Instead of dealing with your own traumatic brain injury, you may care for a friend or family member in Louisiana who has one. If you choose to devote a great deal of time and energy to providing care for your loved one, learn how being a caregiver impacts your mental and physical health.
Just like suffering a TBI, becoming a caregiver involves a great deal of adjusting. Understand how your new responsibilities may impact you in ways that you never thought about.
While acting as a caregiver, you may choose to take time off work or not spend as much time with your friends and family. Similar to your injured friend or family member, you also need a support system in place during this time. Reach out to people who can support you psychologically as you deal with any mental or emotional issues that may crop up after your loved one’s injury.
Dealing with grief
Touching on the emotional aspect of having a friend or family member suffer a TBI, you may experience a unique type of grief. Rather than mourning a loss of life, you may instead mourn the loss of a quality of life that your loved one enjoyed prior to the injury. Of course, the injury impacts your life and future as well, especially if the person you care for is a spouse or close friend. You may have to completely change your way of life, your job or your role when you become a caregiver.
It is not unusual for caregivers to experience anxiety, social isolation and depression. Some turn to substances and medication to help them cope. This is another reason why it is so essential to have a support system in place; seeing a therapist during this time is another good idea.
Be sure not to neglect your health while acting as caregiver to someone with a TBI. It is undoubtedly noble to care for a person in need, but you should be well-aware of the impact of such a good deed.