Moods


DEAR PAT:

I am a 29-year-old woman who recently suffered a mild stroke. Is it normal to go through severe depression after a mild stroke?

DEAR PAT:

I am looking for any information on help for a person with traumatic brain injury who has aggressive, violent episodes. The individual is now 39, was 6 when accident occurred. He is falling through the system, difficult placement due to behaviors. But behaviors are not all the time. There is a great person trapped. Would like to be able to offer parents hope. Also are there any support groups for the parents of traumatic brain injury?

DEAR PAT:

Ten years ago my husband had a brain aneurysm followed by two strokes. The doctors told me his whole brain was full of blood. In the last few years, he has had spells of memory loss, confusion, and agitation. He cannot do everyday normal work. In the last year, he has gotten much worse. He has become very violent and has told me he will kill me when I’m asleep. He is paranoid. When he was in the hospital, they said he was fine and his EEGs were normal. His answers to most of the things they asked him were wrong. He tells them about events that have not happened. I am not safe in my own house. I don’t know what to do anymore.

DEAR PAT:

Since my brain injury 2 years ago, I have had many problems that will not go away. I feel depressed and angry most of the time. I get very impatient with people. It’s difficult for me to concentrate and I’m often forgetful. I couldn’t keep up at work and I lost my job 6 months ago. Since then, I haven’t felt like being around people much at all. The only people I have to talk to are my children. Even they don’t understand what I’m going through. They keep telling me to “get over it” and find another job. So far, I haven’t been able to do either one of those things. I feel too sad and irritable to even think about working. I finally broke down and told my doctor about how I’ve been feeling lately. She started me on Prozac last month. I feel a little better, but I’m still having a pretty hard time. What else can I do to start feeling better? Are there people out there who will believe that my problems are not imaginary?

                                                         --“All in my head” in Hanover 

Our 26-year-old daughter was badly hurt in a motorcycle accident 3 years ago. She broke a leg and both arms, had bruises from head to toe, and had a massive brain hemorrhage. There was a time when we didn’t think she would make it. Luckily, she had great surgeons that literally saved her life. We were filled with hope during her quick physical recovery. What has been most difficult has been watching her mental struggle with the effects of a brain injury. Even after all this time, she still forgets everyday things, has trouble keeping up with conversations, and gets tired so fast. 

Since she was discharged from the hospital and finished treatment, my husband and I have been taking care of her at home. We love our daughter very much and would do anything to help her get better. I have noticed, though, that her temper is much shorter since the accident. She argues with my husband about everything. In her defense, my husband likes to tell her what to do and how to do things. I think he has a hard time letting her make her own decisions and mistakes. I know my daughter is growing more angry and resentful about the way she is being treated. What can I do, Pat, to keep the peace at home between my daughter and husband?

DEAR PAT:

I have a friend who had a serious brain injury last year. She fell off the horse she was riding and was knocked completely out. I'm glad I was riding with her that day so I could go find help. We got her to the hospital right away. They said she was in a coma from her injury. She spent several weeks at the hospital and slowly got better. When she went home, we threw a big party for her, but it didn't seem to cheer her up much. It's been months since the injury, and she still seems sad all the time. Whenever I ask her to do things with me, she puts me off mostly. I have to insist before she'll even go out to see a movie or eat lunch with me. This isn't like her at all to be so isolated and down.

What can I do to help my friend when she won't even talk to me about what's wrong?

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