Tips for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Caregivers

Taking care of a loved one who is suffering from a TBI or other psychological health conditions can certainly come with its fair share of challenges. While it is wonderful to have your service member back home, it can also be an added difficulty if they begin to exhibit symptoms such as isolation and extreme mood swings. During this time, it’s important to take care of yourself on top of taking care of them. If you aren’t at your best mentally, physically and emotionally, it’s hard to take care of someone else. Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself:

  • Join an online or in-person support group to talk to other people you can relate to. Remember: you’re not alone in this.
  • Don’t bottle up your feelings. Talk to loved ones when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
  • Remember that at the core of who they are, your loved one who is suffering from TBI is still the same person. Don’t resent them, help them.
  • Therapy is a great way to talk about your feelings and seek advice on how to deal with certain situations.
  • Support your service member and make sure they’re getting the help they need. The happier and healthier they are, the happier and healthier you’ll be.
  • Take time out of the day for “me time”, but don’t isolate yourself. Use that time to read a book, exercise, work on a hobby, etc.
  • Learn more about psychological health conditions so you know what to expect and how to offer your service member help and support.
  • If you feel anxious, try different mental and physical exercises to help you find a sense of calm and peace.
  • Treat every day as normally as you can. Go through the motions of your everyday life to maintain sense of consistency and normalcy. Eat healthy meals around the same time every day, maintain a good sleeping schedule, etc.
  • Find activities that you and your service member like to do together. Whether that’s watching your favorite comedy show or taking a walk with your family dog, just be sure that it’s an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
  • If your service member experiences strong mood swings, stay as calm as possible through them. Patience is key.
  • Help them seek treatment for their psychological health conditions. In order to get better, it’s important that your service member receives the treatment they need. Be as encouraging and supportive as you can during this time.

If you have helped a service member during this time, tweet us and let us know what helped you.

Posted on October 5 2015 in Blog

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