If there’s one thing that the corona virus pandemic is teaching us right now, it’s how difficult it is for us to isolate ourselves or socially distance ourselves from our work, play, recreation, friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors and loved ones. However, for patients who suffer from brain injury, the feelings of intense loneliness, and even depression that such isolation can lead to is almost a way of life.
For more than 80 percent of patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury, there is a dramatic drop in social interaction in the months after a brain injury. Part of this is due to cognitive difficulties. Patients who suffer from a brain injury may also suffer a drop in their cognitive abilities and mental processing faculties, which makes it difficult for them to participate in conversations with others. Part of this also has to do with the kind of personality changes that set in after a traumatic brain injury. A brain injury can increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and the patient may feel that others do not want to include him in their actives. Depression can set in and soon, the patient finds himself leading his life with very limited special interaction. Social interaction for brain injury patients is often limited to caregivers, medical professional and family members.
Psychiatrists advise that social isolation can have a deteriorating effect on the health of brain injury patients. A person with a brain injury is at a high risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, low sense of self-worth and low confidence. All of this affects his ability to recuperate and recover from the debiting effects of the injury. Social isolation of this sort often results in social withdrawal.
If you loved one suffers a brain injury, seek options to help him interact with others. Create opportunities for visits and other sessions that can help the person feel more engaged and stimulated mentally. These options are often not available to all. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about the kind of social engagements that can be arranged for him or her.
Don’t underestimate the importance of feeling happy and calm in spite of the injury. Mood and state of mind can greatly affect the health and recovery of a person who has suffered a brain injury.