Share your experiences with emotional challenges

 

The purpose of this page is to work together as a community and to learn from each other's experiences.    Please contribute and help ou!  You do not have to have a disability to contribute to this page.   You could be a person with emotional problems, or a caregiver, or a profressional with some good advice.  Email me and I will post what you have to say (if it is appropriate for the page).  Note: it may take up to 7 days for your posting to appear.  Please email me your contribution:

Dneumann73@gmail.com

 

If you email me something to post please do the following things:

  1. In the subject line of the email write Posting for Emotion Website
  2. Tell me what category you would like   your contribution to be posted under
  3. Tell me if you want or don't want your name to appear under your posting

Or post your thoughts automatically on my blog: http://tbiandemotion.blogspot.com/

Topics:

  • Freqeuntly Encountered Emotional Troubles
  • How my emotions affected my life and those around me
  • Hints or suggestions for dealing with emotions
  • How I overcame my emotional problems
  • Adjusting to life altering experience

 Or visit my Blog at tbiandemotion.html

 

This page will be updated on a weekly basis.  Please check back for new additions.   I am a brand new website, but hoping this page grows quickly.  I think it could be very helpful to many people.

Freqeuntly Encountered Emotional Troubles

 Person wrote in:

I was injured in 92 (MVA) and was a Glasgow III. My emotions are damaged and I can watch anything and shed a tear, not because I am sad but because what is being said is sad. I don't understand why but I guess it was the part of my brain that was damaged and hasn't recovered and most likely never will.
    I know I'm susceptible to this and even though I know it can occur, I still shed a tear but I'm not sad! I noticed yesterday that I think I'm bitter about being injured (known that for years but it occurred to my mind yesterday) and I take it out on those close to me because I can get away with it. My friends before the accident have all moved on or become married and with children and I'm left here alone in my own little world. I'm doing great mentally and physically and have had a partner for the past 7 years but I still want my old life back and that's where I believe I am emotional and bitter. Please contact me for further information. I had a tutor for 2-3 hours a day for 5-years and that accounts for my recovery. I'll visit him this weekend when I am in his area.

 Person 2 wrote:

Greetings Dawn:
     My name is John, and a link to your site was passed along time through a low-traffic brain injury list that I am on.  
  23 some-odd years ago I suffereed a Traumatic Brain Injury.  Since that time I have recovered quite a bit, and I remain fairly high-functioning.  I do have a chunk missing from my brain, though, not to mention the scar tissue.
      I have been largely alone in dealing with the injury and the repercussions of it.  Some time ago I hit the "glass ceiling" of what I could do for myself, but here in Central Texas I cannot seem to find many understanding ears.  I don't have much of a support system, treatment options, or even a path forward, for that matter.  The only thing I have right now is a little support from people who haven't gone through what I have, and a whole lot of introspection.
      Therefore, I was wondering if you knew of any mailing lists, support groups, or even just people to talk to.  For several years there's been something missing from my life, and I think that's it.
     I hope I'm making sense to you.  If I am not, please feel free to ask questions.  I look forward to hearing from you. 

Response to person 2:  Thanks for writing.  What you are experience is something that occurs way too often in survivors of brain injury.  So what you are looking for are other people with brain injury who could understand what you are going through, right?  I could do a little searching for you.  I'll try to find things in central Texas, or even just cyberspace.  I assume you are from the High functioning support group?  In the mean time, check out some of the links on my site.  I believe it is the Laughlin site, although I think you may have to sign up to be on theirs, which is ok.  Other chat and information sites are( you may already know about): http://groups.google.com/group/brain-injury-support?lnk=srg  and  http://www.tbihome.org/index.html   and http://www.braininjurychat.org/ and http://www.health-helper.com/brain/resources.htm and http://www.boomernet.com/tbi/lists.htm and http://www.braininjuryresources.org/chatrooms.html

Secondly,  Are you looking to get into therapy as well?  What kind of problems are you dealing with in your life?  Were you able to go back to work, do things you enjoy?  What's your friend situation like?  Do you feel you have close friends who you get to spend time with on a regular basis?  Are you looking for cognitive therapy or pscychological/counseling therapy?  Let me know and I'll try to look into some of these things for you.
       Good luck, but I will be back in touch after I hear from you.  Do I have permission to post your question to my website?  I think it's important for others to know that people with brain injuries who are high functioning still have to deal with challenges as well.
 
