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Advice for Caregivers: Walking in the Shoes of a Loved One with TBI and/or PTSD

Advice for Caregivers: Walking in the Shoes of a Loved One with TBI and/or PTSD

Comments [2]

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[Adam Anicich] Hey guys, it's Adam, and I want to talk about 3 easy things that family members and friends, caretakers can do to support a loved one with traumatic brain injury or PTSD. First thing is just be generally supportive. Understand that they may not be or act like the same person they used to. This is all part of the development process, all part of the healing process. So maybe they get more agitated, maybe they get more frustrated. Be a little bit more patient. The second thing is really be empathetic and try and understand where they're coming from. Take a look at how their life has changed or how they're affected, whether it's a physical injury, a physical disability, whether it's an emotional or a cognitive disability. Take it from the perspective of their lens, their eyes, and see how the life around them has changed from their viewpoint, and take a look at how you understand that better and take a look at how you interact with that better. That's one thing that's very helpful. The other thing is encourage them to get help and support. Don't take this all on yourself. Just because you're a caretaker or a family member or a best friend, battle buddy doesn't mean that you're the sole provider for their recovery. Encourage your loved one to go out and seek care from qualified medical professionals, from the other veterans and service members community. Maybe there's something on base that's going on. Maybe it's a VFW or American Legion event that's going on off base. Encourage them to take proactive steps and reintegrate into that community and get help through people who understand where they've come from and where they've been. Thanks.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Adam offers advice to caregivers of a loved one with TBI and/or PTSD — from simply trying to see how that person's life has changed to helping him get involved in confidence-boosting activities.

Adam profile thumbnail

Hi, I’m Adam Anicich

I’m a former Army Sergeant, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, a service-disabled vet, and someone with a brain injury. I’m here to share my story with you — along with some practical tips — and I hope that I can help you in your own journey of recovery.

Learn more about Adam >


Comments [2]

It is a Tough Road I thank God and Keep Trying one day it will be Better

Jan 9th, 2014 11:14pm

I deeply appreciate your willingness to talk about this oft-misunderstood and difficult subject. Almost 8 years ago my husband was injured by an IED during his tour. I was kept completely in the dark by the Army. I received one phone call from them with a completely wrong account. The only other information I  was given (including about his injuries) I received directly from my husband himself. The Army returned him to duty despite a TBI. As guard members, the "support team" they offered us was downright laughable, and, as a newlywed, I was clueless to the Army way. After my husband finished his tour and was home, I went with him to one of his VA appointments. Things were definitely "off" but I had no idea whether it was the result of his experiences or injuries or a combination, and the (poorly photocopied quality) "What You Need to Know" brochure someone at some point had given him was useless. The doctor came in, looked at me and said, "What are YOU doing here?" She turned to my husband and said, "If you're going to bring people with you to these appointments we'll need to make special arrangements for that. I'm not familiar with your case anyway. We'll reschedule." And she left. I'm a researcher, so I checked OUT of victim mode and went into research mode. We worked through his TBI completely on our own, and we have a happy, healthy marriage today because we dug in. I learned his triggers and warning signs and I learned to tell the difference between a general bad mood and a TBI mood. I learned how to remind him of the things he forgets without him knowing that's what I'm doing (now we laugh about that). Ours has a happy ending. But so many don't know where to begin, and that's why this dialogue is critical.

Jan 9th, 2014 5:16pm


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