a site dedicated to the effects of different injuries to the brain

 

 

Comments made prior to 2007

Hi, I just wrote the following letter to a Brain Injury Treatment Center I spent the last two weeks at. I have suffered a total of four brain hemorrhages in the right Frontal Lobe. Since the last one, a year ago, the entire essence of my being has changed. It has been completely devastating to me, yet they say I scored much higher on my tests than they anticipated. It has rocked my world. I am an ordained Minister, yet this brain injury has changed me spiritually as well. If you would like any information regarding this please feel free to correspond. Professionals need to understand this. Here is the letter I wrote before finding your article:

Thanks for writing. I have some concerns about the following aspects of this brain injury. I guess what people are not understanding is that my entire being and former personality has changed. I'm not the same spiritually, mentally or emotionally since the last brain hemorrhage. God was my life, and my relationship with Him was everything to me. I no longer have that. Oh, I know God still loves me, but it's all just knowledge now and not true intimacy. I have been emotionally and spiritually flat-lined. This brain injury has changed my whole life. No matter what I do, or how hard I try to make things better, I am still absent. How can I function as a robot for the rest of my life and find any pleasure in that? Everything I was, is no more. I am a stranger to myself, and to those who once knew me. I used to be a very optimistic, passionate person, full of compassion, insight and wisdom. Now I am an empty shell. From the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night, I simply have to act because I am no longer present. My only hope right now, is the hereafter. I am not depressed or suicidal, I am simply stating the facts. Living as a robot, is like living in a private hell that no one seems to fathom the depths of. Just try to imagine being thrown into someone else's body in which the former person has vacated, leaving you in charge and you don't have a clue what to do? I know I may have scored high on the tests, but how can you test someone's personality changes and their loss of identity? Is there anyone that truly understands Frontal Lobe Injury? ... Debra Kirby, 2 February 2006

 

 

My son was in car accident in 2001 with my mom who died on impact it was two cars one going 55 the other going 70 my moms was the one 55. Everyone died except my son who i swear to God i didnt bring the same son home. He yelled alot and cussed made my life hell for sevreal years who ende up making me take a job on the rode to get away. Everytime he yells he threatens to kell people even kids, Threatens who he is yelling at and later appoloizes for it.he used to scare me, wake me, and sometimes be so sweet later like my old son, he was 15 then now he is 21 cant get people to see he is not normal and never will again..i couldnt take the pressure anymore feel bad but just couldnt..is there any medication or herbs, can he get on disability, he dont seem to want to work it seesm that way but not forsure he really gets it tho. He threatens death or u used to, wishes he had never lived i love him, miss him..please help me..and please send some kind of report to my sister who to this day thinks he is forever the same child but he is not..please please help him, me, and please pray for him..and me and my daughter who he stays with ... Lena Woods, 28 April 2007

Comments

Teddy Lam Cham Kee's picture

complicated mild TBI

hi guys, it has been 6months since my tbi.i have recently recovered i can say many of my cognitive skills.But one extermely big problem is that i am not living!i am surviving!why?not because i have some mental problems but i feel almost no emotion.when someone tells the funniest joke of the history i dont feels any endjoyment.listening music i have no sensation!

its very depressing.i was a very intelligent boy and a music lover my passion was music.now i feels nothing!

that all i can say.just plz plz plz.if someone has the same problem as mine email me.i dont have emotional management problems but i just have no emotion!

my email is :

email me to be sure that u read your replies coz i am not sure that i will enter that site again as i may forget

Serendip Visitor's picture

Boyfriend Assaulted , now has memory and personality change

Boyfriend was assaulted in Jan of this year and has been home almost a week.. He has some personality changes and memory difficulties.. he spent a month in a trauma hospital and from there he was sent to a Nursing Home with a Rehab center.. he was there a month..

Now I had to quit my job to be his fulltime caregiver, no problem, but what is the problem is that between his MOm and I we are trying to keep it together and keep him from doing something stupid where he will get hurt or hurt someone else..

We have home therapy and home health nurses coming during the week..
Today was the worst for both of us, Mom lost her cool and stormed out of our home, he thinks he can resume his normal life before the assault, (mind you the animals that assualted him left him for dead on a country road) he tried to hang the tv on the wall mount , he can do somethings within reason,

We(Mom and I ) both feel like we are loosing it and he will end up getting hurt badly from trying things before the dr gives the go ahead.

He yells and pouts like a toddler having a temper tantrum when he can't have his way, refuses to use the ramp that was built for us..

I am quite sure that I sound like I am rambling but I so badly want to help my man and feel so totally LOST!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Head Injury @16 months old

Hi:

I wanted to share my story, about my head injury. My name is Rod when I was 16 months old. I was in a automobile accident, when a drunk driver hit my mother's car from the back of the car. My mother's car went into a unity pole. I was sitting in a baby car seat in the front seat. When the car was hit from the back. My head went into the radio knob, crushing my skull. The ambulance had to rush me to Rhode Island in Providence then to Joseph's Hospital in Providence. Where they had to rush me into surgery. So I had surgery where they to take two ribs from me. Doctors had to put a plate and two ribs into my head. When they were putting one of the ribs into my head, it broke. So they had to go back to take a third rib out. I was pronounce dead 3 times. I was having several seizures after. I had to go on seizure medication for about 6 years.

To find out in 2008. I was told from my doctor I have Cerebral Palsy. When your under 24 months an have a head injury you have Cerebral Palsy.

I wanted to share my story. Because I wish I could help other people, with different head injuries. Such as, auto accidents, NFL Players, gun shot and etc. It would be great to be a spoke person (POSTER child) from what happen @ 16 months old over 40 years

Rod's picture

Brain Injury @16 months old

I wanted to share my story, about my head injury. When I was 16 moths old, my mother's got into automobile accident with a drunk driver. I was in a baby car seat in the front seat. When the car was hit from the back of the car. My head went into the radio knob, crushing my skull. The ambulance had to rush me to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence then to Joseph's Hospital in Providence. Where they had to rush into surgery. So I went into surgery where they had to take two ribs from me. Then had to puta plate and two ribs into my head. When they were putting one of the ribs into my head, it broke. So they had to go back to get a third rib out. I was pronounce dead 3 times @ 16 months old. I was having several seizures after. I had to go on seizures medication for 6 years.

In 2008 I found out that if you have a head injury under 2 years old. You have Cerebral Palsy. I went over 40 years not knowing about this.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Understanding

Hi

My name Is Steve, approx 4 years ago i had a Brain Bleed due to a blow to the back R.H.S of my head.
PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME HOW THIS came about to which I have to reply I , I don't know. The problem is i find when i have been old cold, and in an a induced coma due to organ failure i have a memory problem, and a couple of months in Hospital. Now resolved.

Now I am left with no Vehicle, company and personal Cheque books, no birth certificate, e mails gone, and telephone numbers gone
of Friend etc.

I have a roof over my head

NI No NH 88 80 82 a from memory that i can remember

Stephen H Williams

Sajeeda Khan's picture

Thank God i brought him back from the jaws of dealth.

