Elizabeth Part Nine – Mood and Social Challenges After Traumatic Brain Injury
In this segment Elizabeth describes her mood swings which are frequent and unpredictable. A look or word from someone which she doesn’t understand can set her off. Her husband corroborates that she becomes easily frustrated. Cooking and following instructions are huge challenges requiring her to read over and over again for understanding. Although Elizabeth is very upbeat during these interviews, she is not typically like this in her every day life. Her underlying feelings of incompetence and belief that others think she is stupid, causes her to misunderstand what people say which then leads to fear and outbursts of anger.
Elizabeth is very appreciative of her husband—especially since many husbands and wives leave their spouses who have TBIs. When she experiences these outbursts and meltdowns, her husband tells her to calm down and asks her questions which help her understand her reaction. These types of issues with mood are one of the most difficult brain injury issues to cope with. Elizabeth’s husband says that he is able to maintain an attitude of patience and commitment by thinking what it would be like if their positions were reversed.