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Question
Posted by: Blossom | 2009/11/26

Brain injury

Hi Doc, Seven years ago I was in a motor vehicle accident and suffered serious injuries. Through the whole RAF process, the Surgeon who was referred by by attorney as well as the clinical psychologist seem to think I suffered a brain injury. I am still able to work, and live life, however I suffer from memory loss and also mix my words up and pronounce words wrongly. This occurs mostly at home. At work, i am careful what I say so people dont notice and I say as little as possible. My studies have suffered i.e. I used to pass 4 subjects in one year now am able to do only one and then sometimes I even fail them the first time. I refuse to give up though, even though the psychologist said its a waste of time.

I am 36, with three kids and want a to live a full life, the one I had before. I have also stopped socialising after the accident which happened 7 yrs ago, I prefer to lie down and dont feel like having fun anymore. Sometimes I get scared that I have isolated myself, but its comfortable, safe and secure.
Is there a medication I can take to help boost my memory and help me concentrate better? I have studied so hard and dont want to throw it all away becoz of an accident. I am not impaired and still perform my work quite well, even though I hide the new flaws very well. I look at some of my own work at times and dont recognize it, I forget things, am convinced someone told me something and they didnt or am convinced I never heard of something when someone did in fact tell me. In addition I live with a painfull hip which was dislocated, but that is small compared to the brain stuff.
Any ideas regarding medication, is there something? The surgeon says no, but why should I just give up?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi B,
Having been through a similar experience myself, I can appreciate what you have been experiencing. With some forms of brain damage the losses are gross and obvious to even a petrol pump attendant. But one can still be significantly impaired and handicapped by brain damage with more subtle signs, and the nature of one's work may reveal it. FOr instance, I found after my brain injury that my spelling is far worse than it was - not bad compared with many other adults, but I used to be brilliant at spelling, so the short-fall is noticeable to me.
Its admirable to still want to lead a full life, but never mind such an injury, even with normal aging, one has to keep revising what for you a normal life now is.
Medications available don't usually help to improve our memory and concentration, unless related to a scific and identifiable cause, such as taking particular vitamins when a definite deficiancy of those vitamins has been identified.
What may be even more important, is recognizing meds and factors like alcohol, that can worsen whatever degree of impairment we experience, and avoiding such worsening factors.
And one can work towards doing more with what one has left ( and brain is pretty good, not at regrowing where there has been damage, but at adapting and devising new ways of doing what one once did in a different way. A psychologist with a real interest in rehab could help here

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2009/11/26

With my memory and concentration problems, I' ve used Nootropil in the past. My memory and concentration problems were related to medication use (My ex-shrink prescribed me a very high dose of Rivotril which is highly addictive and for an extended period of time) so I' m not sure whether the Nootropil would work for an injury. It basically works by just utilizing oxygen in the brain more effectively. Perhaps ask your doctor about this and whether it could be used by you.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Maria | 2009/11/26

It certainly sounds as if you had a brain injury and I think you should now work on finding strategies to help you cope and optimally use the abilities you do still have. Your psychologist or an occupational therapist should be able to help you with this.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/26

Hi B,
Having been through a similar experience myself, I can appreciate what you have been experiencing. With some forms of brain damage the losses are gross and obvious to even a petrol pump attendant. But one can still be significantly impaired and handicapped by brain damage with more subtle signs, and the nature of one's work may reveal it. FOr instance, I found after my brain injury that my spelling is far worse than it was - not bad compared with many other adults, but I used to be brilliant at spelling, so the short-fall is noticeable to me.
Its admirable to still want to lead a full life, but never mind such an injury, even with normal aging, one has to keep revising what for you a normal life now is.
Medications available don't usually help to improve our memory and concentration, unless related to a scific and identifiable cause, such as taking particular vitamins when a definite deficiancy of those vitamins has been identified.
What may be even more important, is recognizing meds and factors like alcohol, that can worsen whatever degree of impairment we experience, and avoiding such worsening factors.
And one can work towards doing more with what one has left ( and brain is pretty good, not at regrowing where there has been damage, but at adapting and devising new ways of doing what one once did in a different way. A psychologist with a real interest in rehab could help here

Reply to cybershrink

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