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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Modern day life runs at full speed. It’s like we are all trying to be the Usain  Bolt of the domestic world. But for me, trying to be quicker causes more problems. My brain injury means I have a new processing speed – snails pace. So if I try to do something that is new to me too quickly, it never ends well. I miss details, get confused, and start panicking that I am too stupid.

I know I’m not stupid, but that still doesn’t help.

The other day my website went down for a long time. Initially I thought it was because Bluehost were doing maintenance so I just had to wait. But that wasn’t the case so I needed them to find the fault for me. Using the online chat function, I asked for help and they quickly resolved it. I was impressed, and thought it would be a good idea to ask what happened in case I needed to know for the future.

That was my first mistake.

They tried to explain what had happened and how they resolved it. But as this was via the chat function, we were typing our responses.  Which is fine, as long as you read it properly, which I didn’t.

I misread it as instructions of what I still needed to do. (Seeing as they were only telling me because I asked, I have no idea how I got to that.) So I was asking where to find these things. As the person was most likely confused why I was asking such things, their replies were not descriptive enough for me to see where to locate them. But as I was thinking they were waiting for me to do an action, I was trying my hardest to be quick.

Panicking whilst skim reading spells disaster.

This all happened because I didn’t pay enough attention to the details. I was skim reading, so I was picking up the “headlines” but missing the context. Skim reading is something that I have always done, and I was good at it before. OK I would make a few errors, but I would soon notice what the problem was. But now, because I can have such rigid thinking, I can’t begin to see what I’ve missed.

My panicking resulted in frustration, so I was talking to the computer about how I couldn’t see what I was looking for. James heard me, and came to help. Just then the person online took the opportunity to end the chat session. He must have been worried he would be there all day, when it had only taken him 2 minutes to solve the problem. But James calmly pointed out to me what this poor chap had been trying to explain.

Here’s my resolution to try to change my behaviour:

  • Read aloud. It’s not possible to skim read when you are reading something out word for word.
  • Stop assuming things.
  • Go back and check again to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Take deep breaths to remain calm and avoiding panicking.
  • Stop trying to second guess what impression the other person is getting of you.

I’ve acknowledge before about my processing speed in Can’t think fast enough and my lack of concentration in Distracted after brain injury. Feeling dejected, so I should know by now. Adapting to such fundamental changes is difficult, but not impossible. I found How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science), which explains how we can change ingrained behaviours. I’m sure that a brain injury makes it significantly harder, but I need to put in the effort.

My plan to calm down as my brain injury leaves me panicking when under pressure.
When I'm trying to be quick at following instructions I end up panicking. My brain injury has slowed me down, so I miss details & end up in a fluster. But I have a plan......

Does your brain injury affect you in a similar way? Have you found it possible to stop yourself panicking when under pressure?


4 replies on “Panicking impedes learning after brain injury”

Luv, it’s not brain injury related. It’s we don’t all know or speak ‘Tech-Geek!’ I’m always on the phone using my eyesight as my excuse for I know where it is if you tell me what it looks like. Don’t call it some fancy ass name only people with a MIT degree know. Just tell them to go slowly…..Chees,H(P.S. I exaggerate)

Yes I do accept communication and terminology did come into it. But I still would have handled that more competently before. (I don’t think I’m kidding myself when I say that.)

Yes Michelle, we are told so often that we ALL do or can’t understand whatever it is, people are trying to be kind and are using THEIR experience/s and their excuses/reasons to explain away & to apply to ours which nobody without a brain injury can really do – but we/they don’t understand at all really until our brain is injured = you know! I KNOW we all forget X and bump into Y and can’t understand everything – but (as you know) with brain injury it’s nearly ALL the time & everywhere & of all sorts, not just occasional isolated incidents, plus (as you know & describe so well), it affects EVERY facet of our lives & is EXHAUSTING. I didn’t know before & almost nobody does until we have to live with it ourselves or are very close to a person/people who do. Thank you for trying to explain so people don’t unwittingly belittle our lives/experiences & difficulties.

Thanks Jenny, I do hope that the now we talk about our experiences, the more we raise awareness and understanding

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