Traumatic brain injury may occur from a number of causes including contact sports, military combat, and automobile accidents. Damage ranges from mild to severe and not only impacts the victim but family and friends. However, public understanding of traumatic brain injury lags far behind emerging brain research and scientific understanding of head trauma’s psychiatric consequences. As a result, too many traumatic brain injury victims are suffering in silence, their mood swings, personality shifts, and cognitive challenges misunderstood by even the people who know them best. A new book, The Traumatized Brain, offers guidance for all involved in regard to understanding mood, memory, and behavior after traumatic brain injury.
Authors Vani Rao, MBBS, MD, and Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, PhD The Traumatized Brain takes the reader inside the injured brain where he or she can begin to recognize how a blow, blast, hemorrhage, skull fracture, oxygen deprivation, pressure or penetration, can: release the brain’s “emotional brakes,” allowing feelings such as depression and aggression to surge; short-circuit the internal biological clock, making a good night’s sleep impossible; interrupt the multi-step process that allows one to form short-term memories; and disrupt brain regions that control pleasure, reward and self-motivation, letting apathy prevail.
Long-term traumatic brain injury such as those listed above can severely impact quality of life; however, the authors bring hope and a scientifically validated approach to healing, as they explain: how traumatic brain symptoms masquerade as other ailments, potentially delaying treatment; how mild, moderate, and severe injuries differ, and what one should expect during the recovery process; how a growing list of drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and stimulants, can restore chemical balance, refocus attention, and ease persistent anxiety; how cognitive behavioral therapy can alleviate unwanted habits; how repeated mild brain injuries (concussions) can add up to major psychiatric problems; how to modify your lifestyle during recovery to avoid situations that trigger TBI symptoms; what family members can do to support healing and keep loved ones safe from potentially dangerous symptoms such as aggression, mania, and suicidal ideation.
The book explains that traumatic brain injury is a whole-family affair, done in tandem with expert help. Brain injuries severely impact lives, wresting control over even the most instinctive behaviors. The Traumatized Brain puts victims and their families back in command: rewiring the brain, reshaping behaviors, inspiring compassion, and restoring one’s sense of self.
The Traumatized Brain: A Family Guide to Understanding Mood, Memory, and Behavior after Brain Injury (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book) is available at this link.