Popped at for having Brain Injury: I've recently had... - Headway

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Popped at for having Brain Injury

I've recently had someone negatively judge me for having ABI. They said I have life easy as people understand my recovery, are there for my recovery and empathise as I have an "illness to the brain". This person used my situation to to show that I have life easier unlike her, who has mental health issues and people are unaware how to cope with mental health.

I was stunned. I laughed as well but I was stunned and thought her outlook was rather fairytale.

The irony is mental health is said to occur 1:4 people worldwide everyday. Its so 'popular' (unsure of what other word to use) there is worldwide awareness, campaigns, support etc about mental health.

There are no government campaigns, PR, etc about brain injury. There's little understanding consequently support from members of the public about brain injury.

This person didn't understand brain injury is invisible too.

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Playing the The Disability Hierarchy game, which your friend? was trying to do goes nowwhere as you've pointed out if anything though brain injury isn't uncommon far more in the media about mental health, though I believe there is probablity of comorbidity for some mental health problems with a Brain injoury.

there is also the point that there is almost always some one with a more server disablity, even amoungst the same disablity/health think of here all have broadly the same, but there is quite a range.

I also believe that, that you'll struggle to find any disability which the public understands well, on the whole you only understand what you experance directly or though others.


Thank you I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Some people are amazing huh?

Take care


I honestly don't believe some people did your friend ?? think you really wanted a TBI.


Very sad state of affairs to even think that way but I wish her all of the best (after internalising it for a couple of weeks & getting upset by it initially)

Thankfully life goes on 😄


Oh dear the sad old game of "my boo boo is worse than your boo boo"... who has the time , the energy or the brain power for that stuff... loads of way more important things to challenge us... Glad you are able to move forward after the initial wobble :)


Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear . The world moves on, we evolve and yet some people resolutely stay firmly rooted in the fifteenth century. Never mind, hey ho, I wouldn't worry about it if I'm honest, it isn't worth your concern.

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Many people I've met also don't understand and try to play 'trumps' with thier woes. It's even worse because it's one of those 'invisible' conditions that causes me to twich a bit when people say "You're looking well!" when actually I'm feeling like **** but they can't accept it.

You could always point out that along with the other problem cause by BI quite often mental health issues are also involve. Often deppresion, anxiety and isolation.

This isn't a competition and we all deserve respect. It would seem the person that tried to put you down had no respect and was so insecure that they had to 'beg' for sympathy by using the 'I'm worse than you' play ground strategy.

BI is one of those isues poorly publised and even more badly understood.

Try not to let it upset you too much and seek a suitable reply i.e. It's OK for you, mental health get better support and publicity while we get no funding no support and ignorance, like you, of the effects of our BI problems!

Confronational and probably uncalled for but perhaps an eyeopener for them.

Take care


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Hi Sporan,

I can see this from both sides as my reply to MedicalAngel's similar post explains.As for mental health getting better support-one of the neighbours I look after (phone calls,shopping,calming talks when I can ) has had severe anxiety disorder and OCD of the germ variety for years.Has often been in a dirty dishevelled state for weeks/months on end as cannot even bring herself to go in bath as afraid that compulsive washing will leave her stuck in there for hours.Been taken into mental health ward twice for 'rehabilitation ' over last few years.No improvement on return at all.GP utterly disinterested-pushes drugs only.Lost contact with daughter and grandaughter as a result of her illness.Only recently acquired a social worker after a police call out/neighbour incident (she has some anger issues also )and a referral to psychology.Not sure if she will make the appointment as she will want to clean up first-may not be able to bring herself to do this.Spends the majority of her time in recluse as she is in such a state.Great shame.


I should add that we are the only neighbours that bother with her-people are afraid of what they do not understand.This is also the case for my Alzheimer's friend.I think the fear of the unknown cuts across all areas of disability.Shame they do not see the person beneath the illness.



I think that was what I was trying to say in my post but a bit mixed up today.

Being poorly isn't a competition and we all need support and show respect.

Like you say people tend to run from what they don't understand or don't know how to help.

I have to say if you are thinking of moving house at any time then there are some nice houses next to mine ;-) . Your neighbours are so lucky to have someone so helpful and caring as you obviously are.

I have to say I'm lucky with my neighbours as well, mainly because two of them have children with disabilty and one has had major health problems themselves so they actually know what its like and always willing to help.

In another thread here I told someone that since the onset of the tumour, epilepsy etc. that there are now three of me. One for public consumption where I try to show I'm OK and coping well, two for when I'm alone and thinking about the reality, frightened and concerned and three the person that dumps the frustration from one and two on my poor wife and family who, luckily for me, understand and support and protect me as best they can.

