I spend a fair amount of time following various news media, military blogs and news sources, and scientific experts on concussion and brain injury as well as ADHD, learning disabilities, and autism. I regularly tweet, retweet, and share this information on Facebook.
If you would like a window on this world, without having to spend a lot of time trawling the internet, you can find me on social media (see links).
Twitter – Dr. Clair Hinckley @TBIDrClair
Facebook – A-Z Learning Alternatives, LLC – Brain Recovery Support Systems
One of the sad consequences of brain injury is isolation. People just don’t understand the situation when the wound is invisible. Slowed or altered social responses and disinhibition (saying or doing whatever pops into your head without considering whether it is politic or tactful) can put off friends and family. Personality changes, some trivial (the friend who inspired my interest in TBI now likes vegetable he used to spurn), others more disconcerting, also can puzzle and turn off people who don’t understand. Veterans are used to teamwork. This sense of connection is one of the facets of military life that spurs re-enlistment among healthy military folk, and one of the things they miss during recovery from injuries. Some survivors are isolated in remote areas, others by the effects of their injuries. In any case, helping them reconnect with peers who actually understand their situation is a smart approach to treatment.
This story supports my belief that working with groups of veterans and helping them connect online is a good idea:
Here is a pdf detailing the VHA’s official approach to treating PTSD and TBI:
The Veterans Health Administration’s Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Among Recent Combat Veterans
Fascinating reading! Here is the official approach to treating mild TBI:
VHA considers the management of physical, behavioral,
and cognitive symptoms fundamental to treatment of
mild TBI. The two mainstays of treatment are symptomspecific
treatment (such as managing headache pain, the
most common symptom of TBI) and educating patients
on their expected recovery. VHA states that treatment
through primary care clinics is appropriate for managing
TBI when implemented by an interdisciplinary team of
rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, and mental health
clinicians. Pharmacotherapy is sometimes used alone or
in conjunction with other therapies to treat musculoskeletal
pain, anxiety, or psychiatric symptoms. However,
there is currently no clinically validated pharmacotherapy
to improve neurocognitive function after a mild TBI. As
with PTSD, providing education for veterans and families
about TBI is an important part of treatment. VHA’s
guidelines advise providers to reassure patients and their
families that mild TBI is normally transient and full
recovery without permanent damage is expected.
I would love to hear comments from people who have experienced this approach or alternative treatments . Let’s have a Concussion Discussion.If there is enough interest, we can schedule an online meeting.