Feeling Empty

I agree with that - and in almost any TBI the frontal lobes are likely to get damaged. It could be argued that the main purpose of the brain is to detect threats and respond to them, so the habits (safety behaviours) developed post injury can easily become fixed responses to anxiety.
This is a tricky area. It may be useful to think about habits in terms of intentional and non-intentional, but also to distinguish between habits of either kind and learned behavioural responses.

For example, consider note-taking to compensate for poor(er) post-TBI memory. It all sounds easy - just take a pen and notebook with you everywhere and write everything down.

Problem number is remembering to take both of them with you. Weelll, if circumstances allow buy another. Problem 1 a - growing collection of notebooks. Could be mitigated by having a disciplined regime of checklists and copying any new notebooks out at the end of the day. Except, of course, this kind of organization can be difficult if prospective memory is damaged or standard TBI fatigue sets in. Consequence is that such habits are hard to make but easy to break.

Problem 2 is remembering that you need to take notes. Then there's remembering you've got note making material with you. And even then, attentional problems can kick in - you can either attend to note taking or keep track of what you're listening to / observing; doing both is an adjunct of successful note-taking, but a TBI can make this very difficult. An additional problem with notes is that abbreviations and terse comments may make sense at the time, but can be utterly meaningless later on, especially if you have little to no memory of even being there when you took them.

Not that neurotypicals don't have most of these problems, but there can be a profound difference in both the frequency and scale by of such things. However, the main point is that a good note-taking habit can be almost impossible to create with some form of external backup / motivation. As implied earlier, about the only thing that becomes habituated is not taking notes!

The behavioural aspects can creep in through reaction to failure to create effective habits. The constant failures can be frustrating and further contribute to low self-assessment. It can be especially problematic if the TBI is undiagnosed and you are unaware of the reasons why it's such a problem, which can lead to yet further demotivation. Knowledge of a TBI is a double-edged sword; ignorance is bliss sometimes because you think a bit of extra effort will crack the problem and you just innocently stag on or, alternatively it can lead to increased demoralisation because you keep failing and think you're just stupid. Similarly knowledge can help by stopping you heating your head against a brick wall and to find other ways around a problem, or it can make you feel even more despondent and worthless. Being human, most individuals will probably swing between such feelings, anyway. Isolation isn't so much a habit as a learned behaviour.


The injured child faces the additional problems of rejection by their peer group, which means their opportunities to develop things like social skills are limited. Add to that a bullying culture and ignorant teachers...
Indeed.

It's not necessarily during childhood that significant problems will start to occur, you may still be able to get along with school friends and sort of cope with the lower work, admin demands, and the more structured environment. It's when getting out into the adult world that things gang awry: less structure, new social demands, and a domestic life to organise in all of its tedious detail.




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Yokel

LE
Why would you want to pretend to be happy...or sad or whatever?
One of the advantages of not haveing a social life is that you don't have to put on a face for anyone.
From what you write, everything seems to be getting you down and consequently it all looks bad.
You owe it to yourself to make the effort to try and look at things objectively - to prevent your perspective becoming one big downer for you.
My problem is just being swamped and not having an outlet for frustrations.

Christmas is largely an invented concept, and doesn't have to be a big deal. Treat it as such and don't measure your happiness against others'.
I am with the folks, and have a role as a carer. I like a lot of aspects of Christmas but not all

I do not measure my happiness against that of others so much as against what might have been.

This is a tricky area. It may be useful to think about habits in terms of intentional and non-intentional, but also to distinguish between habits of either kind and learned behavioural responses.

For example, consider note-taking to compensate for poor(er) post-TBI memory. It all sounds easy - just take a pen and notebook with you everywhere and write everything down.

Problem number is remembering to take both of them with you. Weelll, if circumstances allow buy another. Problem 1 a - growing collection of notebooks. Could be mitigated by having a disciplined regime of checklists and copying any new notebooks out at the end of the day. Except, of course, this kind of organization can be difficult if prospective memory is damaged or standard TBI fatigue sets in. Consequence is that such habits are hard to make but easy to break.

Problem 2 is remembering that you need to take notes. Then there's remembering you've got note making material with you. And even then, attentional problems can kick in - you can either attend to note taking or keep track of what you're listening to / observing; doing both is an adjunct of successful note-taking, but a TBI can make this very difficult. An additional problem with notes is that abbreviations and terse comments may make sense at the time, but can be utterly meaningless later on, especially if you have little to no memory of even being there when you took them.

