Wondering if it is just me or another symptom of BI. since my injury I seem to be paranoid about things that in the back of my mind seem very unlikely to occur, but the feeling of fear is there none the less. This was something that was a major factor in my separation from my wife and family. Every thing is out to get us ad so forth.. this was so not me, the risk taker willing to try everything and any thing ,let conspiracy theories roll of my back like water from a ducks. but not so much any more..Is this a common symptom of a TBI or something else? Thanks
Yes! Yes! Yes! That is a symptom of TBI. There is a long discussion somewhere on this site where we were all talking about anxiety and TBI.
The suggestions I can give you that have turned it around for me are:
Finding a good rehab TBI doctor - a physiatrist - who then referred me to two others: 1) a Rehab Psychiatrist that specializes in TBI and 2) a psychologist who also specializes in TBI for therapy.
I underline the specializes in TBI because it matters hugely! Our paranoia/anxiety is caused by brain trauma - not by troubled childhoods, etc. The medications that should be used to help ease the TBI induced anxiety are different than what is usually used for psychological problems in the non-injured brain. And you have to have someone who understands how they may/will effect other symptoms caused by the TBI. For instance, the medications I take which work great for me, cannot be taken by someone who also is having seizures.
Medication and therapy BOTH can help and they are tremendously powerful together.
Have you read the bookThe Brain that Changes Itselfby Norman Doidge? It is out on audiobook as well as book, kindle, etc. It is a book about Neuroplasticity and how the brain remaps. A very good read. And a life changing book for us survivors.
What you are going to need to do, in regards to the paranoia/anxiety is remap that area of your brain. That is what medications and therapy will help you with. Your TBI has caused that area of your brain to get over active.
The good news is you are not alone in this. Many, many of us on this site have had to do the same thing and had success.
In regards to finding a good TBI rehab doctor if you do not already have one, you will have to do the work and maybe even do some traveling. Oh! You are in luck. I see NC has good resources: http://www.carolinasrehabilitation.org/body.cfm?id=203#Outpatient
I believe paranoia is a symtom for many of us. Our flight fright ability gets messed up and we cannot tell always who is friend and who is foe. With time, the initial paranoia will wear off. Right now you have had all denial stripped away, and you do know bad things can and do happen. It will take a while but I remember it getting better with time.
Yeah, I am totally paranoid. However, I think it has more to do with what my psychologist did to me than the TBI itself. My psychologist lied, yes that's right he lied to me. I thought I was going to see a colleague of his at the local hospital to talk with, just talk, when in fact, he had admitted me to the mental ward of that hospital and I was not allowed to leave for three days and two nights. So, if you are ever supposed to see a Dr. Timothy Berry, run the the other way. It did however, piss-me-off so much that it was the last push I needed to write my book.
P.S. Both books can be downloaded from Google eBooks or from Apple iTunes
Geo: I don't know if it is just the neurology field or not, but I have to agree with the amazing amount of cruel and unusual things I have experienced and see other patients experience. I am so sorry for your mistreatment and the way you were decieved. It doesn't help our trust issues either does it?
No. I don't trust anyone.
all the time about everything it is a tough one, but i have learned to not trust
Not quite as bad as your situation, but definitely to a level with how people look at me and stuff when I'm in public...I worry too much of how people see me. What they think about ,me...I don't know if this is paranoid or I'm just taking it wrong due to my TBI. Also in how I think people react to me when they meet me....I think a person's maybe looking at me strangely...or not..."who know?" It is my bothered reaction that I'm concerned wth. I mean, people do stare sometimes....that's a trait of being human....Curiosity....(Or maybe cause I'm so Darn "Good Looking"! :D But yesterday, I took it too deep within myself and got paranoid and even asked someone else if this one man did'nt like me....She said" "No....He acts that way with Everyone"-I'm implying to the fact that he works at a Church where I get help for food...and I felt as though he was checking me out, or something....I don't know.....But, I sure do know...that I do tend to "stretch" stories like this out too much! And "I Do wear underarm Deordorant, so that's that!
Yes, I got paranoid too. I was convinced my boyfriend had bugged my medication bottles and even my box of Breathe Right strips by my bed and was spying on me (even though we live together and he can see me anytime he wants to). He would give me my nighttime medication, and I would throw it across the room and refuse to take it until after he'd gone to bed. I was convinced everyone was angry with me and that it was only a matter of time before they would either hit me or scream at me. But no one has hit me or screamed at me.
It's a lot better now, but holy cow was it rough for a while. No amount of talking it out helped in the middle of one of these episodes. But time, a lot of counseling with a brain injury specialist counselor (who had a TBI herself many years ago), medication, and constant effort on my part has lessened it tremendously.
I'm so sorry this had such a devastating effect on your marriage, but I can understand why it would, especially since I'm sure it is only one of many changes since your TBI. Are you getting support from the type of folks mentioned in the earlier post like a BI physiatrist, BI psychiatrist or BI psychologist or counselor?
Wow Cheryl, what good information and advise you give..... I like the key words, "time" and "counseling" "constant effort on your part" ~ thank you , we are proud of you!
Man you are not alone!...Paranoia is a constant with me...I have a few good reasons for some of it, I don't think talking about it will solve anything, dealing with fear, is just life., but it being constant?...It pisses me off so bad!!..I want to talk to you about paranoia, but my trust level is shot,...give me time to process what you have wrote and I'll get back to you, .I hate to say this, but it feels good to know that I'M not alone...Paranoia sucks, but I just, try to toughen up,, and march thru.
Trust but Verify...and stay situationally aware....thinking a step ahead, keeps me, feeling calmer....concentration and the lake of makes me worry.i get easily distracted, and then i snap back to my surroundings, that scares me that I quit "thinking" for a minute, it pisses me off!
I throw out statements , like 'trust but verify'...I don't know where they come from,,,they just seem to fit my thoughts..trust but verify 'means size up the situation" is best way that I can describe it. If somebody gets to close to me ...are they a real threat or am I just being vigilant?....that's where verify comes in..and Im not real good at any of it, I just try to maintain being calm, so I trust but verify.