A sudden brain injury of a loved one impacts on many lives. For the caregiver (i.e., spouse, child or parent) it marks the onset of a winding, unpredictable and exhausting journey full of uncertainty and fear.
Over the last 25 years of practicing psychology, I have repeatedly observed that even those individuals, who appear really strong, need extra support during this period.
As one of my patients remarked:
“No one can grasp the reality of my life in which nothing is the same as it used to be…”
The following suggestions may help you:
- Do not isolate yourself. Loneliness and feelings of alienation are prevalent and contagious. Force yourself to socialize (meet a friend for lunch).
- Allow yourself to receive help from others. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help.
- Try to establish some kind of routine in your day.
- Take care of your body and exercise. Make sure you are eating healthy food and not drinking too much alcohol.
- Find a support group for people undergoing similar experiences. This will give you the reassurance and unconditional support you will most likely need.
- Alternatively, see a therapist who specializes in trauma. The emotional impact of the illness is likely to take its toll.