Not that neurotypicals don't have most of these problems, but there can be a profound difference in both the frequency and scale by of such things. However, the main point is that a good note-taking habit can be almost impossible to create with some form of external backup / motivation. As implied earlier, about the only thing that becomes habituated is not taking notes!

The behavioural aspects can creep in through reaction to failure to create effective habits. The constant failures can be frustrating and further contribute to low self-assessment. It can be especially problematic if the TBI is undiagnosed and you are unaware of the reasons why it's such a problem, which can lead to yet further demotivation. Knowledge of a TBI is a double-edged sword; ignorance is bliss sometimes because you think a bit of extra effort will crack the problem and you just innocently stag on or, alternatively it can lead to increased demoralisation because you keep failing and think you're just stupid. Similarly knowledge can help by stopping you heating your head against a brick wall and to find other ways around a problem, or it can make you feel even more despondent and worthless. Being human, most individuals will probably swing between such feelings, anyway. Isolation isn't so much a habit as a learned behaviour.




Indeed.

It's not necessarily during childhood that significant problems will start to occur, you may still be able to get along with school friends and sort of cope with the lower work, admin demands, and the more structured environment. It's when getting out into the adult world that things gang awry: less structure, new social demands, and a domestic life to organise in all of its tedious detail.




Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk
A lot of things to reply to, but I can say it is social interaction that is the problem far beyond anything else.

Regarding your last point you forget how judgemental and nasty kids can be.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
I am with the folks, and have a role as a carer. I like a lot of aspects of Christmas but not all

I do not measure my happiness against that of others so much as against what might have been.
Do "the folks" have any idea of your feelings? (I realise this might not be a helpful question). The point is - most of the difficulties you are describing are ones of perception only. The record is stuck. Time to change it. Do something - anything! - different.
 
Going on from the above, we are all creatures of habit. Break the habit. I do not say this lightly, and when you are on the treadmill it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees. In many ways, modern life Is designed like this. Workplaces keep people in place through fear of losing their position and salary, and inertia wins the day.
Sounds glib, and I’m no counsellor, but you can do it. Start with a small act, and see how it goes.
 
@Yokel There have been lots of suggestions that you break routine or do something out of habit however small. You need a creative outlet, perhaps tiny acts of rebellion. Nothing bad just stuff like wearing different socks. One can be black and the other very, very dark blue. Have something slightly different with your food. If you have a sandwich. open it and put some crisps in it. Put a sticker on the underside of your shoe. You know it's there but nobody else does.
 
I have been there - had CBT and antidepressants but I am over the worst. This is more a long term feeling.
One of the problems that having a limited social life can bring is, unfortunately, a tendency to introspect on the negative and that also includes filtering out the good things that happen, especially in a world where the media seem to revel in the negative and trivialise the good. Indeed, it's possible that one becomes numbed to even the good as a side effect of dealing with the pain of negativity - denial of pleasure because it hurts when it's taken away.

Perhaps it may be worth actively looking around the world for things that show just bloody fantastic people can be, either in terms of their behaviour or their skills. It'll probably be very difficult to feel anything in the short-term, but the more you do it, then the greater the chance that it will start to break through.

Even looking at garden wildlife and trying to track the individual animals can provide some positives - I quite looking at our squirrel to see what adventures it gets into or watching our jaunty blackbird bouncing around like he owns the place.

Two important things are to keep doing it regardless of current mood, and to not let any negative events colour your views - try to tune them out if only for a few minutes.

In a word - acceptance. I have a (mild if understood) disability than makes social interaction harder, as I am clumsy. This is all assessed and explained, but even showing people clinical reports does not stop people jumping to conclusions. I have also been the subject of malicious rumours.
Tai Chi (the short form) might be worth a look. I've got spinal damage that can cause stability problems, but although Tai Chi has its demands, they're not particularly onerous and you can take your time learning the various moves. If you concentrate on the moves, again even for a short time, it's a way to start removing your attention from extraneous thoughts. If you have attentional deficits resulting from your TBI, then you may find that an active process, such as Tai Chi, better for taking your mind off things than a passive one (such as some forms of Yoga) that has a more meditational aspect.

On a personal level - I am trying to get private Physiotherapy for my Stroke disabled Mother. I look after her funds for her, but she wants to keep them for a mobility scooter, but she needs to progress for that to be feasible. She insists the Attendence Allowance should pay for that. My father is her main carerr, but at the moment it is hard to get him to talk about anything other than BREXIT.
Hope it all gets better in the aftermath of the GE.

