Healing Your Relationships After a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can be exhausting and challenging to make a relationship work as is. Even with all the determination, love and passion in the world, it will never make things the same as before, but maybe that is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s possible to heal and even grow closer together as a result of the experience.

Communication

Maintaining an open dialogue with a loved one is essential to having a healthy relationship, but a traumatic brain injury can effectively drive a wedge between the two of you. While speech impediments, slurring, slower reactivity, and anxiety are difficult to deal with, don’t give up on having meaningful interactions with one another! Development of patience and a willingness to really listen can go a long way. In addition, the individual with a TBI will likely also need more time to process information and come up with a response, so be sure to respect that.

Handling Stress and Frustration

There should always be mutual respect for the individual with TBI as well as their limitations. When frustrated or upset, it’s important that their injury and current mental state is never outright blamed – negativity will only socially isolate and discourage them. The last thing you want is for them to feel like a burden, so when dealing with a disagreement or a stressful issue together, remain calm and compassionate. Equal footing can ensure a healthier relationship where both sides feel valued!

Optimism

Times like these can make it harder to put on a happy face and make the most of everyday life. However, the present situation can actually help you appreciate the little things in life by focusing on what really matters and putting the noise of the world on hold. Games, exciting day trips, wonderful new memories, and laughter are very much possible, more so if you inject some newfound optimism and focus on the bright side. It takes practice but, before long, today’s struggles and stress triggers will pale in comparison to the positive aspects of life together!

A TBI diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of the life you cherish. Instead, face this challenge together and stay focused on how much your partner means to you. For more information, consult this list of local brain injury associations in Ontario for counselling and other handy resources. And, if you need in-home care assistance to make adjusting to the change more manageable, we can help at Qualicare Waterloo! Reach out to us today for more info.

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