I have no words to speak or type, even now ma hands are trembling to remember that bad fateful day which almost killed my husband.I am 26and ma husband is 32, and let me recap the entire incident of what happened. It was almost 11.00pm and i was waiting for ma husband to return back home from his work, but i only got a phone call from a miscellaneous stranger who asked me to come to the nearby hospital as ma husband met with an accident only few yards away from ma home. i remember the stranger's words on phone, that to have faith in God and never stop praying, which indeed has brought him back into ma life. he had severe hemorrhage in right temporal region of brain, leading him to suffer lots of blood loss and blood clot and nasal bone fracture too. the doctors gave him only 2 days of time, i was literally shocked and all i did was crying to God to give back ma beloved to me, safe and sound like he was before, and a miracle happened!! the doctors took a CT scan in which the brain revealed some positive results, and the clot slowly started reacting to the medicines, but the worst part was that he became aggressive later on, with memory loss, and started violent attack on the hospital staffs (even i too got four slaps from him).
life is like Hell to me now, i stayed in hospital for a month and then gradually as the clot was dissolving he also started to gain his consciousness, but now he is a completely changed person, i mean he remembers everything but his boldness, love for me , courage to face any obstacle, and his presence of mind, has gone, completely washed away. I even today took him for an MRI, and the impression was slow healing. i don't know what to do, feeling so helpless without my husband as he was the only soul who helped me through ma bad days, but now? i am dealing with this problem single handed without him, all i need is your prayers and few suggestions on how to make him to gain his old confidence back.
With lots of hope,
Mrs. A. Sajeeda Khan.

Serendip Visitor's picture

There is hope, don't let go!!

On 10/31/2011, my son (age 22 yr) and I were arguing and while I was driving, he stood up while the car was in motion r and accidentally fell out. I was driving 10mph about ready to stop and when I looked, he was gone. He had fallen out and landed on his head. He was life flighted to UCSD in HIllcrest, San Diego, whereby he suffered an acute right frontoparietal intraparenchymal bleeding extending from the midline into the posterior parietal region. He had a cranioplasty done and he had improved tremendously but after taking him home 12/23/2011, I noticed after 2 weeks that he was confused, leaning to the left side and drooling. I had a follow-up with UCSD on 1/8/2012 and he was than admitted for worsening hydrocephalus. I was told he was only going to need a ventroperitoneal shunt and he would stay 2 days. Well, unfortunately the doctors placed the shunt but did not realize that all his CSF (cerobrospinal fluid) was over draining and thus his ventricles in the brain were shrunk to half the size. Ok, so they said lets place a magnet where they could control the amt of CSF fluid being drained. He actually improved for 1 hr and than declined again. He now had overfilling of CSF. He continued to decline. Week 3 was now the 3rd surgery to place the plate back in. Fortunately, they finally figured out the shunt was kinked at the neck and so that's why he had too much fluid. To make a long story short, my son left the hospital worse than when he came in for a "simple procedure." He was walking with a walker and when he left he was completely bedbound. He had 5 surgeries there and I managed to hear him mumble words, "I, want, home." I took him home and when he arrived he had also a tracheostomy and feeding tube. I am a nurse and I trusted God to help me make the right decisions. Where I live there is only 1 neurosurgeon in the entire valley. We'll call him Dr. C. I had asked multiple doctors and noone would help my son because they didn't want to deal with other doctor's mistakes. He was the only doctor willing to take my son. He was wheelchair bound and was already contracting with his right leg and left arm. He suffered severe left sided weakness. The doctors at UCSD said he was "a complicated case." Well he wasn't. Dr. C placed another V/P shunt and immediately he woke up and started talking. His first words were, "I want to go back to school." He was able to stick his tongue out, and follow verbal commands. He required extensive physical therapy and today, he can walk, talk, and remembers all his past except that night. He is now in school taking full-time classes and is looking for a place to live. His memory has improved 80% and I only hope that if someone else suffered anything similar and had has a loved one that is not improving after a V/P shunt placement than that could be the problem. God is good and don't give up. God answers prayers. The brain takes a long time to recover, and yes it takes lots of time and patience. God has returned my son to me and now our relationship is stronger than it has ever been.

Serendip Visitor JJ 's picture

Although this post is sort of

Although this post is sort of old, it really hits home...not from a similar situation to you personally, but more from the perspective of "Jen"... I too suffered a severe life threatening brain injury 6 months ago. I won't get into any details about it, but I will say it was near death, fractured upper occipital bone, and severe bleeding. The first few days were dreary and kind of like a perpetual dazed hangover. Nonetheless, a week and a half went on and I returned home to my home town from college. I took it easy for a couple weeks before I saw my friends. As I saw each of them, I found it hard to admit what really was the cause of my fracture, and still to this day do.... But as we continued hanging out, they became more and more overall distasteful with me. They said I changed, they said I was not the same, and just not normal... I really only sustained two consistent friends out of the core group I had because of my injury.

I firs wanted to say how big of a difference it makes to have that person still there for you. But I also wanted to ask you if your friend "Jen" has changed back?

The real reason I ask is because I can clearly look back and tell I was different during the period I was home, but now I feel back, well almost 100% back, to normal as I did before it happened?

Anyway your post was great and helpful, I hope you see this.

60 Feet's picture

This is Philisophical

I have fallen 60 feet off of a cliff and I had a pretty serious injury. With that out of the way I can move on to my main point. Medically speaking, the person who has had a brain injury will always think of themselves as not having fundamentally changed. This is all because the brain likes to normalize, and since there is no meta-brain, they will not feel any different. This is coming from experience. This goes back to, at least the brain injured, to the fundamental question of whether we develop our own personality or does it come from how people view a person and the person fits into preconceived character that we are given by others. Having a brain injury forces one to confront this question. I feel like I am the same person, but when others see me, the previous person that I was is dead. Gone to oblivion. For people that still see the person the same, that is great, but honesty is needed on explaining to the person with TBI on telling them on what is still the same, and what has changed for them. Nobody suffers a TBI and comes away from the experience as purely the same person.

no two alike by michelle's picture

no two alike...

if no two head injuries are alike and symptoms come and go...such as sensitivity to noises, sounds, and light. or even anxiety based on situations and avoiding situations that cause anxiety removes the anxiety, then how can doctors think a certain anxiety med is a cure all for any head injury?

i disagree with certain meds, especially in teenagers whom are not fully developed and where meds could cause serious side effects.

believe strongly that our brains either heal very slowly or/and we adapt to fit the changes to our brains-if our own brains adapt to injury and cause a new life to occur, where is the need for medication in that. -

where it seems God has taken away our fragile souls after head injury where nothing is enjoyable, God is still there. Our souls are still there. What is missing is the part of the brain that is damaged allowing us to know that our soul is still with us and we will live on in spirit forever.

daily reminders of who you once were are good things to look at each day to help structure your days -while feelings may be void or different than before -we can still use reminders of how we used to believe things to be. or try to look at old ways and beliefs using a new approach.

i believe that continued remedial types of counseling and continued types of remedial therapies to try new coping skills are much more effective than any pharmaceutical drug-most with their own set of serious long term or short term addictive and side effect health issues...people with brain injury have enough of those issues with out adding to the challenge with strong meds
no two brains are alike, and there is no answer alike for anyone to adapt after a head injury.

my explanation sounds confusing but so are our brains. hope it helps or makes sense to someone.