I also get the sense that because I was no good at sport etc at school (was recovering from a severe brain injury) I have always been seen as a defective version of my brother. He might have run a few marathons and the UTMB, but I got a degree and have done degree level work.
Unfortunately, I have nothing to offer beyond the normal advice to focus on a positive every time a negative thought pops into your mind. If it was easy, though, I'm sure you and millions of other would already have done it. Regrettably, it is a matter of learning to be at least neutral about one's limitations.

Tai Chi has helped me regain some of the balance that I'd lost, so perhaps it might aid with some aspects of your clumsiness - usual caveat about "might not work for others". You also get the opportunity to meet with and talk to other people without the pressure to actually socialise.
 
I found another interesting route to interracting with people on a personal level - something you could start right now even. I registered on a language exchange site, where you can teach / facilitate practice to people from all over the globe that want to learn/improve their proficiency in your mother tongue (English?). Likewise, you can choose any language / culture / country that you want to learn about and approach people. The site is called Mylanguageexchange.com.
I just had a quick look and it scared me rigid! :eek:

I'm interested in learning Russian, but, suka blyat, I'm still stuck in Russian 001 whereas most the Russian-speakers who came up on the site search looked like their English was better than mine!
 

Yokel

LE
Do "the folks" have any idea of your feelings? (I realise this might not be a helpful question). The point is - most of the difficulties you are describing are ones of perception only. The record is stuck. Time to change it. Do something - anything! - different.
I am not sure they do - and I have a sense of being the 'also ran', despite having gone a lot further with education than my brother and having work dark blue - albeit part time. I have a sense that I have been seen simply as a defective version of my brother.

It seems they thought school and growing up would be the same for me as they were for him, and that any differences were down to my choices. They do not know about everything that happened at school.
.
Part of it is the deep frustration that I have not been to achieve my potential.
 
Part of it is the deep frustration that I have not been to achieve my potential.
Yes, that's a difficult cross to bear. I'm afraid that the only thing to do is to learn to put that potential in the past and focus on your actual capabilities. And that's a difficult thing to do, especially when you see reminders all around you of what even the less-able undamaged people can do. The only advice I can offer is to distract your thoughts when they stray in that direction, and seek advice from an organisation such as Headway.

Have you looked at Headway's HealthUnlocked online community? Sometimes it can be helpful to see that your problems are real or just chat to people with similar injuries.


Plus, keep pestering your GP every now and again to see if there's any treatment available. The medical world is advancing in their knowledge and treatment of brain injuries, and some new options may become available over time.
 

Yokel

LE
No treatment is possible. Earlier this year I had something of an update to an earlier assessment from 2012, conducted by an expert. His stark conclusions were that because I was not rehabilitated as a child I lost certain functions permanently.

My real frustration is twofold:

1. Despite the impairments I am still an intelligent and capable person, but that is a very difficult message to get across to people like potential employers.

2. Post injury I was left out at school and have never caught up with peers in terms of social development. Again that can be explained, but needs people to listen.

The problem is people love cliques and being able to exclude others. Add to that people spreading malicious rumours to cover up their own failings.

My GP is looking into social things that might help, but really no treatment is possible. There might be social things I could do, and if I needed it CBT and talking therapies, but as for the injury, I carry an invisible wound. I get misjudged because of it, yet explaining it results in being accused of making it up.
 

Yokel

LE
Surprisingly perhaps Christmas has mostly been alright. I do actually like the central themes of Christmas, eating too much (lots of fruit and veg as well though), helping the folks etc. I could do with someone to talk to though - who will not try to dismiss my issues, tell me that events that cause me problems 'did not matter', and so on.

One thing that grinds away at me as the way my father will talk over me and seems to talk to anyone in preference to me. I am not a defective version of my brother and have a different set of skills and abilities. Nor did he have to deal with being injured and all the crap associated with it. It really pisses me off when he talks about my brother and what he did (not much actually) at school and seems to have no idea what it was like for me. It was the root of my tendency towards anxiety and self sabotage.

Bah!
 
Surprisingly perhaps Christmas has mostly been alright. I do actually like the central themes of Christmas, eating too much (lots of fruit and veg as well though), helping the folks etc. I could do with someone to talk to though - who will not try to dismiss my issues, tell me that events that cause me problems 'did not matter', and so on.

