Head injury at age 16. Now 56 and having some 'thinking issues'

by Irena Bland
(Rohnert Park, CA.)

I have gone through an MRI recently and was amazed at the size of the damaged right front lobe on my brain. I guess I've done very well considering 40 years ago I fractured my skull in two places in a horseback riding accident. I was always told the damaged spot was much smaller. I had testing for Alzheimer’s at the Memory Clinic about a month ago and I did Great; 29 out of 30 correct..so, 'no Alzheimer’s'.. I had an EEG and my electrical activity is doing something strange in the Temporal lobe area? They suggested I try an anti-epileptic medication. I don’t want too. I am not thinking as sharp as I used too. The fog comes and goes.. Not near as focused or aware of details as before. I fight off anxiety/panic as I fear I have the start of early on-set dementia. I am eating right (high antioxidant brain foods..6,000 U. Vit D. ), trying to exercise when I can and I just worry, worry, worry. I've cut down on my work load and that has helped with the stress. Mostly I feel like I am hanging on waiting for the true problem to finally become obvious. Other times I feel close to normal and clear thinking. Been having mental processing problems like this for about a year, progressively. Do have a life long history of stress and anxiety in my life. I so want this to be 'emotional' only. Any particular form of meditation I should do, or therapy? Any groups I should join for support that you know of? I really appreciate your newsletters. I live in Sonoma County. Thank you so much.

Ben's Answer:

I would recommend Yogic forms of meditation because in many of those practices, the breath is extremely long and deep and you get a super abundance of oxygen in your system, which is good for the brain. Some of those practices also are excellent for the nervous system and for balancing the brain activity. Kriya Yoga is such a practice.

EFT can be helpful in a number of ways, and I have seen positive results with people who have had traumatic brain injury, however I'm sure this would vary for each individual. Definitely worth trying. I am doing an EFT group locally, so feel free to call me if you're interested in considering that.

Since you've gone so many years functioning at a good level with this old injury, I think you should keep a positive outlook that given the right tools and lifestyle, there is no need to decline in the ways that you fear.

Let me know if I can be of further help.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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