© 1998 Head Injury Hotline
I Grow Up
Issues of identity and displacement are part and parcel of post concussion
syndrome. Brain damage transforms vital, productive individuals into
deeply flawed, and frequently not very likable individuals. It seriously
undermines a lifetime of personal growth, and development, and leaves behind
a mere shadow of the former self. Brain damage puts you out touch
with your self, and those who know and love you.
Typically, social skills are wiped out, thinking
skills are greatly diminished, and behavior is frequently at issue.
In other words, the person becomes more socially inept and mentally dull.
The good news is that these are learned behaviors, and although they may
have been damaged by brain injury, they can be relearned.
In spite of the horrifying devastation of brain
injury it is possible to put your self together again. Because
brain injury losses are so widespread; putting the self together again
requires starting from the ground up. In spite of the daunting nature
of such a task, putting the self together again offers a unique opportunity
to create an ideal self. And, best of all you're in charge, you get
to parent yourself, you get to decide. You get to toss out the old
bad, and or damaged stuff, and weave in new, and improved features. You
get to choose you role models and you get to choose the traits or characteristics
that you want emphasize.
You might benefit from consultation with a
vocational counselor. Even if you do consult a vocational counselor
you will still have to answer the following questions to realize the fullest
benefit from such a consultation.
However, the putting the self together again
requires insights, skill, and determination. The quizzes and tutorials
on this page are designed to help you understand how personal identity
and life in generally may be affected by brain injury. It is broken down
into specific traits and characteristics. Each section addresses specific
issues and is followed by links to additional information and resources.
||"To bring about insight
it is necessary to confidently rely upon the inner strength and correctness
of your character while allowing the forces in your current situation to
fully act upon you. In this way you establish direct contact so that
you may comprehend these forces and gain advantage over them. This
idea can be compared to the chinese martial art Tai Chi Ch'uan, where you
yield to your opponent in order to receive his power and understand his
direction. You then know where and when to direct a corresponding
effort to overpower him. The object here is to co-ordinate your forces
so that there is a minimum of conflict and a maximum of effect. "
Source -- I Ching Workbook
Assessment Chart below
I Grow Up
The following will provide a context, a frame work for reinventing the
self. Ask yourself the following questions and fill in the blanks.When
answering these questions use adjectives and/or very brief specific descriptions.
Examples have been included in each question.
Once you have written your perceptions of yourself,
evaluate the validity of those perceptions. We tend to carry our concept
of ourselves around like baggage year after year without reevaluating its
current accuracy. An inaccurate image of ourselves, particularly negative
perceptions, can dramatically alter our behavior and create considerable
Look at what you have written about yourself.
How do you know your view is accurate? Who told you are this way?
On what experiences from your past do you base these conclusions?
How long have you believed these things about yourself? If once true,
are they still accurate? Did they change after your head injury?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What would it take to achieve such a goal?
Do you have the information you need?
What special education, skills, or certification
are required? Go to the library - do the research.
What cognitive abilities might be needed?
Thinking, reasoning, complex mental ideation, self-awareness.
Assess your cognitive abilities. Take the
Skills Inventory Identify those things that you do well and those
that you do not do well. Such a list might include the following:
Sound reasoning, sharp, incisive. Lacks depth, poor insight.
What personality attributes would be needed?
Values, personality traits and emotions. Industrious, lethargic, concerned
about the welfare of self and others. Introverted. Extroverted. Tends
to see things through. Tends to withdraw, becomes easily frustrated. Comfortable
with self and others. Good interpersonal skills.
What physical abilities are needed to
achieve your goal? Strength, coordination.
Assess your gross and fine motor abilities.
Identify those that you do well and those that you do not do well. Such
a list might include the following: Graceful moves. Uses tools and implements
well. Clumsy, not well coordinated.
Physical abilities. I like to do / do not
like to do with my body. My physical interests are: writing, gardening,
painting, drawing, dancing, jogging, power walking, weight lifting, contact
sports, racket sports, cycling, hard physical work, be specific.
What are your interests. I like to do, seek
out, appreciate, dislike, avoid or ignore. Competitive activities, intellectual
activities, people, technology.
What things do you like about yourself.
Energy, intelligence, sensitive, perspective, incisive, ability to work
under pressure. Warm, gregarious, loyal, resourceful.
What things do you think other people like
about you? Generosity, thoughtfulness, friendly supportive, helpful
What things do you think others do
not like about you? Tendency to procrastinate. Failure to
follow through. Impatience with detail. Pessimistic, easily discouraged.
How you would like to be different. More follow
through. More patience. Less procrastination. Better
memory. Sharper perception. Better mental tracking.
Which skills have been lost or impaired by
brain injury. Do the
What do I need to do to compensate
or restore such skills. Take the
What excuses do I use to avoid making changes?
Lack of money, time and initiative, etc.
Which skills seem to be intact. Take
the Found Self
What makes you happy? Start bringing
things into your life that bring you joy.
What are your fondest fantasies? Fantasies
are fun, but they may not be attainable and they might not last.
Can you distinguish between reality and fantasy
-- between the fanciful and the doable?
If you could change identities with
anyone who would it be? Why that person?
What are the traits and characteristics that
you admire most about the person?
What characteristics or traits would you like
to change in yourself?
What is the next step, go to the Goals
also see our: Work
Job Seeking Skills
for People with Disabilities: A Guide to Success
A handbook for service providers to use as a counseling tool, or for individuals
with disabilities to use on their own. Provides an overview of the career
planning process, including considerations for the applicant with a disability.