One thing that grinds away at me as the way my father will talk over me and seems to talk to anyone in preference to me. I am not a defective version of my brother and have a different set of skills and abilities. Nor did he have to deal with being injured and all the crap associated with it. It really pisses me off when he talks about my brother and what he did (not much actually) at school and seems to have no idea what it was like for me. It was the root of my tendency towards anxiety and self sabotage.

Bah!
From personal experience ...... Try doing things that you can succeed at. Small things at first and then build on them. Small things that give a little pleasure or which are absorbing. Small things that you can succeed at which will build confidence. If concentration is an issue don't try to force yourself, for example, to read books as, in the short term, impaired ability to concentrate leads to frustration. If you have space, try growing vegetables. You can get a lot of satisfaction seeing things grow. It takes time, but one step at a time.
 
Further..... I used growing veg just as an example. Another thing to do is get out of the frustrating environment for an hour or two every day and take a walk in a park or anywhere that there is greenery. Green is a very therapeutic colour and exercise does help. Painting things like small models can be absorbing too but don't doit if a lack of concentration makes it frustrating. Choose simple things that you can go back to and that you can finish. That way you can build confidence.
 

Yokel

LE
I face a number of challenges this year, one of which is sorting my fitness out so I will be out running or at least walking down a trusty country lane. I spent part of New Year's Eve walking up and down Tors on Dartmoor. It has been a disappointing decade. One of the things I have learnt is that people are reluctant to own up to their failings.

If nothing else I still have my integrity. I am going to need it.
 
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Further..... I used growing veg just as an example. Another thing to do is get out of the frustrating environment for an hour or two every day and take a walk in a park or anywhere that there is greenery. Green is a very therapeutic colour and exercise does help. Painting things like small models can be absorbing too but don't doit if a lack of concentration makes it frustrating. Choose simple things that you can go back to and that you can finish. That way you can build confidence.
All true but he wants to engage with people too, which is why volunteering for something outdoors might help.
 
I face a number of challenges this year, one of which is sorting my fitness out so I will be out running or at least walking down a trusty country lane. I spent part of New Year's Eve walking up and down Tors on Dartmoor.

If nothing else I still have my integrity. I am going to need it.
Are there any orienteering or rambling clubs you could try?
 
All true but he wants to engage with people too, which is why volunteering for something outdoors might help.
Well, he should engage then. The key is to do things that he can succeed at.
 
Meetup is an app that helps you connect with other people to do things like cultural activities, trips to the pub/restaurant, sports events etc. You sign up to what interests you in the knowledge that everyone else there also wants to socialise and make friends. Great way of expanding your horizons, making friends and it is quite active in the SW.

Meetup
 
No treatment is possible. Earlier this year I had something of an update to an earlier assessment from 2012, conducted by an expert. His stark conclusions were that because I was not rehabilitated as a child I lost certain functions permanently.

My real frustration is twofold:

1. Despite the impairments I am still an intelligent and capable person, but that is a very difficult message to get across to people like potential employers.

2. Post injury I was left out at school and have never caught up with peers in terms of social development. Again that can be explained, but needs people to listen.

The problem is people love cliques and being able to exclude others. Add to that people spreading malicious rumours to cover up their own failings.

My GP is looking into social things that might help, but really no treatment is possible. There might be social things I could do, and if I needed it CBT and talking therapies, but as for the injury, I carry an invisible wound. I get misjudged because of it, yet explaining it results in being accused of making it up.
You're a braver man than I - just writing so eloquently is a good sign I think.

I hope the New Year brings happier times for you as you richly deserve them.
 

Yokel

LE
Meetup is an app that helps you connect with other people to do things like cultural activities, trips to the pub/restaurant, sports events etc. You sign up to what interests you in the knowledge that everyone else there also wants to socialise and make friends. Great way of expanding your horizons, making friends and it is quite active in the SW.

Meetup
Thank you - I will look into that.The trouble is I have no idea what I like doing!

You're a braver man than I - just writing so eloquently is a good sign I think.

I hope the New Year brings happier times for you as you richly deserve them.
Thank you. Obviously making progress with helping the folks sorting out things to get Mum out and about will do everyone a huge amount of good - including me. It has been painfully slow and has often made me feel guilty at not doing more.

I am not brave - just frustrated. The quote from the Bible in my signature block seems apt - people can jump to the wrong conclusions, not helped by malicious rumours spread to cover up there own wrongful actions.
 

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