Serendip Visitor's picture

brain injury

My good friend Grace had the wisdom to give me, a man who has suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries, an album which highlights different areas of my brain. Pictures that illicit memories that were once lost. I left the gift at her place for now but the gift was one of greatest gifts a man with brain injury and PTSD could ever receive. While I could probably recount the details of my autobiography with accuracy equal to or superior to the average man, my life lost a continual meaning of identity due to several different causes. Unfortunately for me. other factors such as severe depression overshadowed these after effects of traumatic brain injury. Friends. Girlfriends, coworkers and aquantinces. define my life and its apparent lack of worthiness or underachiement to areas that are either more consecuences of the injury or areas that contribute but in no way tell the story, or absurd non-truths; weak character, loss of prior faith. sinful life style, childhood special abuse starting at prepuberty, childhood physical abuse, childhood verbal abuse, a family history of mental illness, including familial genetsl, based psychotic disorder evamong first cousins, doctors prescribing dangerous "pills', social anxiety disorder, repressed homosexualty, introverted nature, autistic syndrome, narcolepsy, epilipsy, perverted mind, narcism, malingering, demon possesed, rebel, psychpath, domineering mothet, fiegned stupity, manipulative nature, true stupidity or just a "bad apple". Is it any wonder that I would be reluctant to let people know me when I have heard all these labels? My nightmares and surfacing memories and long hours of research have me convinced that the real culprit for the soul changeing identiy struggle come from frontal lobe injury due to alcohol abuse, psychotic depressive episodes, and a period of two/three days of siexure epileptus and multiple concussions. The symptom that has made my life most painful soil loss and most of all personality/identity loss. SL the album from my right brained friend was the greatest.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi there, thanks for sharing

Hi there, thanks for sharing your experience. It does help indeed to understand the need for persons with brain injuries. I am an art therapy student and one of my clients suffered a major head injury. Lost all her friends and struggle to accept her life as it is. I will definitely implement your advice on helping her learn new coping mechanisms through art therapy.

Nancy's picture

BEST TREATMENT FOR ALL WHO SUSTAINED & SURVIVED A TBI.

Its been 40 years since I also have survived a traumatic brain injury. During these years, I have had so much extensive therapy and i have learned what works and what doesn't to help us heal. The first think all of you need to learn again is to Love yourselves who and how you act. We are all still the same person who God created us to be.There's no mistake about that; however, we have to relearn how to nurture our selves to heal as i did:} Go to these websites about EFT Tapping for retraining your mind and thoughts. In addition, begin clearing any resistance your feeling from old programing you sustained in your mind by your cause of a Traumatic Brain Injury. Remember, Our Heavenly Father helps those who help themselves:}

Blessings to all,
Nancy De La Rosa
nancyharvardbaby@aol.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGybX8_8mto (Love Yourself - Tapping)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP70Et2d3Lw (You'll Be Okay -(Fear that things are out of your control)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heQvpti4uvo (Clearing Fear and Worry)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1_nZHGpkk (Tapping for Rejection and Abandonment)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajW1b-6jgJY (Fear and Panic Right Now - EFT Tapping)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSlPByoqJOU (Tapping into Action and Motivation - Clearing Procrastination)

Serendip Visitor's picture

EFT and brain injury

Hello Nancy,

A friend if mine just had brain surgery on her frontal lobe this past fall. She keeps having seizures and is not herself recently. I see you mention EFT... this is something that I am just starting to learn about but am a believer. Has tapping worked for you? thank you for including the links.. I am going to send them to her.

Sydney Roberts's picture

My Life At My Injury

Hi everyone ,

In the summer of 2010 I was your normal average 14 year old .. I played sports , had great friends & family ... But my life suddenly took a turn for the worst .. Without no actual accident I ended up in the hospital for 6 months & then different rehabs . I was away from my family with no memory & not even able to talk . Its like my whole life was took from me .. Many adults find it hard to deal with but for a 14 year old .. You have no idea .. Now its 2013 .. I'm about to turn 17 & I'm so lost . I'm scared to grow up because I'm afraid of not being successful .. I'm scared that I won't graduate on time .. When I'm already a year behind because of my injury .. I tried not to make an excuse for myself cause I know that I am stronger than most people .. I went through something most people couldn't even fathom . When I talk I studder , I can barely concentrate in class , I have a selective memory .. & I'm willing to bet if you were to ask me what I wore two days ago .. I couldn't even tell you .. & every year it gets more hard & more complex for me to even make it to the next grade .. I can't even get my drivers license .. I've already missed so much , its like everything is falling apart .. & Its like there is so many things standing in my way of doing my best in succeeding in life .. But I always seem to lose my way ... There isn't one day where I don't sit & ask God , " Why me ? Why does bad things happen to such good people ?" But without him I don't know where I would be .. & even though everyday is a struggle for me to get through . I think about him & I always seem to make it to the next .. So I may not get to be what I always wanted , an actress , but as sure as hell will get what I deserve which is happiness .. Whether is living in a one bedroom apartment with a cat working as a janitor or living in a house with 3 kids a husband as an actress . God has a plan for me , & thats all I need .

Nancy's picture

How to Heal

Listen to this video and do the tapping session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6Ua7T01cdY (Healing From the Inside Out )

Nancy's picture

Hi, I understand you and your changed life.

I was in a tragic car accident at the age of 16. I also changed. please read this article and it will help you understand yourself. Your not alone. Also, go to this site. Its EFT Tapping and it really helps your brain and thoughts heal. Your angry and thats common.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBvVAxoxrFE ( Feeling Angry)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP70Et2d3Lw (You'll Be Okay -(Fear that things are out of your control)

Please read:

Life After Brain Injuries: Are We Still the Same People?
Alyson Dymkowski

During the summer of my junior year, a friend of mine, we will call her "Jen", got into a horrible car accident. Apparently sitting in the middle of the backseat, only strapped in with a lap belt, my friend hit her head on the side window, smashing the window upon impact. After 3 weeks of being in a coma, my friend eventually recovered. Even though she was deemed "physically" healed, my friend was truly never the same. Not only had her demeanor and interests changed, but also it seemed as if she had become a completely different person after her accident. I thought it very sad at the time, because the friends who had been close to her before were no longer close. I did not understand what they meant when they said that she had become a different person. Certainly, I realized that she had changed, but I could not fathom that she was now so different that they could no longer treat her like the old "Jen". I believed that this new "Jen" was still the same person as before-that the inner soul with which they had become friends had never and, indeed, could never change. However, after reading Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, by Antonio R. Damasio, I regret the harsh judgments I made about "Jen's" friends. Dealing with someone who has suffered from a tremendous change in personality is not as easy as one would expect.

Descartes, a famous philosopher, once made the statement, "Cogito ergo sum" (6). Like, Descartes, I previously believed that a separation between the mind and one's body existed. I believed that the mind of an individual was his or her soul and that the brain and body were just the machinery used to share that soul with the outside world. I never thought that an injury to the brain could cause a change in the entire essence of a person. However, Damasio espouses beliefs which are the exact opposite of Descartes. Damasio argues that the brain and mind are two inseparable entities and that thinking is the function of the brain. Aristotle once stated, "If the eye had a soul, it would be seeing". Using this format, a soul is defined as the function of something. If the function of the brain is to think, then it would follow that the soul of a person exists in one's mind, where the capability to think is lodged. If this mind is the consequence of a functioning brain, then it can be said that when a brain suffers an injury, an individual's entire essence is injured as well. This idea of a person's essence, or soul, changing is controversial. I believe this controversy arises because it is too frightening for a person to fathom that his intrinsic being could be permanently changed as a result of an unpreventable action. However, the evidence in favor of the premise that the mind is a function of the brain, or the brain is equal to one's behavior, is astonishing (5).