What I really want I can't have, the real me back so I toddle along and make the most of what I've got.




I would be both pleased and proud to be your neighbour : ) We do not consider ourselves as unusual for caring -just human and down to earth.I assumed all people had this trait but have since learned differently !

Speaking of illness rivalry-after I was initially told I had likely had Encephalitis,the neighbour I work for who had seen all my bizarre movement disorder symptoms (and competes fiercely for sympathy ) declared that she might have it too ! : )

Take care all x


I'm not too sure you would be over pleased to be my neighbour at the moment.... I've just picked up my guitar after about twenty years not playing it and I have to say it's definitely NOT good... just hope I get back into it properly before I have an ASBO served on me for it ;-)

I actually think most people do care but sadly only a few get on and do something about it and try to help.

Take care yourself and make sure that amongst it all you take some well deserved 'me' time to pamper youself a bit. x



Good for you with the guitar.I have the odd strum on my 3/4 one from childhood.Never learned to read music or fingerpick -use my clumsy thumb for everything so can't be worse than me !At least you haven't set up the drumkit for 'in the air tonight ' ! : )


Well since you mention it I do have a very LARGE drum kit and VERY LOUD. It dates back to mid 70's when I bought it new ( about £700 then so you can guess the rest). Has massive bass drum and all the shells are 6 ply maple with a coating of fibreglass inside so they are pretty loud.

Drums are my main instrument and played since 15 in many bands and supported some big name bands. Took up guitar because got fed up with lumping masses of cases and heavy stands. I thought guitar one hand amp in the other job done. Learned to play with gutarist mate and formed a band. Had all but a drummer so guess what.... yes I ended up back on drums.

Watch out there may be a drum kit near you soon.

There was a local myth (started by my wife) that I was the drummer in the monkey suit lol. Was definitely not true and besides I don't need a suit to look like a monkey ;-)


Anything that drowns out the tinnitus is fine by me ! : )


Hate to dihearten you but drums, especially played loud, tend to CAUSE tinnitus. I got my seat in a band that played Glastonbury festival because their drummer had to give up because of chronic tinnitus.

Just goes to show for evrey down there is an up..... unfortunately the down was for him and the up was for me, which to be honest was a bit of a change for me ;-)


When my friend was 17 her mother passed away. About three years later I remember thinking to myself; "Yeah, that's horrible, but why wouldn't you try to just get over it? She's only making it worse."

Now this happened, I feel like a bit of a dick in hindsight.

The point is, it's sometimes impossible to see things from another's point of view unless they've experienced it themselves.


One of my friends from long ago used to moan on and on about her mum and say how much she hated her mum, EVERY time we met. Then we met up after my ABI and bungled op (with other injuries) and she said ahh but my mum has died and that;s FAR worse. VERY odd coz she told me how much she hated her mum. I tried to explain about my ABI (but even worse at it then) and she TOTALLY dismissed it, 'that's nothing' she said. I found her weird, patronising and totally lacking empathy.

Thing is we (most of us) have had someone close to us, someone we love, die so we know how it feels. So I was trying to empathise while remembering her vicious words about her mum, hard to do, didn't compute. But she didn't even try to understand what I was telling her: that the old ME had died and trying to learn things again. But she wouldn't have it so I kept away from her, never contacted her again, her denial wasn't it, everybody (almost) denies what I deal with but her insistence that losing her mum (who she hated) was worse and complete inability or wish to try to understand what I was telling her. Sorry very scrambled tonight.


You don't sound scrambled :)

Ive learnt that we're all individual and deal with things in our own individual ways. My way of dealing may differ to others and vice versa.

It's interesting how some people engage in a competition, when it's not the arena/environment for competition.

Thanks Muddled 😊

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As someone who has been in and out of the MH system, I would say trying to get help and support for a brain injury is much harder. Like you said, there's more understanding towards mental illness than a brain injury. Mental illness is common, brain injuries aren't.

I've got mental health issues that are separate from my brain injury. Mental illness can improve with medication and therapy. But a brain injury is pretty permanent. Neither are 'easier' to live with.

Sorry, but I hate people who compare their illnesses to other people. And like other have said, a BI can cause all kinds of mental illnesses- depression, anxiety, paranoia, low self-esteem etc.

Your friend has no right to speak for your experience. Nobody should speak for another person's experience. It just causes upset.

I'd stay away from her if you can. You don't need the additional stress.


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