Category Archives: Frederick Linge

What Does it Feel Like to be Brain Damaged?

In learning to live with my brain damage, I have found through trial and error, that certain things help greatly and others hinder coping. In order to learn and retain information best, I try to eliminate as many distractions as possible and concentrate all my mental energy to the task at hand. A structured routine, well organized and a serene atmosphere at home and as far as possible at work, is vital to me. In the past, I enjoyed a rather chaotic lifestyle; but now I find I want a place for everything and everything in its place. When remembering is difficult, order and habit make a minutia of daily living much easier.
Coping is also easier in the milieu that is free of emotional tension, competitiveness, anxiety and pressure. I see all of these as distractions, that lessen my ability to learn, just as surely as noise, chaos and change in the physical setting. I find it hard to absorb and retain new information in a meeting with people who are new to me and where there is a constant interchange of ideas and personalities. Yet in a one-to-one situation with a familiar client, or working in my office with colleagues whom I know and trust, in an orderly and systematic fashion, I can retain far more and function far more effectively. In other words, simplification of the external situation, both physical and emotional, assists me to master new information. The more complexity around me, the less I am able to cope.

I also find that physical fatigue cuts down my concentration and so I now try to tackle new tasks in the morning, when I am physically fresh.
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