Self Esteem, Where’d I Go
After My Traumatic Brain Injury?
Or the loss of self after a TBI.
Even better yet, the loss of self-worth, right? You can do it!
This is a legitimate concern for the care giver when they are interacting with their newly injured loved one. It is rarely addressed by medical profession yet it is a loss so profound that many never recover from it. Brain injury strips away a lifetime of learning, of personal identity, and personal power. Boom, it’s gone just like that and is a true tragedy.
A study in 2014 revealed that participants with TBI rated significantly lower mean levels of global self-esteem and self-concept on the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale than the control group. Survivors of TBI rated themselves more poorly on a range of self-dimensions, including social, family, academic/work and personal self-concept compared to controls. They also reported higher mean levels of depression and anxiety on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Overall self-concept was most strongly associated with depressive symptoms and anxiety.
Craig Philips, has been living with a brain injury for a long time. He completed a university degree and attained a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling- all after his injury and says that as human beings we are dependent on the values created by the social roles we occupy, our relationships at work, with family, friends and community and what we derive from intimate relationships. We depend on positive feedback from others in our ongoing self-validation. But after a brain injury, the reliability of our social network can be severely impacted and the responses of others, including our loved ones, can be altered.
You Can Do It!
So, that answered a lot of questions, correct? I want to take it a step further. and in these posts I will be referring to the survivor in the first person “you” as being called a survivor can be somewhat degrading. A person with a TBI has a ton of things to relearn and overcome so why not journal your journey in compiled notes? Who knows, it may be a story line for a book or even in a blog to update people on your progress. Heck it doesn’t even to be about brain injury, just pick a topic, stick with it and write about it, just continue to record new things and to keep it fresh because content is king. I have found the less I write about brain injury the better off I am. I like to write about parenting, specifically fathering and the challenges a male primary care giver has on a child’s development, pretty heavy stuff I think.
If you like to color and draw, make sure you have the right software that will allow you to do so, meaning it can generate the correct file format to be seen by publishers or computers. Work it into a passion for you and go with it, you never know where you will end up! Plus, this has underlying cognitive therapy benefits and you are doing what you love, win win. Typing on a keyboard has multiple benefits going for it, think of dexterity, finger control and spelling primarily that will filter over into just living life.
You can do it!
Mike is not a TBI doctor, he is just an advocate for traumatic brain injury. He offers his advice on brain injury from a survivors perspective and it is up to you to take or ignore his advice. Meaning he is not responsible in any way for your actions. He offers his advice for free on the world wide web and you should take it as such, cheap advice.