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It’s Not Just Soldiers and Athletes Who Get Hit in the Head!

08 Jun

Hello again.

I just read a piece by Melissa Jeltsen in Huffington Post that reminded me of something I already knew: for all our talk about soldiers and athletes suffering from traumatic brain injury, the bulk of life-altering concussions happen to survivors of domestic violence.

I mean, really - who gets hit (or kicked) in the head more, or their brains rattled around in their skull more than women with violent partners? (Some men, too, but that's way less pervasive.)

 

9266bMuch of it goes unnoticed and undiagnosed. In fact, this source of TBI has been ignored so much that we don't even have reliable statistics on it, although it's estimated that as many as 20 million women a year have TBI from domestic abuse. Many are living with long-lasting or permanent disability because of it.

Symptoms typically include headaches, movement and coordination problems, double vision, sleep disruption, irritability, depression, difficulties with memory, planning, learning and problems managing aggressive impulses. It's a hard-to-treat condition, but we're getting better at it – mostly because of the interest in soldiers and athletes.

So let's start diagnosing this population – the earlier the better - and getting them some commensurate help.

If you're in an abusive relationship and need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799.SAFE (7233). They can help you figure a way out of this.

And if, for whatever reason, you feel you can't seek help right now, consider listening to our Domestic Violence Recovery Set until such time as you can. (And remember, if you upload these audios to your phone, no one has to know what it is you're playing. Just sayin'.)

Our TBI Comeback Kit is also an excellent adjunct to treatment, and, again, if you can't avail yourself of professional help at the moment, it's a whole lot better than doing nothing.

There is help out there. Things can change.

All best,

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.