Stories about Confabulation
The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury. Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.
Confabulation: Her problem with confabulation is an extremely common problem in severe brain injury survivors. So much of therapy, life, is a puzzle in those early months and the brain doesn’t like a puzzle with missing pieces. The solution is to cram pieces into the puzzle, but they rarely fit. Yet the incongruity of the pattern is often missed by the brain injured person. “Somebody tells me a story; next thing I do is I like to add things on and make it more exciting and they’re not true facts.”
The most significant indicator of severity of brain injury, is the length of amnesia for events both before and after the injury. Jeremiah had given us a very detailed description of what caused the accident. Sometimes such memories can be the result of confabulation, the process of the brain filling in holes in memory with something that seems to make internal sense.
Lethan is not the only one who searches for an explanation in his own memory for what happens, and not the only ones who memories are enhanced by bits and pieces of information that he put together from other sources. There is a brain injury term called confabulation, one we have discussed in other stories. It is the tendency of the brain to fill in the gaps in the memory left by the brain injury, stories that make complete sense to the survivor, yet may have no connection to reality.