Grief Associated with Concussions, Brain Injuries and other catastrophic injuries
By Melissa Burton| November 4th, 2020
Many people only think of grief being the emotion we feel as a result of the death of someone close to us. However grief can be identified in many situations which someone experiences loss. Life experiences such as a move, loss of employment or the ending of a relationship can evoke the sorrow one experiences with grief. Concussions, brain injuries and other debilitating health issues lead to experiences of loss and grief.
When someone becomes disabled either temporarily or permanently there are going to be experiences of loss. As mentioned previously, we may lose our employment. This can trigger feelings of grief for several reasons. One, you may have really enjoyed your job and the people you worked with. Second, when we lose our employment it usually leads to some loss of income, resulting in an abrupt change of lifestyle to meet our basic needs. Finally, when we lose our employment we can lose our sense of self worth. Being productive and accomplishing tasks daily is rewarding for humans. Some people find when they can no longer feel like a contributing member of society they lose their sense of purpose.
Concussions and brain injuries often cause one to lose their independence. You may require support for physical personal care or need someone to drive you to the places you want to go. When you need to rely on others for activities you use to do on your own, you can experience grief related to your loss of independence. We lose the freedoms we used to enjoy of being able to do things independently.
Finally, when we sustain a significant injury our abilities to maintain our social connections are affected. Symptoms prevent us from engaging in the same social activities we used to, such as sports and hobbies. Our marriages, friendships and social connections are weakened by our disabilities and which may lead to loss of these relationships. When we lose someone either due to death or emotional distance the grief can be felt just as intensely.
When we lose our sense of purpose, our power and control and rewarding relationships, we feel deep sorrow and grieve for the person we used to be and so desperately want to quickly recover to our old selves. We need to label the strong emotions we endure and label the grief. It may be true that grief gets easier with time, if you are finding it difficult to cope with the losses and grief associated with concussions and brain injuries be brave and reach out for help. Join a support group or find a counselling service in your area.