Those of us who do not have a head injury do not understand the difficulties of living in normal society. Life is chaotic, loud, fast, and confusing when you have a head injury. Simply answering a question can be an obstacle and remembering what you were doing continually stops you in your tracks. We wouldn’t expect someone who recently broke their ankle to be able to walk alongside us at our pace, so why should we expect those who have a head injury to be able to do the same?

Civil servants and normal civilians should understand how to handle and speak with someone who has a TBI. Many times those with TBI have sound sensitivities and aren’t as fast processing sentences, therefore speaking soft and slowly gives the person a chance to understand what you are saying and allows them to process this. They may not understand what you are saying right away, so expressing your words in an easier to understand fashion helps. You must be patient.

Head injuries can also cause a change in personality or loss of inhibition, which may create an awkward experience for someone you thought you have known for years who had just incurred a head injury. Yes, they appear to be the same person, but on the inside their brain functioning has been compromised. They may be less likely to partake in the activities they used to and they may be unmotivated to even leave the house. Those without head injuries must understand that people with head injuries may feel alone because their brains cannot allow them to function the way they used to.

TBI survivors will eventually develop their own ways of functioning in this world which may seem different, but this is how they are able to function in normal society. If you know someone with a head injury, remember to be patient and understanding. They are not choosing to behave this way and they may need your help to get better.