hey guys is what im feeling NORMAL even though it wasnt me who has suffered a brain injury

my dad suffered a brain injury 5 months back and has recovered well more than the doctors said he would, they didnt think he would survive the first night, well anyhow since he has come home i should be over the moon but all i keep thinking about is when he was in critical care and the images of him lying there in a induced coma thinking the worse, As my dad cant remember anything from his fall to the day he left hospital to go into rehab he thinks he is ok but i keep thinking about what i went through and feeling the way i did it just hasnt gone away, i should be enjoying the time i spend with him after all what has happened but its hard when i keep thinking back to them first few months

8 Replies

  • that is very normal and although it happened to your dad, the impact on your life is also a trauma, i think that talking to someone might help, a councillor may be able to help, i would ask your GP if he can refer you.

    time is a good healer too,

    there should be others along soon who can offer more advice

  • Hi Ann. It sounds like you've got some Post Traumatic Stress and, as biker says, you would probably benefit from some counselling to examine these haunting memories. The more you try to bury them the stronger they seem to grow and it's only when you bring them out into the 'light' and re-live the events (and the accompanying emotions) that they begin to lose their sting.

    Problem is it can take ages, after a referral, to get an appointment. So I'm wondering if you have a partner or trusted friend who could sit with you in private and encourage you to talk.......someone who would just be there and not be unsettled by possible outbursts of emotion/grief/anger which you should feel free to express. Is there someone ? It will only work if you can be totally free to tell whatever's in your heart.

    Professional, formal counselling works so well owing to the impartiality of the therapist, providing free reign for our emotions, but I believe that talking matters over and over with trusted familiars can be very healing also......if only whilst you're waiting for professional help.

    My sister-in-law was by my brother's side for two years as he deteriorated from a painful illness. During the last month she nursed him at home until he died, leaving her traumatised and bereft. So for the last eight months I've sat with her while she's talked about those final days over and over...........and cried..........and talked...........and gradually she's pulling those memories apart and thinking back to happier days. Obviously still a way to go yet.

    My son and daughter were in a state of shock after I suffered a brain haemorrhage a couple of years ago but together we went over & over the events for months until we were each able to assimilate all the traumatic

    details. And we were still talking ourselves out of that when their dad also had a haemorrhage six months later.

    And we're still talking..........and surviving..........

    If any of this makes sense, Ann, I urge you to see your GP and ask about counselling or maybe even an appropriate medication.

    Sincere best wishes & please stay in touch, Cat xx

  • This is an amazing comment Cat. Amazingly good advice. I agree with it completely. It definitely sounds like PTSD, which, btw, is a perfectly normal reaction to what you've gone through, Ann. The only thing I would add is that you should also consider private psychotherapy as an instant alternative.

    When I finally figured out that the NHS referral for my wife's counselling was going to take a while (7+ months before the first appointment) I found a local therapist through the BPS website. I arranged sessions pretty much immediately.

    Yes it's expensive at £50+ per hour, but I can think of no better way of spending money (although my wife's sessions were totally wasted, but that's another story). Cat's options are probably your best bet: .Read around PTSD, understand that it's normal and that it can be addressed, then start talking it out.

  • thanks guys, i have got a partner cat but he isnt the type to talk too only because he dont know how to deal with it, at the minute i find it hard to speak to people as i think they will think i shouldnt be feeling like this now as my dad is home and is recovering and i should be getting on with life, but its true cat the more ive been hiding what ive been feeling its actually got worse so i know i need to speak to someone xx

  • It does sound like 'flash backs' I have suffered these, eventually mine went away. hope yours does too x

  • Ann, do you think you could write a series of blogs describing events from the very beginning and the emotions which accompanied them.

    I say a 'series' because five months is a lot to cram into a single account with the range of different emotions involved...... it would be exhausting.

    If you feel able to do that then there are people here ready to listen, and respond. But it isn't actually the response which is the key........what matters most is your ability to put into words some of those awful thoughts and feelings which have, and still are, making your life a misery, and here you have complete freedom to do that without fear of criticism or judgement.

    Alternatively, you might try phoning the Headway helpline on 0808 800 2244 where there are trained professionals you can talk to.

    As a footnote, it's worth remembering that five months isn't long to recover from a traumatic event, but you know best about how you feel.............and we're always here. xx

  • Hi Ann, something similar happened to me - the advice others have posted is great. Over a year ago, my brother was cycling and was hit by a (borderline drunk) driver. He had severe traumatic brain injury and a 'cocktail' of other injuries. I was on the other side of the world at the time, but flew back. Every moment we expected the worst and it never happened. Amazingly, my brother is on the road to full recovery. He's walking/talking/etc, and we are so thankful.

    But when I went back to resume a 'normal' life (in a different city, after taking 5 months off), I kept getting flashbacks of times in the hospital, and had an unusual level of anxiety. I had kept a journal throughout the time in the hospital which helped, but I still had vivid dreams and stressful thoughts. I also felt a lot of guilt for having these feelings - all my energy had gone into my brother's recovery - and I felt there was no one I could talk to who could be more than a sympathetic listener. I went to a councilor I found through work (Right Corecare), and had 6 free sessions. I had trauma as well and the sessions helped me to understand the trauma and what I was (and had been) going through. I still think about the accident but I don't feel as anxious. Doing things I enjoy helps, of course actually talking to my brother helps too! The other day I was on a bus that hit a pedestrian, some of the feelings came back, but I was able to recognize them and luckily was able to talk about it with my boyfriend. It's hard, but it gets better.

    An excerpt of my 'flashbacks' here: readwave.com/are-we-there-y...

    If there's any other way I can help, let me know. All the best,


  • I can echo a small part of each of every ones comments , Dont know if flash backs is the right term for us , but on reflection looking back at events and days on the ward , and on days returning home its like its unreal and did not happen to us , as even though i am a strong person looking back at diary s seeing what we were dealing with you doubt your self and how you got through each day . We have had many stages in our journey and some real good out comes , but a few knock backs that take away good things .

    I Do hope you get the answers and out comes you need .

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