Headway
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Help - at a low point and don’t know where to turn

Hi everyone.

TBI in 2012 and I feel great most of the time. I run two businesses alongside my wife and enjoy life.

I’m fit, healthy, active, love running and do public speaking for fun.

However, sometimes my world just falls apart like the flick of a switch.

The ones closest to me notice that my concentration is low, I struggle to follow simple instructions, I am snappy and get really low in emotion and self esteem.

Have been to Headway in the past and through doctors but don’t seem to be able to shake it.

My wife is frustrated quite a lot and frankly, I feel embarrassed and it’s hard to talk about.

I was very lucky following my brain injury and in the face of it, Joe Public wouldn’t know any different now. Being a positive person gives most people no reason to think otherwise

On the inside it is a different matter.

What do I do, where do I turn?

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Dear Teynboy,

First and foremost it is good and so important that you recognize that this is a low point and that, like the other times you have felt something like this, it will pass.

Second good thing, you have reached out to others. There is so much experience among those on this site and they care so genuinely. You are sure to get good advice. And besides, we are rarely the best source of insights when we are feeling so low.

You are already doing so very much of what is usually recommended to people. It is little comfort right now, I know, but please take notice and congratulate yourself for pushing past all the pain and previous low points to exercise, engage in productive activities, be outwardly positive and inwardly so, too, most of the time! You are inspiring.

What will help you now may be different from what has helped you in the past. It may also be very different from what helped someone else. So please don"t worry if some of the advice seems to not apply well right now. For one person, getting a dog made all the difference, for others it was meditation or a change in diet. In addition to reading people's suggestions, please browse the titles of past posts like yours for the answers that people posted there.

You mention that you are embarrassed by these dark episodes and get snappy with those closest to you. If you could give them a signal that you know what is happening even if you cannot change it right now or talk about it, it might reduce the interpersonal issues that can arise. Sometimes humor is a good way to communicate a tough situation -- e.g. a photo of a cross lion and a "Teynboy will be back soon" sign. Something like this can be just enough to keep people from taking unintended slights as personally.

Wishing you a short stay in this low point. All the best,

Taia

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Wow I love the idea of the humour picture. It is a horrible downward spiral sometimes and it’s certainly worth a try to try and snap out of it.

Exercise certainly is fantastic for me, it is a massive buzz and makes me feel alive.

Thank you, you’re right. We all have different side affects and symptoms but all advice is great.

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Do you think you might be doing a bit too much? Can you build in some relaxing time into your busy life? I think being 'different inside' is a normal think for those with a bi and most people don't realise unless they know you really well. Could you try CBT to talk this over with a trained counsellor who might help you to recognise the triggers. Yoga, mindfulness and similar c lasses might help you to relax when you feel an episode coming on.

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I definitely do too much and have cut back on a lot of things recently.

Learning to say no at the offer of a new and exciting opportunity is hard but I’m getting more disciplined.

CBT is a good shout. Yoga and meditation certainly works as does the good old fashioned power nap.

Thank you.

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I recognise your unexpected self esteem damage. I experience the same. I started a new business last year after my 2014 TBI and I am predominantly positive, fit etc. However, once or twice a week I am reminded that my brain isn’t, and never will be, as good as it was. Unfortunately, nothing I can do about that, and whilst I can cope with that it can be depressing for a short period of time. It is important to try and remember that ultimately it doesn’t matter, everything happens for a reason. I have to try and override negativity with positivity to keep myself smiling. I ain’t a champion yet, but I’ll keep doing it until the day I die, which could have been four years ago!

Good luck with it👍🏻

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Wow well done on your business venture too. It certainly gives you a sense of confidence and self worth.

Positive mindsets are a real king to recovery.

Setting and working towards goals gives a good focus.

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Thanks for your reply. Forgive me for telling you but I have written a TBI book purely for the benefit of Headway. It is ‘D.T.B.I....who am I’, written by G D Porter, only 99p and only available on Kindle or a Kinde App. Best wishes.

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Wow, nice one. I’ll take a look.