Brain injury is any injury that results in damage to the brain. For many people who suffer from brain injury, the problems associated with it become a permanent part of their lives. The problems that develop depend upon which part of the brain is injured. People can lose cognitive and motor functions as well as their ability to express thoughts and perceive their surroundings. The most unnerving consequence of a brain injury can be a change in personality. Often after being injured victims, like my friend "Jen", develop an apathy and decreased motivation for life. Emotion can run to both extremes: a forever high, or as in the case of my friend, an absence there of (1). In society there is a difference in the response shown to someone who has suffered a brain injury that changes his or her personality, and someone whose injury has affected any other part of the body, or even other types of injuries to the brain. What accounts for this difference? If an individual loses a limb, he loses the function of that limb as well. It makes sense then that when an individual loses part of his brain, the function of that part goes too. This is in correlation with the statement, brain = behavior. Each part of the brain seems responsible for different behaviors, a fact that is reinforced when examining injuries to different areas of the brain and the varying results that occur. For example, if an individual suffers injury to their amygdala, he becomes calm and almost devoid of emotional ups and downs. People have therefore reasoned that this area of the brain is responsible for exhibiting anger and possessing violent emotions (9). If the function of a specific area of the brain is a defining characteristic of an individual's personality, then it is almost as if a new person develops, in place of the old, when an injury to that area occurs.

In the summer of 1848, a man named Phineas Gage incurred a traumatic injury to the frontal lobe region of his brain after a sudden explosion sent a rod straight through his head. Against many odds, Phineas survived, but afterwards his demeanor changed dramatically. Once a calm, balanced, and levelheaded man, Gage became an overly emotional, unbalanced and quite vulgar man upon recovery. Friends he had had previously, now compared him to an animal and made the perplexing statement, "Gage was no longer Gage" (3). The most frightening thing about this story is that, although Gage was very different, he was not aware of the changes within himself. In class we have explored the nervous system and noted that there is a separate I-function involved, making one aware of the "self". With each class, it becomes more evident that this I-function has less and less control on the rest of the nervous system. Many times the I-function is not aware of things that the nervous system is doing until the person is told what his or her nervous system is doing, (i.e., when the brain makes up an image for the place of vision, the optic nerve, where no sensory receptors are located). So the question I have for people like Gage, who seem to be totally dissimilar people after suffering a brain trauma, is whether or not their I-functions are aware of the change in personality? People suffering from a personality change are unable to will themselves back to their old personality, even after their I-function is made aware. This furthermore, supports that brain equals behavior, because if behavior was independent of the brain, one would be able to change their personality back despite the brain changes. However, can we ever be sure that, because we are not mind readers, that even though their personality changes, they are not thinking in the same manner, as Descartes would argue? And if the individual thinks in an entirely new manner, would that really be enough to consider him or her a totally different person?

The likely reality is that when someone's brain is injured, the function is forever injured as well. There is no separation between mind and brain. Popular opinion of the mind's function is that it is a result of a brain process. Although when the brain loses a function, it is not unlike the reaction incurred in any other part of the body, but the more important query remains. Which characteristics do we use when defining a person's being? If Gage had suffered from a trauma to any other part of his body and survived, his friends would never have said that Gage was no longer the same person. Often when people undergo a personality change, their IQ remains unaffected by the injury. This is because of the various tasks delegated to the brain. The frontal lobe has evolved to be the main organizer. If people, like Gage, damage this region of their brain, their persona changes because this region is imperative for defining one's personality. However, if Gage had suffered from an injury to his temporal region, his personality would seem the same, only his memory would be adversely affected (9). An example of a personality change as a result of frontal lobe damage is a 12 year old boy who was in a car accident. Since the accident, the child has been aggressive and suffers from unpredictable destructive fits. Although his I.Q remains at 128 since the accident he has been expelled 3 times from different schools for his hostile persona, brought about after the damage to his brain (4). What, then, is the most important factor accounting for the way a person becomes defined; what has happened to make the various regions of the brain become so specialized? Has there been a gradual process through evolution that makes the loss of the frontal lobe harder to deal with than the loss of other regions of the brain, or other body parts? Or has the brain always functioned in this manner? When examining the responses to what appears to be injuries that are all serious in nature, it becomes apparent that some injuries are, indeed, more acute than others. Although an injury which is noticeable may on the surface seem more life changing, it cannot be argued that it is the injuries which are held within one's mind that are the most devastating to a person's being. Yes, they are all injuries to the body, but only those touching the brain have the capacity to change the "soul" of a person.

You can email me at if you like to talk:}

Tamara Edwards's picture

Brain injury

I had an injury 12 yrs ago on a Roller coaster at a kiddie park. I hit my head on the back of the seat which didn't have a high back on it and got off with a horrible headache. Four days later my ex came into the room and I was on the floor and getting sick to my stomach. He took me to the hospital and they couldn't find anything wrong until they ran a CAT Scan and found a brain bleed. They wanted to put a shunt into my head and my ex who was in Radiology asked what else they could do because shunts go bad after so many years and you become dependent on them. They drilled a hole in my head and drained the fluid that was building up. I was in the hospital for close to two months and although I have hardly had a headache since then still suffer from not being able to remember things and have to be careful when bending over because I will fall over. It took me many years to feel comfortable in public again and still have problems with memory and saying things that I wasn't thinking. I always feel like I have to explain my accident to people out of insecurities. I don't have problems anywhere near what others have who have suffered a brain injury and need to learn to deal with it and get on with my life. Do you know of any good books I could read? A friend told me about a place here in AZ that people from all over the world come to that connect you to electrodes and see what part of your brain works and what part is shut down and helps you through music to get it in sink again. It is $2000 which makes me nervous in spending not having a lot of spare funds.

Heidi Smith's picture

Car wreck

My son had a car wreck and is now alot different....He starts things,but wont finish..he is wild now ,much bolder..He thought about consequences,but now not much.Does this get better?

Serendip Visitor's picture

lil over year of my husbands roll over accident

my husband is a tottaly diff man, i feel as if were last on his day list, he has 10 projects going in never finishes them, he is always angry, thinking of only himself ,
i love him in want him to get help, for himself and his family . what do i do?

Heather May's picture

No Severe Bleeding But Severe Sharp Pains

Hi, I guess i just need someone to tell my story to even if it's the rough version...