Best,
Dawn
 
Person 2's response to Me:
Dawn:
Thanks for replying so quickly.  I really appreciate that.
When you say I'm experiencing something that happens way too often, are you referring to the isolation I described?  Or something else?
Yes, some of the things I'm looking for are other people with TBI, that may understand what I'm going through (and have gone through).  I recently found the ABI/TBI Survivors Support Group ( TBI-SURV@listserv.tbinet.org), but that seems to be a collection of people with TBI all sitting in a room, staring at each other, saying "now what?"  In other words, there's no facilitator, there's no movement.
     I would prefer face to face support groups in Austin if at all possible -- I've done a lot of stuff in cypberspace and whereas that's okay, it's difficult for me to make connections with people when it's just words on a screen.  I know in my head that there are real people with real feelings behind those words, but until I really get to know them it's hard for me to realise that in my heart.
     I managed to find the braininjurychat site a while ago, but that had links to IRC based chat, which I don't always have time for.
      I will read your site more in-depth; it does seem rather useful.  It is rather dense with information, though.  And thank you for the links you provided.  As you say, some of them I was aware of, others not. 
    Yes, I would love to get into therapy.  Unfortunately, the reality of it is that I cannot afford this therapy.  Some time ago I was involved with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, but there I was treated as a patient as opposed to a human being, and as if I was not nearly as high-functioning as I am.
         What kinds of problems I'm dealing with in my life:  Feelings of alienation, rage, and guilt; being cut off; feeling broken; feelings of being a failure; unworthiness; having a memory that works sometimes but not other times, with no rhyme or reason; some of the emotional problems that you speak of.  I hit both extremes with this; sometimes I am not able to decide how I feel and other times I my feelings are too labile.  I'm sure there's more that I can think of; how much time do you have?  :)
       Jobs:  I have not been able to find something that I love doing, and to get paid for it.  I was able to go back to work, but I have not been able to hold any one job for very long -- the longest held job I've had was a year and a half (that was the one I had most recently), with most jobs falling around three to six months.
          Friends:   I managed to find a woman who loves me for some reason unbeknownst to me.  In some ways she's been a real godsend, but I am just not as 'into' her as I once was.  We've been seeing each other for about 9 years, and we have an 8 year old daughter.  Most of my friends are either people I've met online, or people that are her friends that I hang out with occasionally.  Although I have some acquaintances in certain circles, I don't really have any real face-to-face friends of my own.  There's noone that calls me up to hang out, and there's noone that I call for that purpose.
           You asked if I was looking for cognitive therapy or psychological/counseling therapy.  My initial reaction is "both!" -- part of my rehabilitation was seeing a cognitive therapist, but I don't know what the difference in between the two.
           Are you familiar with the Indigo movement at all?  I can shoot you some links if you're not.  Basically put, Indigos are a special class of people, and compounding my TBI problem is that I am one of these.
         Finally, yes, you may post my questions on your website.  Thanks for asking.
My second response to person 2:
 I was referring to isolation as being a common problem for people with TBI.  Have you ever been to a support group by the brain injury association of Texas?  If not, here is a link http://www.biatx.org/resources/go/support.html  It is a support group right in Austin.  I also thought (if you don't know about it) you might be interested in that they are having a walk http://www.biatx.org/  to support brain injury on Nov 10th.   Other than that, I'm not sure where you would go for therapy, unfortunately if you don't have the right insurance coverage.  Does Texas have something called the TBI medicaid waiver?  If you don't know, you could ask the brain injury association (512) 326-1212 if they do.  If you could apply for that, they might be able to get you some services that might be useful for you.  For example you could probably benefit from counseling (in addition from a support group).  Counseling could help you with your emotions, and dealing with your injury, frustration, etc.  You could maybe also benefit from cognitive thereapy.  The difference between cognitive therapy and counseling is that cognitive therapy deals with a variety of things such as learning, memory, reasoning, planning, problem solving, organizing, etc.  At the least you might benefit from vocational counseling to help you be more successful at maintaining a job.  It seems that you are ok with getting a job, but somewhere along the line, there are complications and you aren't able to keep it.  Look into:

