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Learning to live with a serious brain injury

pSadManOnBench_shutterstock_113875279-150x150.jpgBrain injuries are often complex and debilitating. Cognitively, a brain injury may cause lingering issues with concentration, memory, reasoning, communication and impulse control. Brain injuries can also produce physical impairments, including sensory losses, pain, muscle weakness and partial paralysis. For most victims, these symptoms can prove highly disabling.

Unfortunately, no treatment can reverse the effects of a brain injury. Some symptoms may naturally improve in time, but other signs and symptoms may persist indefinitely. As a result, brain injury survivors often must make significant lifestyle adjustments, as any Tennessee disability lawyer would agree.

Lifestyle changes

Victims of brain injuries can often benefit from exploring ways to manage or reduce their primary and secondary symptoms. The following approaches may effectively control some symptoms of a severe brain injury:

  • Medication - this can help address various psychological conditions that may accompany a disabling injury, such as depression or anxiety. Medication may also treat physical side effects of a brain injury, including sleep disturbances or seizures.
  • Rehabilitation - rehabilitation may help injury victims maintain the ability to perform self-care routines and other daily tasks. Many brain injury survivors may benefit from physical, language or cognitive therapy.
  • Other support - after severe injuries, many people face emotions such as depression, anxiety and frustration. Counseling, therapy and special support groups may help brain injury victims handle these emotions more effectively.

In addition to proactively pursuing treatment, brain injury victims should recognize when changes are necessary. As a Tennessee disability lawyer could attest, a brain injury can permanently impair a person's ability to perform work, hobbies and family duties. Victims should acknowledge this and work with family, friends or employers to set new expectations and make constructive changes.

Seeking support

Unfortunately, in some cases a brain injury may completely prevent a person from working gainfully. When this occurs, victims can benefit from seeking outside support, such as Social Security Disability benefits.

Brain injury victims may qualify for SSD benefits in various ways. They may show that they have experienced cognitive decline and suffer from marked functional restrictions. Injury victims also may qualify for benefits based on disabling conditions resulting from a brain injury, such as epilepsy or stroke. Finally, brain injury survivors could receive benefits by proving they cannot work gainfully because of the brain injury.

In all of these cases, injury victims must provide adequate documentation of the injury and its effects. As any Tennessee disability lawyer could explain, objective tests can establish the existence and severity of the injury. Medical assessments can highlight the symptoms and limitations the injury causes, along with its long-term prognosis. Finally, third-party descriptions and personal accounts of injury-related impairments can help bolster a person's claim.

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