The Importance of Sharing Stories and Ideas with Others Like You with TBI

It is powerful — and important for recovery — for people with TBI to hear and share their stories and coping mechanisms with each other after brain injury. Retired Navy Commander Bernadette Semple shares her experiences.

I think in TBI, not only do people don't think something is wrong with you, you don't think anything is wrong with you. But they know you're acting weird. Right? You come in and everybody is like there's nothing wrong with me. I don't know why I'm here. There is nothing wrong with me. Then as you go through the progess, you see them change, and everybody's eyes just open up like oh my God. Yeah. Just being able to hear everybody's story, and the way they phase it at Mount Sinai is that you have people who are brand new, people who are in the middle of their program, and people at the end. To hear the stories and to be able to identify, yeah I did that. It's so powerful to meet other TBI patients, and to inspire them, to encourage them, to hear their stories, for them to hear yours, coping mechanisms, programs that are out there to help them so that they can get better and go back to living their lives in whatever capacity that's going to be. It's very, very powerful. They've become very, very good friends of mine at the NICoE, as well as all of the staff. They are always there to help you. At the NICoE you can always go back there any time you need to. Whatever you need they're there to help you. The same at Mount Sinai. I still was able to call my neuropsychologist and things when there were some things that I was dealing with and wanted to check and see if I am tracking this thing the right way. If I am feeling about this if it makes sense. The help has been immense, just immense. But it's always good to see other soldiers and sailors and the other patients with TBI, because I think that's what helps everyone.
Posted on BrainLine October 5, 2012.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Ashley Gilleland, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.