Texas Vocational Rehabilitation
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
4900 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751
Toll Free: (800)628-5115
Direct: (512)377-0800
Phone: (800)252-5204
http://www.dars.state.tx.us/

   Anyway, I think you make a great point that most chats or listservs don't have a moderator/facilitator.  So, either the conversation is stagnant, or issues are brought up that are never resolved.  I would have no idea about how to do it, but it would be really cool to have a chat room that had several topics (common problems for people with TBI (memory, emotion, relationships, transportation, etc) and then people could post their questions under the appropriate category.  For each category their could be a facilitator/volunteer therapist to help offer solutions or at least resources.  Hmm..something to think about.   
    I'm not familiar with the Indigo movement.  Love to hear more about it.  Hope this information helps- even a little bit.
 
Best of luck,
Dawn
PS I forgot to mention there is something called TBI peer mentoring.  People in Houston have been researching it.  I'm not sure if the study is over or not, but they might be able to point you in the right direction.  I believe it could be by telephone, email, etc.  Look at http://www.tbicommunity.org/index.html and call them for more information.

How emotions affect my life and those around me

1) Someone Wrote:

Hi Dawn
Wow! As the mother of a  girl with Aspergers and the almost ExWife of a guy with (mostly) frontal and (some) parietal lobe injury...receiving the link to your website was an Aha moment!  Although it is clear to me that my daughter and her father have many similarities in their levels of frustration, it was interesting to see them compared in the same venue.
Question:  my daughter and her dad really drive each other bananas. The  unfortunate truth about our marriage (which was rocky prior to my husband'sinjury 3 yrs ago) is that we cannot sustain it. I personally cannot sustain the marriage and be an appropriate parent to my daughter. Therefore -
those 2 need to spend time together on a regular basis without the ability to escape from one another. They are both very volitile...either one can go over the edge at any given time...depending on how hungry, tired or
frustrated they are. They are both very rigid in their thinking. Alternately they are passionate about one another in theory...but practice and every day life can be explosive.
Any suggestions or tips for them to deal more effectively with one  another?

Response: Wow, right back at you!  It seems like you really have your hands full.  If you lived anywhere near Buffalo, NY I'd tell you to get both your daugher and husband in my research study, which is designed to improve emotion recognition and processing.  Anyway, you have a tough situation, and it would be nearly impossible to solve your situation via email.  I'm not sure how you found my website, but I definitely suggest you get yourself, husband and daughter in respective support groups.  But that
being said, the problem is exactly that they have too many simialarities when it comes to their functioning.  So let me make sure I understand your question right.  You are concerned because once you get divorced your
daughter will have to visit with her father and spend time together- alone. You want to make sure that their interactions are as positive as could be, right?  Well, that's a tough one.  One suggestion is that there should always be a moderator (grandparent, in-law, etc- someone who is not you) to neutralize the situation.  But that might not always be possible.  Do you know each of their emotional triggers?  You said hunger, fatigue.  Make sure to prevent any of those triggers from interfering with the get-together.  Make sure they have been well-rested and fed (or they go out to eat together where they both like and won't have to wait too long).  As I said on my website, planning is your best defense.  Make sure they both know what they are going to be doing together.  Anticipate pitfalls and discuss how they should be dealt with ahead of time. Given the lack of flexibility, make sure they know what they are doing ahead of time and both agree to it.  Do they have any common interests?  Try to plan something around that so their moods are positive.  Tell them if they are feeling upset or emotional, to tell each other they need to take a time out.  Is there a joke between them?  Have them think of a joke that they could say to one another to calm them down and lighten the mood if it gets too tense.  Have them take meditation or yoga classes together.  I wouldn't have them plan to do anything together that is too stimulating or exhausting.  I'm not sure if any of this is helpful or not, but like I said you have a complicated situation.  Is your husband receiving any therapy for his brain injury?  If not, look into it.  There is usually a local brain injury association to help you find necessary resources.  See if they could work on your husband with his emotional control and behavior.  I'm sure your daughter is getting therapy at school?  Maybe see what their strategies are for when she gets upset.  Consistency is always the best bet.
I wish you the best of luck,  
Dawn

Hints or suggestions for dealing with emotions

 

 

How I overcame my emotional problems

 

 

Adjusting to life altering experience

 

 

 

Check out