Struggling a bit

Hi. I am new to this site and have never done anything like this before. My husband was knocked off his push bike in June by a car and suffered a brain injury. No bleeds fortunately but a significant bang to the head and trauma. I think we were so relieved that he was alive that we thought everything was fine. Since then I have watched the man I love change from a loving caring generous outgoing individual into an angry irritable self centred uncertain person angry at everything. Someone I am struggling to understand and who pushes me away. I feel useless and don't know how to support him. He is on anti depressants and undergoing cbt which he doesn't believe in. My daughter and I in particular don't know what we can do to help. Any clues would be appreciated although having read this I understand there are a great deal of people struggling with far worse

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  • Hello Jo and welcome. In the 4 years since joining Headway I've seen many marriages threatened by the after effects of brain injury. But most have been rescued by interventions such as CBT, and others with the use of antidepressants or antianxiety meds.

    But what's surfaced many times is that alongside therapy there needs to be a set of rules in place in the home to protect the partner or carer from the abuse which is too often automatically aimed at them despite all their selfless caregiving and sacrifices.

    I have a brain injury and I frequently get irritated then angry over the slightest things, but I internalise it and absent myself rather than taking it out on others. No one should be forced to care for another amid insults and aggression, and so often, when the aggressive partner has been offered a 'last chance' and made fully aware of the boundaries, they somehow manage to control or diffuse their anger.

    Help your man with love & understanding Jo, but lay down some rules of respectfulness and consideration from him ............... and stick to them.

    Brain injury is a cruel condition for all concerned ; I hope the combination of therapy and meds will help to bring about positive changes. Sending best wishes & cyber-hugs to all of you. Cat xx

  • Hello and welcome to the site. I hope you find some help. I would like to ask, do you think your husband has accepted what happened to him? Does he talk about it to you?

    Katie x

  • Hi and welcome,

    It is all too common a symptom especially around family whom are never briefed by doctors as to what to expect. For many family members it is like there loved one has been abducted by an alien and a broken clone version put in place.

    One of the things that they never tell family is that part of the recovery process is peace and quiet so that the brain can rest and recover. By pushing a lot of people away and wanting isolation is part of the defence mechanism. However, like most of survivors we take everything to the extreme.

    Does your husband have any hobbies or pastimes to engage with - a good old shed is quite often a good place to potter around in peace and also gives everyone else a break.

    Don't worry about the anti-depressants, they have a dual purpose one is to calm the mood the other equally more important is to slow the brain down to allow it to repair.

    A key thing is to helppo recovery is to lead a healthy life, it may sound like something that everyone says, but for head injury it is very vital. To allow and promote the recovery process, the brain is going to need the right fuel vitamins, nuts, protein etc. Bad stuff slows the recovery process, too much sugar, coffee, alcohol etc. Changing to this lifestyle made me return to cooking which also improved all my planning, coordination and memory skills - however, the first attempt, a cottage pie did take 3 hours :-)

    There is a lot of information on this forum to help, so please don't be afraid to ask questions

  • Hi Jo

    Assuming he hasn't suffered any seizures, which can unexpectedly demolish you, key thing is for him to focus. Ideally he would improve himself if he could focus on the present day, next day, week etc. What happened in the past is irrelevant as there is nothing you can do about it. 'Everything happens for a reason' is a positive mentality.

    Good luck with it😆

  • Hi Jo,I suffered a car accident last February. Five broken ribs and head trauma, I lost my job and have since suffered mood swings depression and panic attacks. Also permanent headaches,varying in intensity and a "permanently spaced feeling". So far I have found no meds that work apart from amitryptaline which at least helps me sleep. That and exercise I still cycle and find the solitary cycle ride actually makes me feel better. My main problem is the frustration of looking ok,but feeling terrible all the time. I cannot cope with crowds or loud noise and recomend as much peace as available. Headway have been good advice, but my Gp has been no help.Luckily my neuro consultant was knowledgeable in the field of post concussion syndrome, but it seems time is the best healer. Avoid alcohol caffeine and fizzy pop eat well and try and not overwork the brain.It is not easy and I feel for you,your other half will return I am sure. Good luck.

  • has he had any rehab? and input from Neuro Psychologist? The other thing is to find you local Headway group and so he can see others, if it's just June he way well still be in denial? and meeting like others I found incredibly useful.

    I personally didn't find CBT at all useful, interesting but not useful.

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