An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) may be the outcome of a stroke or degenerative neurological condition, a traumatic blow, an infection, hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), or substance misuse. Dr Amanda White Psychologist discusses the way it can impact on the life of an individual and their family and friends, and how psychological support can help.
The brain is incredibly complex. This phenomenal organ is the centre of our human nervous system; it coordinates our physical body, our thoughts and awareness, how we feel and communicate, as well as our social behaviours.
Understandably, brain injury can be a life-altering event. This is true not only for the person who has suffered the injury, but also for their friends and loved ones. The good news is that the majority of people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) can benefit from a range of therapies that foster behavioural change, resilience, and hope for the future.
Importantly, because specific brain regions oversee specific functions, the effects of an ABI are determined not only by the severity of the injury, but also by the region damaged. As every brain is subtly different, each ABI is unique. This means a person with an ABI will deal with an entirely unique set of functional deficits
Adjusting to an ABI
Following an ABI, the individual may understandably deal with such issues as psycho-social adjustment, stress, anxiety, grief, and depressed mood.
Capacity to cope and emotional resilience are often valuable areas to develop in the face of ongoing life challenges. As the degree of change experienced by a person who has suffered an ABI can vary greatly, it is important to assess capacity. Assessment ensures that an appropriate treatment plan and appropriate goals are set in place. Areas for a functional assessment may include intellectual functioning, memory, mental health, and life skills.
ABI can result in a wide spectrum of changes to a person’s functioning. Following an ABI there may be a decline in physical, sensory, emotional, and/or cognitive abilities. Such changes may be temporary or long-lasting.
In addition, complex and challenging new behaviours may result from an ABI. This may affect a person’s work, social, or home life. Just as with the injury itself, how someone manages these changes is as individual as their personality or their lifestyle, with no two people walking the same journey toward recovery.
A tailored plan of psychological services may be the support needed for this sometimes devastating and difficult transition into life with ABI. At M1 Psychology, we have qualified psychologists who are both experienced and available to assist with evidence-based treatment.
Author: Dr Amanda White, PhD, B Psych (Hons), B Beh Sc, DipH, MAPS.
Amanda is not currently taking bookings, however, we have a number of clinicians available for bookings. To make an appointment please visit our webpage here to learn about our highly qualified clinicians, or call M1 Psychology Loganholme on (07) 3067 9129.