The disabling effects of fatigue can be extremely limiting in themselves. However, fatigue has a secondary negative consequence on brain function. In particular fatigue can effect memory, concentration, skills tolerance, irritability levels and physical symptoms such as pain. Approximately 70% of people with brain injury experience fatigue at some stage.
Often mental effort like concentration on office tasks can be a greater trigger for fatigue than a physical effort. Fatigue can be described as a ‘fog drifting in’ or simply just ‘running out of petrol’.
Fatigue is thought to be due to a number of mechanisms. During brain injury, rest is important for recovery. Therefore, fatigue could be an appropriate response to heal and repair. Another, possible explanation could be slowing and dampened neural transmission due to the brain injury.
Tips to cope with fatigue.
- Recognise early signs, and do not keep pushing yourself. Take a rest. Avoid the ‘crash and burn’.
- Pace yourself. This means planning your days so that you do not overdo it. Build rests into your day - do not feel bad about having to have a sleep in the afternoon.
- Say no to the excessive demands of others by delegating tasks. Be open about your problem and tell people that you suffer from fatigue.
- Eating a meal can often boost energy levels.
At Brainstorm we have trained practitioners who can identify and apply appropriate rehabilitation and therapy for the effects of Brain Injury , like fatigue. For more information contact Brainstorm.