Every year, about 2.5 million people will suffer a traumatic brain injury. Out of those, 80,000 develop life-long disabilities.
If you know someone with a TBI, then you’re likely wondering how they’ll recover.
Brain injury recovery isn’t something that happens overnight. It will take time and persistence to re-learn the skills needed to be independent again.
Here are the three main phases of treatment for brain injuries.
Evaluating the Extent of the Injury
It’s crucial to seek out medical care after you hit your head, even if you don’t think it’s severe. If you got knocked out, then you suffered a mild TBI, but the blow doesn’t even need to be that severe. If you have ever seen or heard someone say that they “saw stars” or “got knocked loopy” after a blow to the head, it is something that needs to be checked by a medical professional, as it can lead to significant implications later on if you don’t get help.
When you visit your doctor, they’ll analyze what happened and your injury. Here’s what to expect:
- Brain scans
- An exam to test motor and sensory skills
- Hearing tests
- Speech analysis
- Coordination tests
- Monitoring changes in mood or behavior
- An acute concussion evaluation
Medical Intervention: Surgery and Medications
If the injury is severe, then you’ll likely need medical intervention. Your doctor may recommend immediate surgery. Surgery can assist with repairing some damage, but it’s not a “cure” for a TBI.
Undergoing surgery will mean the individual can expect an extensive recovery period.
There are certain medications that can help after a TBI, too. Here are some prescriptions that are common after a brain injury diagnosis:
- Anti-convulsant medicine
- Anti-psychotic prescriptions
- Pain management medication
- Memory and cognition drugs
- Motor system prescriptions
Depending on the seriousness of the injury, your doctor may prescribe several medications. It’s not an ideal situation, but these prescriptions can help your loved one cope.
Rehabilitation and Rest
Rehabilitation and counseling are often recommended treatment options after a TBI. Both options will help your loved one re-learn motor and social skills.
Even after medical intervention or rehabilitation, your loved one still needs rest. The old adage that time heals all wounds applies here.
Your loved one may struggle to control their emotions. Consider anger and conflict counseling if that’s the case. Their personality was likely affected by their brain injury, but they can learn to cope.
Your loved one likely won’t be able to return to work right away. They may need increased help with daily tasks. Give them the space and support they need during this difficult time.
Making Your Loved One’s Brain Injury Recovery Plan
If your loved one is going through brain injury recovery, then it’s important to be patient with them. It takes a long time for individuals to recover, and some never do.
Are you looking for a counseling service that can help? At Braden Counseling Center, we’ll help your loved one re-learn the skills they need. We also offer family and couples counseling if you need help coping as well.
Reach out to us now on our contact form to learn more about how we can help.