I slipped and hit my head back in august, It hurt like , well you know. Two hours after i had a severely sharp pain shoot through my brain. Almost as if someone shoved a hot poker into my skull . I had palsy, speech impediment and severe sharp pains for a week after. CT showed no bleeding. Eventually I became super sensitive to sound and light, If a plane flew over my house it felt like someone was squeezing my brain. My health rapidly decreased and i was becoming very afraid. Then i began to have Gross Tremors. At first i felt like a human vibrator, constantly bouncing and shaking. Having this reverberation up and down my spin. I've had MRI'S, CT''S a VNG, Blood screening for cancers, Auto Immune disease and they don't know. At first they didn't even call it a TBI. Now they do. I'm at my second Neurologist now, the first one told me he couldn't help me. Now i'm on a regiment of meds that were working up until last week when the tremors came back. I try talking to my friends about it, I try to talk to family, even my fiance but they just wanna hear what they want. And say something like "well it could be worse think of so and so." Its a cop out of the conversation. I feel like i'm just floating in the life that i had before the injury to make everyone else more comfortable. But really i just want to bust out of my seams. Some times i feel guilt because i am injured. Because i can't work like i used to, be social like used to and i don't feel like used to. I even feel guilty for posting this because my brain injury doesn't involve a bleed. Isn't that ridiculous. This is my first rant or post or anything of the such that has to do with my injury. I have put nothing on the internet since it happened. I didn't do an social media posting.Zip! I don't even think most of my family really knows. I wanted to try to stay some what normal. Keep recovery, healing peaceful. I know now things are different. An always will be. I hope i haven't given the impression the threw this ordeal i've been depressed or anything. There have been plenty of ups and downs but i kept my spirits up. I just realized i'm different.

Nancy's picture

Hi, I understand you and your changed life.

I went threw the wind shield of my sisters car and almost died from it. I have frontaql lobe damage to my brain.I was at the tender age of 16.Now I am 56 and I have lived with sustaining this brain injury for more then 39 years. I know what it is to act, feel, and wake up a different person then what I was then. I know the deliel and guilt the family circle are dealing with because your different, and i know how much they want the old you back. But, you can heal. And eventually except and love who you act like now., Your still the same person God created you to be but your behavior has changed. Now you have to train your mind to relive the old you. I have gone to therapy, physiologist, psychiatrist, counselors all my life and I also take medication, not everything the doctors prescribe, im selective. I know medications out there alter your personality. they can make you worse, but the 2 medications that have helped me so much are Zoloft 50 mil daily and Clonidine ,3 tablets .05 mil a day. Also, there is a technique called EFT tapping meridian points . Here are some videos that will help you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBvVAxoxrFE (Clearing Anger) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heQvpti4uvo (Clearing Fear and Worry) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP70Et2d3Lw You'll Be Okay -(Fear that things are out of your control) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1_nZHGpkk (Tapping for Rejection and Abandonment )

Just remember, your not alone. Now you have to go meet people who have suffered brain injuries like us so You will start loving yourself again.

You can email me anytime.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Personality Disorders

I totally agree with the viewpoint in this article in that quite a few people who have suffered intracranial & cerbrospinal defects behave almost in a similar manner. Personalities of those who have experienced unusual trauma is very similar. I know of a friend whose father was very much a grouchy, eccentric,geriatric & senile person who unfortunately suffered from the mighty impact of a blood clot to his brain. Of course corrective surgery procedures were performed but in the ensuing years, memory loss, deranged thinking & lack of level headed judgement was very obvious in him in addition to his obvious flaws. Now whether this was a direct impact of the injury is difficult to fathom but if we were to factor in the before & after theory
it surely makes it plausible doesn't it? I also feel that more research needs to be done in this subject besides counseling such people of how to get into the mainstream living will be that much more helpful

Anne E Ricketts's picture

Life After Brain Injuries: Are we the same people?

Any kind of brain injury can create the illusion that a person has changed, even to the person themselves. However, what actually happens after brain injury is that the damage to the brain disrupts usual behaviours. The basic personality of a person stays intact - it is only the outward behaviour that changes. From the 'inside' being unable to bring memories, words and beliefs to mind, can make it feel as though we are no longer who we were before. We need to be gentle with ourselves while we heal. From the outside it can seem as though we have changed, but this is based on a healthy perception that lacks an understanding of what is really going on on the 'inside' of the survivor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2osH8RTzGZQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr3X2vdVQAA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_BwaqTmdIU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlxucvtt3xg

Herta's picture

My brian Injury Life strugles

Hi, everyone, I am here because I feel like the people in general in my life have made my life a living hell to a certain extent.
I am a single mom and I do have a job but, now think that people at work might be holding my brain injury against me. I think that since they are aware that they might be considerd a risk which I feel I am not. As the person that I am I do think that Yes, I am fragile mentaly because of my brain injury but that does not make me brain dead, no! just more prone to severe stress only. People that do not understand will always continue to be mean to me because they are not in my shoes and are not living my complex life. I feel like I have to bring up the brain injury thing in order to make these people leave me alone and not hurt me any more. I love to work and I can learn new things but it is about just letting me spead my wings so to speak. I would like to have a boyfrined and I would like to maybe get married someday. But the boyfriend thing definatly would love to have. I think that people fear me because they don't know how to approch me. They may feel like if they say something to me that they might insult me or hurt my feelings some how, but that is not true. I noticed when I am in the presence of a man and notice that they might be interested in me, they either have a women with them or some of their males friends. I feel that they are insecure men and I do not like insecure men. I feel that they are just a waste of my time and I don't even bother even going there with them.

Julie Unruh's picture

after the brain injury

Hi, please don't let them hurt you, just be strong.
I have a brain injury also.

Janet Cook's picture

Loss of Memory

My friend has had a kidney transplant, that did not go well, and subsequently required additional surgery. He got sick on the plane home and by some strange coincidence has ended up in China where he has had surgery. He was in a coma after the surgery for about two weeks. He is awake and knows his name, but does not remember me or other friends. He is alone in that country and I cannot contact him because I don't even know what hospital he is in. And because he does not remember me, he does not call.
One of the nurses in the hospital did call a friend and that is how we even found out how he was. But so far I cannot get in touch with him, and he does not remember me. So I guess my question is: is there any chance he will regain his memory. Or is there any hope without really knowing the whole medical situation? The nurse that called his friend said he would get his memory back but I am not sure that he knows that. And this nurse keeps his phone powered off so I cannot call...so am left in a horrible, scary situation. His friend wants me to go to him but I am afraid because I don't know the language and if he does not even remember me, he may not even want me there. I don't know what to do. I guess eventually I will find out where he is via the friend and the nurse...he just doesn't hear often and no way to call.
Is it possible to remember your past after surgery? Has anyone ever heard of anything close to this? I don't know anything,
and am so emotionally distraught that I cannot think straight.

Julie Unruh's picture

memory

Yes, he will regain his memory, go with his friend to see him in the hospital. Don't despair, your friend is going to be fine, it will take a while for him to get his full memory back. But, things from his past life (before the surgery), like a smell or a color or word, will trigger his memory.

leena's picture

my boyfriend's accident

Hii.. I'm from africa.. My boyfriend got a car accident when he was 17 years..he was sitting in the middle of backseat and he didn't wear seat belt so his friend who was driving hit the break so hard that he came out of the front window..and he got his head so hurt that he lost his memory for sometime but not long but when he recovered his memory he became different.. Now he's 27yrs but still his different.. He gets angry in little things, he's talks weird staff sometimes as if he's gone compltly crazy, sometimes he becomes angry that he tries to kiLl someone.. I realy love him a lot .. I just want him to be normal.. My family doesn't allow me to get married with him becomes of his condition.. Sometimes I also get scared of him too.. Please tell me how I can treat him .. I want to have a family with him. I want him to be normal.. Plzz I need help :'''(((

Julie Unruh's picture

brain injury help

Did he ever go to a Rehabilitation Center, did he see a therapist. I was in a car accident 15 years ago, I had to be in a Rehabilitation Center for a year, a therapist for 1-5 years, I also kept journals all the years I was out of the accident. I tried writing in them every night, but that did not work, usually too tired.
Another thing, of course he is not going to be the same, please don't try to make him what he use to be. And, there is no such thing as normal, everyone is a little off. People are like snow flakes, no two are alike. Be understanding and be there for him, that is all you can do.

