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Impact on Survivors and Family

Coping with any serious health problem is always difficult, but traumatic brain injury is 'one of the most insidious disabilities" imaginable on many different levels. Simply put, life will probably never be the same for a TBI patient or his or her family. Even a relatively mild brain injury can affect a person for years. Typically, people with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) suffer from symptoms that range from headaches, blurred vision, and dizziness to forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. They may feel restless, anxious, and depressed. They may also have difficulty sleeping which inhibits their energy and mental sharpness. Fortunately, most people find that these symptoms subside within a few weeks or months.

But for others these problems persist, adversely affecting their ability to work and interact with other people. They may be told that they're recovered because their injury was relatively mild. But this analysis may just increase their feelings of confusion, anxiety, and distress, which in turn adds to their sense of isolation from their loved ones and the world at large.

MTBI sufferers and those who care for them should realize that while a MTBI may not be life-threatening, its symptoms can still be devastating. Every patient is affected differently by this condition and a treatment that helps one patient may not work at all for another. The very nature of this injury demands that unique treatments be developed for each patient from physical therapy to neurofeedback to effectively meet their needs.

Merln Hurd PhD; BCN, QEEGT

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