By A. Hosack, P. Berman, & K. Hecht,
What is wrong with me! I am as dumb as a stump!!
Larry doesn’t understand? Why can he remember how to brush his teeth, but not what his name is. The rehabilitation specialist is giving him “exercises” for his body and brain to help him recover from his accident as much as he can. He is having nightmares of a dark basement, over and over. But he doesn’t understand why. He knows his name is Larry because they told him so when he woke up from his coma. Larry was feeling increasingly agitated until two monks came down from the monastery. They told him his history with them and helped him pray for a full recovery.
While Larry tried to pray along with them, he didn’t remember any of the words; had he known them before? Something about their prayers did feel familiar to him. He became anxious when three hours later they said they needed to leave – he didn’t want to be alone – he needed to be with people who “knew” who he was. He felt so much better when they told him that other monks would return to pray with him tomorrow; they would not be abandoning him.
When Martin came onto the ward the next day, he was on time to see Larry kneeling with two monks and rocking back and forth with them as they chanted in Latin. Was this the Larry he knew?
How do the injuries his brain received influence who Larry is right now?
Is he the same person?
Can brain injury change someone’s personality?
Who we are is located within our brains. A very patient person may become impatient after a brain injury. Even someone’s sense of humor can be influenced by brain injuries. If you are a friend or loved one of someone trying to recover, the following article can help you recognize the types of things that will or will not help someone trying to recover: https://www.brainline.org/article/9-things-not-say-someone-brain-injury