Crystal GUEST's picture

Living with my BF injury

Hi Leena,

I just read your story, and was taken by it, because I am in a very close situation. My boyfriend was 17 when he had his car accident. He is 40 now, and I have been with him for nearly 2 years. He gets angry very easily, and I love him with all of my heart. I am a very passionate person, and I have always lived my life as if I am in a soundtrack to the best love story ever. That is how I love. I am deep and emotional, and we are different. He says he doesn't get butterflies and emotional because of his brain damage. Is this true? Is it an excuse? This is the rest of my life I am focused on, and sometimes I don't think he cares.. I am in such a hard place, and I honestly don't know what to do..

rishi's picture

brain bleed

finally i have found what i been looking for on this site.....im sad to hear all urs stories and i wish the best for u and ur families..im a 28 old guy from india..and i had a bleed inside my brain in 2009 i had no sign or symptoms and i had no accident and all...all i knew that i was jst talking to a friend and suddenly i was going down and everything was getting dark...i opened my eyes in hospital icu after 4 days which was my b'day and the doc said it was a horrible bleed inside ur brain which is a type of Brain Hemorrhage ..its been 3 years i had no problem ..i speak well and i walk well also play sports and nothing phisically nor emotionally ..i work and i enjoy...the only problem i face is difficultly in talking to peoples i dont know. ..im more angry now..more careless..and i still drinks twice a week..i had no brain bleed in last 3 years and the blood clot i had in my brain is heeled and gone...i still drink so i wanna know is there any chance that i will have bleed inside brain again in future...i have a 1 years old kid.....im worried about his future ..plzz tel me what are the chances of having next brain bleed..

Serendip Visitor: Amy Lifestar's picture

Your Concern about Brain Hemorrhage

Hi Dear!

Yes, any harmful and toxic condition that derived from the external environment could and will increase the risk and episode of another brain bleed for a person who has had such incident in the past! Although drinking twice a week generally is not a big deal, but it is for someone with a history of brain hemorrhage because the “substance and intensity of ingesting alcohol and/or other environmental toxins will intensify and mutate your internal brain structures and functions if not rapidly, it will be gradually without your notice in the beginning.

In terms of the changes in your mentality and emotions POST your brain hemorrhage incident, it is possible that your limbic system (the control center for a person’s emotions and feelings) has been somehow altered to a way that is not completely you even though you are mostly you and as a result, you tend to become more upset easily and gets disorganized or distracted without your intention!

The truth is IF you are currently not on any combination of natural and healthy supplements (i.e. vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, herbs, homeopathic medicines, etc.), while you really need to find out what supplements you need and how much you need and what your body symptoms and body systems (CNS--Central Nervous Systems, PNS—Peripheral Nervous System, and ANS—Autonomic Nervous System, and other Body Systems) tell you what to do; NOW would be a good idea to consider Supplementation Therapy for yourself and for your body systems as a whole! Incidentally, if a person is already on and have been on any prescribed medication for a while; the “effects after taking supplements will not and could not have the same effects on the body systems as opposed to only taking supplements alone” since medication per se has its own unnatural compounds and substances in the pill. In addition, if taking supplements and prescribed medication together and with the wrong dosage or over dose, it could and will cause harmful effects or side effects to the human body systems!

So, if you do decided to precede with more a natural care for your bodily and daily deficits, symptoms, or weakness, etc. with Supplementation Therapy; PLEASE ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN or SPECIALIST WHO IS DOING FOLLOW-UP CARE for your former brain hemorrhage CONDITION BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING or PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR BODY SYSTEMS OR MOUTH since your physician(s) know the history of your condition! With that being said, after you informed your physician(s) what you intend to do, then “you and them could decide upon the best approach to take for your goals and mission on your body or mental condition” or simply refer you to a "Physician who focuses more on natural and non-medication healing—this is called Authentic Healing!"

Sincerely,

Amy LifeStar
Authentic Healing

wayne knapton's picture

brain injuries

well.. Ive finally got my bus license back.. 5 years later... My speach is better. My balance is so much better to... The only thing seems to be my lack of interest in lots of things? Mentaly things did change... Not i thank god as severe as some of youu life only happens once.. Its not a rehersal... I guess we should be glad were here?? So many arent....

Rachel Lynn H.'s picture

Brain Injuries

The only warning I got were severe migranes in the frontal lobe. This happened after I took my "Luvoxx" today. Now I have trouble remembering what happened in my past more than usual, as well as how to do chores. I feel embarressed, lonely and well, I don't feel upset. I am anti-social now, unlike normally and don't know how to communicate to people like I used to. My mom doesn't understand what I'm going through, she thinks I'm fine and am just experiencing anxiety/stress over my medication when I really am experiencing a mild brain injury. I also am having severe memory loss right now. I wish I could remember like I used to, and am frustrated as a result from the brain injury. I just feel alone in this world.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Brai Injuries

My advice is just write things down, and look at them often. Make a list of things to do that day then cross them off when they are done.

Dallin Rudd's picture

Don't feel bad

Dude, you named my problems practically word for word. It's not the end of the world though. For me I didn't even know why I was acting the way I was. Then one day I ran into a guy that had a near death experience because of brain trauma. He told me how he couldn't walk for a few years and everyone told him half of his body was going to remain being paralyzed. I talked to him in person he can walk he can talk, and he is actually a founder of a non profit organization for brain damage. Ever since that day I became fascinated with the brain, how it works, heals, and functions. What I learned is that the brain can be healed despite all the people in the world that say otherwise. The trick to it is being able to find what part of your brain that is damaged, specifically how that part functions and what it does. If you can do that I promise all you have to do is consciously engage in those functions. My theory is and I know it's right; The thoughts of your conscious mind creates the rest of your subconscious. Furthermore the brain is like a computer it works in a set pattern. Like the inside of a clock one gear cannot spin without the other. Sometimes activating a part of your brain that has not been used will send a chain reaction throughout all the brain cells. For me I am right handed, but I realized one day that half of my brain hasn't really been used. Train yourself to be ambidextrous I promise you will even feel the positive results. Think of the unused half of your brain as a generator in case the lights go out. I've done a lot of my own trial and error experiments I hope this message helps.

Serendip Visitor's picture

my boyfriend.

11-06-2012
A month ago exactly my boyfriend got punched unexpectedly and fell backwards down concrete stairs out cold. he was like jelly when picked up. He had black outs, dissiness, bad concintraiton all the usual for concision. He started getting really angry at things and frustrated. I thought this was just cos he was angry cos it made him stop being able to do school work. but then i noticed it happening more often and it became scary. He noticed how angry he was cos never like that before. It has been a month now and he has recently gotten really sad along with normal things that could make him feel bad but unusually more sad. Feeling like he has no idea what to do with anything, feeling not good enough for me. guilty for things, and just generally sad and he doesnt know why. i looked it up and it said depression is common. do you think he could be? he is an independant student. and he means the world to me. i don't want him to change and i want him to be happy.
Please help i don't know what to do.

