Stories about Nerurobehavioral Extremes
The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury. Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.
I have been unable to understand who was injecting such ugliness into my head, when I knew that I was capable of anything, both before and after my accident. I can remember everything about my life before the accident, that I had lived well, and loved the person I was.
I believe TBI survivors can relearn to become adults, that while it may take more time, more patience than it did the first .
It is always hard to sort out abnormal neurobehavior from normal young adult problems. Fred’s issues before hand could certainly be explained by the latter, but they also fit clearly within what you might see as the long term symptoms of a significant mild injury as the one he suffered.
Dad: What do you think of the idea of anger management therapy? Is there such a thing and is it possible to do? Gordon Johnson: The obvious problem is that managing the anger of brain-injured person is different than managing typical problems. Although there’s always an overlap between normal bad behavior and abnormal neuro-behavior.Mom: It is. Yeah.Gordon Johnson: That may be because there is some neurological cause than some other than we consider to be normal bad behavior. But it is a very different process too. (Learning for a brain injury survivor) takes longer and takes more reinforcement.And some of the ways in which we motivate people to change their behavior just aren’t going to work with someone with a severe brain injury because of the motivation changes. Motivation does change and it is harder.So if you went to the classic anger management class where they send someone who beat up his wife it’s not going to do anything. A trained brain-injury counselor, working with the family, with the wife, with the kids may be able to make a difference but you just can’t send them to an anger management class. That’s probably going to make him angrier.
For TJ’s parents, it is the neurobehavioral extremes that have been the biggest challenge. TJ doesn’t share that insight. For him it is a concrete problem of frustration stemming from communication failures.