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Thanks a lot. I wrote it to help reconstruct my brain (took me 18mths), as well as hopefully benefit TBI survivors & their families as much as Headway👍🏻

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Hi I was feeling low on Saturday and I was feel brighter on Sunday, Depression comes and goes in small doses sometime it can stay for weeks

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Indeed. Just feel so alone at times. I can usually work through it.

Hope you ok Bexx.

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Yes I work though it aswell and try to ignore it I view it as a cloud or bubble that I just need to wait til it floats on by, same with negative thoughts I view feeding negative thoughts/anxiety or depression as inviting it to stay and hang out of a bit unfortunately misery loves company (still don't fully understand that saying lol)

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good evening, sounds about right my friend, all to do with your tbi.

are you noise intollerant, inappropriate behaviour?

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Ah thanks Steve.

Yes definitely noise intolerant at times, especially loud talking and laughing.

No problems with inappropriate behaviour thankfully, just snappy sometimes.

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what about fatigue? im not sure whether youre aware but because we become fatigued very easily, it is suggested if we work in the morning we rest until the following afternoon, that means following interests not just sleeping but making sure we get at least 8 hours sleep.

do you have short term memory problems? i do, because i forget to take my own good advice ha ha ha!!!! all joking aside though, i do suffer short term memory loss, i also forget what im talking about in the middle of a conversation.

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I think I’m your twin ha ha I stop halfway thro a sentence and can’t remember what the heck the conversation is about x

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Wow, yes same here. My short term can be terrible. It is usually moments after hearing something that I realise I haven’t processed it.

It certainly frustrates my wife.

Do you ever struggle with writing too? Sometimes letters go out of sequence, almost like dyslexia. That never happened pre TBI.

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my wife tends to get frustrated with me but thats because i tend to get sidetracked, so i either dont hear what she says or i stop doing what im doing.

as for writing, my hand writing is a mess, my signature is never the the same and i have problems spelling, which to me is the most embarrasing of all.

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Ah yes, I get sidetracked all the time too. Mid-conversation is the worst or not being able to process what has just been said.

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Yes absolutely if I send a card I have to double check that I havnt sent it to myself

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as you can see, youre in good company, welcome to the club!!!

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Thing with BI is that other people don’t notice the problems you go through. Loneliness is one I’ve been through but now attend a BI group that has got me into exercise and running. Looking at everyone who attends the group you wouldn’t know that any of them had BI apart from 1 or 2 that have physical problems or speech problems. The man who set the group up often talks about what he’s been through and how it still effects him (actually upsetting to think what he’s been through depression etc) he still has trouble with memory and concentration which can be easy to overlook as he seems fine 99% of time. He’s done some personal training with me but stopped as he didn’t feel it was fair on others that he didn’t have time for. I’m going to ask if he’d do group session so I can still join in but I’m not sure he will as he feels responsible for me or who ever is with him and I’m not sure he’d be comfortable with a group of us. Another thing I’ve spoken to him about is reading texts but not replying. If he’s doing something when he reads text he forgets. My solution was only read them when he’s not busy, but he said his mind doesn’t work like that.

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Ah yes Keeley. I can 100% relate to that. 99% if the time things appear fine to most people around me.

How did you find a BI group to go to? That would be really helpful.

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My mums mate seen one advertised and mentioned it to me so I went to see what they could offer. As I was 5years into recovery I wasn’t sure if it would be any use to me as main problem I had was not meeting anyone. Started going once a week then twice and when ever there was anything happening.

I had tried headway before but seemed to have everything cancelled through not enough people interested.

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Yeah I went along to Headway last year as they did a drop in clinic once a month.

It was good to talk to the volunteers but it was only me there.

They kept saying that because I wasn’t reliant on day to day assistance then I’m in the forgotten group.

Glad you got to a group. It sounds really helpful.

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Yea there needs to be more groups for BI to get people meeting each other rather than just helping those having problems. All good helping people having problems but there is a lot like me not needing help but want to meet people. Where abouts are you? If you are near me I would recommend group I go to but unfortunately it’s only in one place at minute which is where the man who set group up is from.

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Totally agree.

I’m in Northampton.

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