Serendip Visitor's picture

My boyfriend

Has he gone to a neurologist or a doctor to talk about what happened to him? It sounds like he has a mild brain injury, he needs to go and get check out.

Elliander Eldridge's picture

Interesting article, but I

Interesting article, but I have a somewhat different take on things having experience brain damage and recovery.

When I was a baby I contracted mercury poisoning which damaged my prefrontal lobe. After about 30 days of exposure the mercury absorbed into my cells and were therefore undetectable to blood tests, but still present. As a result I was diagnosed as having "Developmental Delay". I couldn't even speak for a few years, and when I could I had a great deal of difficulty putting my thoughts into words. I was later diagnosed as autistic, though today no one would guess that talking to me. Recovery was for the most part very gradual. Well, mostly.

There were periods of times where I would appear to go through very sudden and permanent changes in personality, or so it would seem to someone else looking in. The reality was simply that I had regained some function previously lost in occasional bursts which improved my ability to express myself. In regards to a sudden change in interests that's a bit more difficult to explain. I still have an interest in everything I ever found interesting, but one can only really explore so many interests at a given time. At one time I studied computer programming, and now I am studying biotechnology with a 4.0 GPA while working as a writer for a college newspaper. I have also pursued subjects like ancient architecture and anthropology. While a career in biotechnology might seem like a big change from an interest in candle sculpting (the immediate previous interest) if you know that I was interested in gardening as a child it would make more sense. After getting into biotechnology I decided to revisit gardening and after constructing a top soil from scratch for use in organic gardening I decided to add ecology as an elective. See, the interests may change suddenly, but they are all connected in ways not immediately obvious. The candle sculpting might seem to not fit, until you learn that on a stormy night without power I had nothing else to do except write poetry by candle light. The main reason for changing focus was a change in ability coupled with a change in opportunity.

There were even a few cases of head trauma, such as the time I was hit by a car and rolled over the hood and hit my head on the pavement, or the time I was riding a bike at 20 miles an hour and got into an accident rolling over the pavement a long distance. I remember feeling like everything was moving in slow motion during each accident, and when my head hits the pavement I see a blur of white speckles and everything around me becomes distorted. For a time every I would move around with a sense of disconnection from my surroundings. I guess you'd call it shock, but more than that there would be a lasting impact on my overall personality, attitudes, and interests which would accompany that feeling and would remain after the shock has passed. That's how it would look to someone else anyway. On the inside I would feel different, but I could still feel myself. It's really impossible to completely describe, but... hmm... It's like how someone when relaxed can have a certain pattern of thoughts that are different than the same person when excited. When dealing with head trauma I would feel a bit subdued, but I would still be me, even if no one else around me would recognize me. Sometimes I would loose all desire for life and be consumed by depression after a major injury. Once I was even completely numbed emotionally for 2 to 3 years following an accident during which there were a few incidents where I would be doing one thing and then blink and find myself on the floor with no awareness of how I ended up there, but from every major injury I would always pull through.

I can say a great deal more about the subject, but suffice to say that while I may have undergone multiple extreme changes in personality, I am still the same person inside. I may be more mature, I may have greater cognitive ability, and I may have a more positive outlook on life than I once did, but I am still me.

I know it's really impossible to fully cause another to understand what it's like to have been through such changes, especially for those who have seen it happen. There is a reason why I don't even know a single person I grew up with. It saddens me to look back and know that people don't handle change well, but maybe if more people understood what it was like to be the person changing a little more understanding could be found.

I standby the idea that the soul is distinct from the brain and that perceived changes in personality have more to do with changes in the brain's ability to express one's core being. I also do not believe that the brain is incapable of recovery from major trauma. The brain is very adaptive.

Maybe it would help to think of a person as a tree? The soul is one's core essence, and the brain is just the rings of growth and maturity?

Indiana Craig's picture

Treatment

I was hit by a car at the age of 9 and suffered a catastrophic TBI, and suffered from Post traumatic epileptic seizures. I was in a coma for several months and when I awoke I only remembered going to bed a couple nights earlier; which turned out was 3 months. I am now 38 years old and starting to notice some psychiatric issues within myself. I really wish the event had never happened, but it is what it is. I have paranoid tendencies, and I tend to hear from my wife that my interpretation of the world around me is not normal. I also have symptoms of PTSD, and I'm highly sensitive to noises. I've kept all this hidden for most of my life, but lately I'm having a difficult time keeping it in. I find that I experience feelings of guilt and humility when I step outside myself and understand the differences between normal thoughts and mine; stress worsens the situations I found myself in. In order for me to regain my mental focus, I force myself to occupy my thoughts with creative tasks. This sometimes turns into an OCD condition, and I begin to clean non-stop until I'm ready to fall asleep. I would like some advice on how I can deal with this. I have found by taking ADD medication, my thoughts are more controlled, but only when I'm on the medication: It makes the OCD worse though. I would like my cognition to be more aligned with what is deemed normal. Is there any hope out there?

rosy thapa's picture

getting ur degree after head injury

12 years back my friend had a head injury and i am wondering if she can get a degree and go to school now? she want to masters in accounting. is it possible for her to go to school?
does anyone knows any success stories?
please suggest
thanks

Tim's picture

education after head injury

I don't know the extent of your friend's head injury or her academic potential prior to her injury but she can definitely go to school and earn a degree. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2008 from a motorcycle accident. I graduated with my doctorate in 2011...she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

Brittany's picture

b injury

HELLO I FIRST JUST WANT TO SAY TO THOSE THAT WANT TO BE HEALED "CALL APON THE LORD" HE IS WAITTING TO HELP YOU. HE HEALED ME FROM MY HEAD INJURY AND TRUST AND BELIEVE ME HE KEPT HIS PROMISE. AND SO HE WILL FOR YOU. DONT GIVE UP, BECAUSE HE HASENT GIVIN UP ON YOU. HE HAS A PLAN TO HEAL YOU. HERE IS MY STORY~
I WAS DRINKING WITH A FRIEND, ONE NIGHT AND HER MOM WAS OUT OF STATE AND CAME HOME EARLY THEN EXPECTED AND MY FRIENDS BROTHER WAS IN THE BASEMENT DRINKING THEN CAME UPSTAIRS AND STARTED TROUBLE WITH MY FRIEND. I WENT OUTSIDE TO SMOKE A CIG AND SHE WAS INSIDE GETTING BEAT UP BY HER BROTHER ~REAL BADLEY~ HE JUMPED HER AND I WAS TRYING TO PULL HIM OFF OF HER AND THE MOM CALLED THE COPS. WHEN THE COPS GOT THEIR THEY HE PUT ALL THE PROBLEMS ON ME LIKE IT WAS ALL MY FALT. SO THE COPS CAME TACKELED ME TO THE GROUND AND RIGHT THERE THERE WAS A JESUS STATUE IN MY FRIENDS YARD WHEN THE POLICE WERE ON ME I SEEN THE JESUS STATUE AND ALL I CAN SAY WAS JESUS WHY ME AND HELP ME. SO THEN I WENT TO JAIL. I WAS SITTING IN JAIL ON A FELONY CASE. I SAT IN JAIL GOING TO CHURCH PRAYING AND GOING TO CHURCH GETTING CLOSE WITH GOD! AND I HAD NO HOPE, I WAS DISSAPOINTED IN MYSELF, I WAS GOING THREW BRAIN DAMAGE FROM ALCOHOL AND, I WAS SICK ALL THE TIME, AND ALL I KNOW WAS I ASKED JESUS IN A PRAYER AND SAID JESUS I PRAY THAT WHEN THE TIME MAY BE THAT I GET SET FREE THAT HE MAKETH ME WHOLE BEFORE I GO HOME. WAS GOING TO COURT HE DROPPED THE CHARGES BECAUSE THAT FAMILY WAS A LIE AND I GOT RELEASED AFTER 6 MONTHS AND THAT LASTDAY I GOT OUT AND FOR SOME REASON IN THAT MY SISTERS CAR AND I FELT THE JESUS HEAL ME FROM MY SICKNESSES. TRUST IN HIM THERE IS HOPE!

