Get me out of this dream am I alive : Hi , it’s been... - Headway

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Get me out of this dream am I alive


Hi , it’s been a while since I have posted so much has happened, since my last post , so my son has a hypoxic brain injury ,

He is now 22 and after a lot of up and downs he is now receiving more rehabilitation which we are truly grateful for and he is doing amazing there . He is in residential care but we take the very long journey of 5 hours every weekend to visit him and take him out and do family outings. We also. Have him home every 3/4 weeks for a weekend home visit

My concerns and the rehabilitation are also concerned about him ,still insisting that he is dead and that this is not real life we squeeze his hand and reassure him it’s real life , and made him a small photo book to show his journey so far . He has started doing things that he thinks will get him out of this nightmare like putting his mattress on the floor , hoping he will wake up out of this nightmare, walking on cracks in the pathway , asking to have his head shaved thinking that will get him out of it. He had previously refused to shower or wipe his bottom after going to the loo and refused medication thinking these things are all keeping him in the nightmare , he is showering now and wiping himself after going to the loo , but then he starts doing something else . We hear him talking to himself please get me out of this place out of this nightmare. Has anyone come across this before or feeling like this . ?

7 Replies

Hi Dian

Nice to hear from you again.

I haven't had this problem with my husband. He did have a period of time when he denied having a brain injury.

I wonder if you our sons brain is recognizing that things aren't as they used to be and is trying to work out why.

What do the hospital staff have to say about it?

Hopefully this will pass.

Take care of yourself.

Hi Lynd

It has taken him a long time to accept he has a brain injury , he seems to of accepted it now and admits now he feels different . Sometimes he says he doesn’t recognise us as his parents and that we are imposters , then he is ok and calls us mum and dad I feel so sorry for him what he is going through . The team don’t know either why he is saying it’s all a dream xx

in reply to Dian7

This must be so distressing for you.

Have they checked his meds for side affects that could be contributing to this.

You can only hope that this will pass. Thinking of you and your family.

Dear Dian7

I really am writing to say how much I feel for your son. It sounds quite distressing for him.

As I read your post I tried to really imagine what might help that situation. One thought came up and I will offer it very humbly since you seem open to all ideas. A relative of mine with TBI really turned around with exercise and better nutrition. Might a personal trainer/physical therapist be able to work within his limitations and lead him exercise to the point of distraction and endorphin production that might release some of those recurring anxieties? Could reducing the sugar in his diet possibly have an effect? Those two things seem to have been key to creating a virtuous cycle of empowerment, raised self esteem and reduced anxiety for my relative.

All the best to you all.


Hi Taia

Thank you I am open for any ideas, funny you should mention the exercise he wants to return to doing some gym work as he was a very healthy sporty young lad before the injury ,we have requested him joining a gym which they have and are waiting for his induction , I will definitely look into his sugar intake as he has started drinking full fat fizzy drinks . And I will mention this at his meeting next week

Thank you for taking the time to message me it means a lot to me xx

You are so very welcome, Dian.

I am very glad to hear that he has natural motivation toward exercise. If he has some role models in sports who are advocates of healthy eating/low sugar consumption that may be most influential. Perhaps there is a magazine subscription that might be supportive? I have seen a Men's Health magazine but don't know its content.

All of you can subtly reinforce the level of agency and self-determination that he is exhibiting by focusing on those two things that are fully under his control. Studies show that statements about the person's identity rather than suggested actions are much more effective: For example, "You are a natural athlete. " "You manage your diet better all the time." "You are more your sporty, healthy self every week" "You are such a motivated person."

Having the right external people involved can help get past the motivational roadblocks that can come up. I found that with my husband. A supportive but credible trainer created enthusiasm, accountability and new routines that avoided boredom of doing the same things at the gym. Similarly a doctor he liked who specifically "prescribed" the healthy behaviors led to much better self-policing than my entreaties.

Wishing you all the best. Let us know either way whenever you feel like sharing again.


Ha he seen a neuro psychologist as part of hit rehab they may be more qualified to hrlp

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