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Recovery & Support : Recovery

Emotional Challenges

No one can truly know what you are feeling or what you have gone through, because each experience is unique. However, other survivors have had some or all of the following emotional experiences, during their recovery. Brain aneurysms, hemorrhage, and brain surgery are traumatic occurrences. Whether it is the lack of memory of the incident that is scaring you, or concerns for your future capabilities, you have been through a life-altering experience. It is okay to be frightened, but know, that you are not alone. There are people who want to help you, support you, and listen.

An important part of the recovery process and healing is maintaining a positive mindset. The patient needs to stay focused on healing, being positive, maintaining a healthy diet, getting back to exercise as allowed by the physician, and being with friends and family.

Depression


This is very common to all survivors, whether you suffered a ruptured aneurysm or were treated for an unruptured aneurysm. Some of it may be chemical, while another part may be physical. Going through this type of illness can be a traumatic and life-changing event for many people. It can bring about positive and negative changes in people, and many times depression results from this. There is no need to suffer in silence.

Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about life. It is not simply a passing blue mood or a sudden feeling of sadness that goes away as quickly as it came.

Many brain aneurysm survivors suffer from depression as a result of this traumatic event. Because one's lifestyle has been changed, and the ability to do things they used to be able to do has changed, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can occur. Treatment, a combination of medication and therapy, can help survivors deal with depression and feel better.



You and your family should advocate for neurological testing by a neuropsychiatrist. If not that, you should make every effort to see a neuropsychologist who can help you deal with the depression. They can determine what the best course of treatment is, recommend therapists, and help you conquer this sadness. 



Survivors who exhibit some or all of these symptoms should seek help:

  • Mood swings
  • Constant feelings of sadness, anxiousness, or emptiness
  • Pessimistic outlook on life
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Forgetfulness
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Physical ailments, like headaches and digestive problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

You need to openly share your concerns and your feelings with someone close to you as well as with a medical professional that understands your condition. Having to depend on others during your recovery and losing a sense of independence can interfere with your confidence, but know that it does get better over time.

Your daily life may be affected by mental and physical fatigability. Intolerance to being rushed, to groups of people, to small children, to lack of order or routine, and to normal sound levels are common complaints. It is difficult to measure these problems objectively, and they can compromise personal relationships and employment. Family relationships may suffer, and intimate relationships may be affected by lack of libido. Patience and time are your two best allies to the success of your recovery. No one should suffer alone, so seek help.

Loss of Emotional Control

Most survivors experience temporary loss of control over emotions. In some cases, the brain has been injured, and this can cause some changes to a person's emotional state. This can manifest itself in anger, frustration, and lashing out at oneself and others. Confusion about the trauma is common, so talk about it to your family and friends. If it becomes too difficult to deal with it alone, seek counseling.

Lowered Self-Esteem


Changes in your self-image and self-confidence as a result of new physical and mental limitations may occur. You need to talk to your family, doctor, and therapist about how you feel and how to deal with the "new" you. You are not any less capable of leading a normal life. It is just going to take adjusting to your surroundings and time to heal.


Insomnia or Difficulty Sleeping


Many survivors voice concerns about changes in their sleeping patterns. Some people sleep all day, while others do not sleep at all. There could be many reasons why sleep has been affected, both emotional and physical reasons. You should talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping, especially if it becomes a real problem.

Relationship Issues — for you, your family, and your friends



Loneliness — feeling different, being isolated for long periods of time