Remember!! The 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE during March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, consists of just two parts:
1.) Please learn something new about TBI every day. We will be posting an article daily on our FB page to make it easy for you to learn.
2.) Help facilitate CHANGE by partnering with The Arms Forces by assisting us in continuing our efforts for invisibly wounded veterans by collecting your CHANGE daily and at the end of March donating the money to The Arms Forces. (contact information below) Create a jar and label it:
The Arms Forces CHANGE for TBI and put it out where you and everyone will see it. When someone asks you what it is all about, share with them a bit about what you have learned about TBI. Share stories of the people you will learn about through our posts on Facebook and how their lives have been forever changed by their injuries.
If collecting change every day is not your thing then be a part of the CHANGE by making a donation to The Arms Forces through our website www.thearmsforces.org or by mailing a check to the address below.
LACK OF EDUCATION = MYTHS = STIGMA
Words that create Myths and Stigma for TBI Survivors
sometime to be feared unmotivated dumb lazy liar exaggerator faker
mentally ill someone who is soaking the system gun happy abnormal
I told you yesterday that we would talk about the words that pierce the hearts and mind of traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors. We have become a much more sensitive society in many ways, but we still have a long way to go on the subjects of traumatic brain injury. A big reason that there is stigma associated with anything to do with the brain is a lack of education. Maybe I should say a lack of the right education! A lot of information exists about what happens in a brain injury from a physical point of view. We learned in Day 1 about symptoms and short and long term challenges. But traditionally, education doesn’t talk about the words above and why a TBI survivor might be called these and other words that may keep a TBI survivor from living a quality life.
First, TBI is a physical injury to the brain. It is as physical an injury as a leg being traumatically removed, a heart attack, or a disease such as cancer or diabetes. Can you imagine walking up to a person who you know has prostate cancer or breast cancer and saying “I think you are just lazy and you should really just get a 9-5 job.” Or “You just had your chest cut open, but that gives you no reason to sit on the couch today”.
Or how about when talking amongst friends, you decide amongst each other that your friend with diabetes is not worth the trouble to be friends with any more because he/she can’t eat dessert and all of you like to eat dessert.
What if your friend with his leg blown off by a bomb or a car accident left his cane at home because he couldn’t take it anymore that his friends don’t believe his leg is missing so he would rather risk falling down than to carry a cane and have to explain himself ONCE AGAIN to people who just won’t believe him?
How does stigma affect a TBI survivor’s daily living, their relationships, their employment, their self-esteem, their desire to live? STIGMA is much more than a concept or a word. It is powerful.
This is a peek into the lives of many who have a traumatic brain injury. The discrimination does not come from a lack of empathy, but a lack of understanding. The lack of understanding comes from a lack of education. That is why this challenge is so important. We can’t help our veterans in the ways they need to be helped; we can’t develop programs and services that adequately meet their needs, if we don’t understand them. You are not doctors, counselors and may not know anyone in the military or a veteran. Why do you need to understand, might be the question you are asking right now.
You vote; you have a voice, you have the opportunity to make CHANGE happen. You need to understand what our veterans are going through because they fought for each and every American and they need your help. With the HUGE numbers of civilian with TBI; the ever-growing number of our troops with TBI, chances are you will soon be affected by TBI in one way or the other. This population, TBI survivors, is extremely underserved. Be mindful of the words, the jokes, the insensitivity. You never know who heart is being broken , whose life is on the line.
The World Health Organization has predicted that TBI will be the number 1 health concern in the world by 2020. By taking The Arms Forces 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE you will be 31 steps ahead of those who don’t!!
With open arms,
Founder/President and severe TBI survivor
The Arms Forces
PO Box 981
Maumee, OH 43537