Benefits of spending time talking to other ABI survivors - feeling a bit better afterwards?

I received my ABI in a car crash 5 years ago. After the initial care phase (18-24 months) I was lucky enough to be able attend some group sessions with other ABI survivors, organised by staff from the local NHS ABI Unit, to learn about adapting our lives to better cope with fatigue, memory, healthy living, etc. Apart from the new things we learned about ABI, many of the group members spoke about the value they got just from talking with other ABI survivors and their day to day experiences. I felt I was talking to people who really understood ABI related issues such as; feeling isolated, loss of confidence, low mood, exhausted for no apparent reason, easily confused, anxious, withdrawn, etc. After the meetings many of us reported feeling a lot better within ourselves and had a greater sense of well-being beyond the original purpose of the session.

Has anyone else had a similar experience after talking with a group of fellow ABI survivors?

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10 Replies

  • On hear and at headway. It's nice to know that there are others and its good to get positive feedback instead of pity or negativity.

  • always.

  • My OH went to a group started as a project by an intern at his local ABI unit and also found it therapeutic (he gave a

    talk) but the intern then left and nobody carried it on, which was such a pity.

  • Giving a talk about my abi has led to meeting many abi survivors. I get a huge rush from hearing people say "Thanks for understanding" and sending out the message that you aren't alone. Those things you're feeling are normal and common. I look forward to speaking more in the coming months, Wrexham, Colchester and New Zealand coming soon!

  • The advantage of being in a group is that the others can give advice to a newee, and also feel good that they have helped someone. On the second anniversary I had a very bad day when things hit. Thought I was having a breakdown. Saw the group, many had experienced the same thing on an anniversary, perhaps several years later, some every year, thinking 'if only I'd not gone out in the car/gone on that bike ride'. It felt good to be normal and that it was likely to be transient. This year I thought about it in a much more positive way.

    It's good to relax in a group where people don't think you are weird.

  • It can become isolating in the 'real' world where it's often difficult/impossible to maintain the performance of an able bodied/brained person. On this forum we each appreciate that we are amongst others, like ourselves, who might be impaired outwardly, but inwardly we are still those former achievers. And we continue to take on daily challenges which no one but ourselves can begin to understand.

  • :-)

  • :-) - its good to know that the NHS Staff in the unit actually could relate.

  • As a carer, only been on here a few weeks and its been very helpful. Depression-wise it has helped me a great deal. Next step is to take my other half (with the ABI) along to local group events.


  • Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm going to go to the next local meeting and see if it will help keep me moving forward.

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