Training Your Brain
Forgetting things, having difficulty concentrating and feeling tired are all common after a mild head injury.
Even though it may take a while, these things will get better. Here's what you can do to help yourself recover:
Keeping Mentally Active
Sometimes after a mild head injury a person will take time out from their usual activities. Family and friends may even want to look after them by taking on some of their usual duties and responsibilities.
However, if you take a long break from your usual activities it can feel strange when the time comes to get back to them. You may feel out-of-practice, anxious, and find that you have forgotten how to do things that you used to do regularly on ‘autopilot’. These feelings can lead to worry that there has been damage to your memory. But remember, feeling out-of-practice and forgetting things can be expected for anyone taking time away from their normal activities. In fact, we believe that you will make a faster recovery if you take as little time away from your usual activities as is safely possible.
If you do have to take time off work, or away from your usual activities, keeping your mind active. Tasks which require you to concentrate or focus your mind, such as reading or simple mental puzzles, may help to avoid loss of confidence in your memory and concentration. And if you return after a long break, don’t be too hard on yourself – it can take a while to get back into the swing of things.
Keep in Mind that Memory Lapses and Forgetting are a Part of Normal Experience.
It is important not to set abnormally high standards for your memory. Lapses in memory, short gaps where we have been on ‘autopilot’, and forgetting names or unimportant details about past events are all entirely normal experiences. People who are used to relying on their memory and concentration to function at a very high level may be more likely to notice or feel worried about small lapses. If you experience these symptoms, remind yourself that these types of memory lapses, although perhaps unusual for you, are normal even in people who have not had a head injury.
It may be helpful to find out how common memory symptoms are in the population. Here are some figures from healthy people in their 20s and 30s.