Colm's picture

The little secret about seatbelts that can take your life!

Please Note:
Am dyslectic. I now find it hard to write, read, understand and remember. 

The little secret about seatbelts that can take your life!
July 1998, I was involved in a car crash; I sustained a rather serious injury. People at the scene say, ‘it's one of the worst ones they've witnessed.’ One car lay crumpled with debris spread throughout the intersection, displaying the severity of the crash. A person that knew me was walking by. He spoke to the Police man. “I saw two people in a badly crashed car. Their seatbelt's held them up. Seeing their faces I knew the person who was driving.”  The police man took note. 

Following the accident, I was admitted to the Casualty Department of the Adelaide, from there I was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of Beaumont Hospital, where I had an operation for a brain haemorrhage; sub arachnoid initiative, cerebral haematoma/surgical evacuation/temporal lobe epilepsy. Coma; I was in Beaumont ICU for almost two weeks. Afterwards, I was transferred back to the Adelaide. After the operation, when I started to talk, everything seemed so strange. I did not know some members of my family, or friends, where I worked, or what I worked at before my accident. Mentally, I returned to my childhood years. During my three month stay at the Adelaide I had to learn to walk, talk, eat, and communicate with people again. Therapists at Tallaght hospital, helped and started me on the road to recovery; it was hard work and all uphill. 

In November that year I was transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dún Laoghaire. The first night in St. Patrick’s Ward, NRH, I lay down to sleep in a private room, I spoke aloud. “I have prayed to you since I was five years old…If you are out their God, please help me!”

This was all new to me. New surroundings with new people and Nurses that said, “You must do things for yourself now...” I received help from therapists at the NRH. Was determined, worked hard, a lot depends on one’s self; if it is to be it is up to me! 
In January 1999, I was transferred from St. Patrick’s Ward to St. Bridget's Ward, and started to attend the Rehabilitation Unit. Here, their aim is to return people to work. After eight months, I was discharged, and finished with most therapists at the hospital.

A few years after the car crash, a person needed to meet with me.  
Shortly after I arrived, I was called into their office. They walked over to their desk and asked me to sit down. After a short time they looked at me and spoke. 
‘…The seatbelt holder almost killed you.’ 
As I left the building I wrote down what was said to me. 
Not long after this meeting the same person telephoned my house; they needed clearance from court to pursue this matter? They were asking a person who sustained a lot of head damage to give permission to proceed? 
Having a bad memory, I had learned at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, ‘always take notes.’ After the phone call I noted these words on my computer, but after a few minutes, I could not remember to give them the ‘go-ahead’ to sue the car makers. Back in 2004, I didn’t know my own name.

A Judge at the High Court addressed me in the dock, “Sue the car makers...” 
Cannot understand why this never happened? 
In Dublin City, Ireland, a High Court Judge, was questioning a disabled person who, for almost two weeks, had been in a Coma; 20% alive – sub arachnoid initiative, cerebral haematoma, surgical evacuation, temporal lobe epilepsy.

Help...

Serendip Visitor's picture

sub- dural haematoma

Hi,
My Dad suffered a sub dural haematoma due to a bad fall at work. He fell down the stairs and was left unconscious overnight. Thankfully the swelling on his brain went down and the clot dissolved itself. I dont mean to sound ungreatful as I am so glad he is alive but his personality is definately different. He seems very spaced out and uninterested, emotionless I would say apart from getting very concerned about particular things like a missing part of a camera or money concerns but otherwise he lacks the drive and energy he once had and I really miss that. I feel a bit paranoid because the rest of my family dont talk about the changes.
He sometimes behaves strangely and waves to strangers when driving, approaches people he does not know and he is uninterested in reading which he always loved and never missed the newspapers. He never gets them now.
I feel sad and sometimes look at this man and wonder where my dad is...

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hey my dad was in a motor

Hey my dad was in a motor cycle accident 2 years ago. He suffers from brain trauma. His personality completely changed. He is more aggressive and has lost all of his confidence. He stays depressed and cries everyday. But I'm very thankful to still have him in my life. Deep down I know he's still the same person. And over those last 2 years he has recovered so much. He is able to do more now. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I know what it feels like and it's not great at all but just try and be happy that he's still in your life. Enjoy the time you have with him.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Just to Help

Hello.

Be strong and there for your father, You have been so already and so much appreciated.

My name is Heather, and I had a skull fracture injury approximately three years ago. I was in the hospital for a month and then in "brain rehab therapy" for eight months to follow. Just to add, I am a nurse......well was soon. I was released from rehab and amazingly, as told by many recovered well. I still see issues with my speaking, I tend to slur words and not really "say" what I mean....yet I am thinking it. It frustrates me and thankfully my friends have not "pointed" it out.....but I know its there. Unfortunately, this will not go away. I use to be a "go out with friends girl" as well, and I could crawl into bed at 4pm and be happy. Our whole world does change, and honestly....YES, I am pissed I was brought in and am still here to deal with tons of this stuff. But I have my daughter, would never leave her, and will carry on.

Keep a smile on your face! My nursing license is being pulled/attempted to be pulled from me right now as they think I am now unsafe. I have been working since, so I have no way to counteract their crap...it happened, its there. Career change ahear!

Smile, try, and smile more. We only have one shot at this.....as they keep reminding me LOL!

Heather

Annie's picture

I am me again

I have read these comments with great interest. I came off a horse on the 23rd July 2000 and fell on the top of my head. There are two main issues with brain injury. One, is the misdiagnosis and poor treatment that very often follows a TBI, and the second, is the loss of 'Self' or the soul.
Through my experience of a serious traumatic brain injury I can confirm that I 'lost' my 'self' and it took me five plus years to fully realise this. Since this time I have 'focused' (I use that word 'loosely') on rebuilding the Annie that existed prior to my injury. This has been a fascinating journey and yes, I am 'me' again. Despite the fact that I still cope on a daily basis with my on-going disabilities, I am fully aware that these disabilities are not 'who I am' but are rather a lack of functionality of my brain. There is a clear distinction for me.
I believe I have worked out exactly why people with brain injury appear to 'change' and can also catagorically state that the person who existed before is still there beneath the disabilities that rage. Please fell free to contact me at . I am in the process of building my own website and have written a book, due for publication fairly soon, called 'My Latent Self, The Recovery of My Soul Following Brain Injury.'

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