New Brain Living

learning to live with your new brain


The World Focuses on Brain Issues

By Jean Oostrom

   The world is focusing on brain issues that include traumatic brain injury, depression, bipolar, PTSD and a host of other “buzz” words that describe the mental torment people go through just to exist in our world.

   Before brain issues become last week’s news it is important I write about things that I have learned on my journey to “Mental Wellness”.
   I have written often about “the place where the brain has had enough”, and how it is the loneliest, scariest, darkest place that cannot be described in words. It is a place where nothing makes sense. It is a place where my brain seems to choose to think negative thoughts all on its own, with no regard for the truth, compassion or the hurt it is causing.
   That is when My Brain is like a delinquent child who needs discipline. What have I learned to do during these dark times? I have learned to have direct conversations with that delinquent child brain that sound like this: “You are not going to take me to that dark place” or “Not Today” or “Give me a break….Again? or “I can’t handle this today so please just leave me alone”.

   The fancy scientific name for this process is “neuroplasticity” which simply means “I can train my delinquent child brain to think properly, and sit up and take notice, and make it very clear that the delinquent child brain is not in charge.

   Until we train every individual who treats people with brain issues about “neuroplasticity”, then we will continue to read about how creative people have chosen to “leave this world”, and leave us all of with the question “could I have made a difference”.

   I believe that people who struggle to be mentally well can get better, and can train their brains to help them recover.

   We must include in the conversation that people can recover from brain issues. The person dealing with the brain issues must keep searching for a frontline health professional, who truly believes they can recover from brain issues, and don’t give up until they find one. In 2014 we have the scientific tools and conclusive data that can help with recovery from brain issues, so it is really up to the health services to “change the way people think about their recovery from brain issues”.

   No matter how many people write “you are not alone” those words are not strong enough to combat the loneliness that torments people with brain issues, unless someone tells them they can recover.

My call to action: to provide hope that people with brain issues will find better ways to recover, help people with brain issues to learn to “live with their new brains”, and to encourage people with brain issues to keep asking questions until they find someone who will help them recover.

   What is your call to action on the topic of brain issues?

courtesy Brain Injury Association of Canada 

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