Dr. James Kelly discusses NICoE's major focus on helping those with brain injury become independent. To help with that goal the program helps them learn the nature of their problem, what triggers their symptoms, and how they can address those symptoms as they arise.
For veterans there is the unique situation where they won't be preparing to return to duty, but rather make that transition back to civilian life on top of managing the impact of their injury.
Learn more about some of the treatments available for those recovering from brain injury and PTSD using our Treatment Hub.
Watch more videos from Dr. James Kelly.
At NICoE I think that the bigger ... bigger issues really are around how we prepare people to handle things for themselves. The self-efficacy idea. The idea that they're going to be in a one location, not unlike where they are with us at the Marcus Institute, for a short span of time in the grand scheme of things, weeks, and the idea is to have them incorporate what they need to help themselves get better and feel better and maintain that momentum. So a good deal of what happens is having that individual understand the nature of the problems they have, what triggers the symptoms that they have, how they can actually anticipate that as a problem, sometimes even blunt that response, and take control of it under the circumstances. That is, for them, life-changing in many cases. And so that lesson learned at NICoE is what we're actually aiming toward with our Marcus Institute approach, as well. The difference being, in the grand scheme of where they're headed .. they're ... our patients that our veterans are not going back to duty. It's not a return to duty paradigm. It's a transition to civilian life where these people get to be mere mortals like the rest of us after these amazing things that they have done in the military that most of us would never even think of doing or encounter in life. And for them to make the shift in terms of day-to-day life and mindset and relationships and new roles in life and so forth, we're helping with that transition as opposed to the return to duty paradigm the self-monitoring piece of it and the self-efficacy that comes from the training has to do with identifying a trigger that might actually cause a flare-up, an emotional outburst. What it is that that people actually have come to respond to that actually is something they can learn to control. One of them might be a good example of that might be more in the psychological health world, where, in fact, after the war experience and they come back a bag of garbage on the road might be perceived in Maryland as a bomb because it could have been a bomb in Iraq or Afghanistan and it's not where it is on the curb in a suburban neighborhood. But looking at that and then understanding the atmosphere in the environment you're in, and taking an internal introspective and controlling approach to settling down and calming oneself under those circumstances. Once you get into that kind of behavior pattern it actually then becomes the behavior pattern, but it takes actually changing the mindset and organizing a different way of thinking and addressing that stimulus. And it takes a lot of work and a lot of expertise by the staff to help that individual get to that place. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation
James Kelly, MA, MD, FAAN, a neurologist, is one of America’s top experts on treating concussions. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health.