Sometimes when professionals deal with mental health problems, there are symptoms which are perplexing, such as unexplained memory problems, word finding difficulties, being suddenly irritable— all of which are out of character either in with respect to therapist view or the patient.
This might be due to a mild brain injury. Keep in mind that a person can have a brain injury without hitting the head, such as whiplash in a car accident. The soft brain bounces against the hard skull thus causing damage to the brain tissue.
Here are 10 questions the professional can ask the patient which are common in mild brain injury.
- Do you have trouble doing things mentally which were much easier before accident?
- Are you much more irritable and impatient than before the accident? Does your spouse complain that you are different now?
- Do you have trouble finding the right word to say?
- Do you have memory problems which were not there before the accident? “Why did I come into this room?”
- Are you over-sensitive to light, sound, motion?
- Do you have poor initiative? “I can’t get started.”
- Do you have sudden unexplained emotions? “This depression comes out of nowhere.”
- Do you have trouble following instructions of several steps?
- Do you have deep fatigue, especially in the afternoon?
- Do you have trouble following conversations in a group?
Over time, the above noted symptoms may soften over time, and may become milder. But because these reflect brain damage, even at a mild level, attention should be made to help the patient understand and change these problems. Often the connection of the accident and these symptoms is not made; knowing the connection can in itself relieve stress.
- If some of these questions are answered “Yes,” you may have a brain injured client on your hands, which makes the case for a mild brain injury more substantial. An evaluation and long term treatment are usually mandatory. First, a neuropsychological evaluation should be done, then a treatment plan for restoring cognitive, emotional and interpersonal functioning.