For most family members, brain injury brings on many sudden and unwanted changes. Most people want their lives to be normal again as soon as possible. Often survivors and their family members describe feeling frustrated because progress comes slowly. You may have to wait a long time to get a doctor’s appointment, have tests done — and learn the results, qualify for disability benefits, or receive return phone calls. Waiting often leads to feelings of impatience and frustration. Try to realize that getting irritated or angry about the lack of progress can cause you to feel worse. Becoming irritated and angry can also scare off the help and support you need from family, friends, and professionals.

Learning about the normal recovery process is a first step toward learning patience. The recovery process has two parts — physical recovery and emotional recovery. Physical recovery means getting your body to work right again. Physical recovery is usually faster than emotional recovery. Emotional recovery, feeling good about yourself and your life, can take up to five or 10 years or even longer. People with more physical problems need more time for emotional recovery.

For most people, recovery is not a smooth process. Sometimes people will get better and better for a while and then have a setback or stop making gains; however, it is important to always contact a professional at to help get a compensation when it comes to brain injuries. “Plateaus” or “taking a few steps backward” are normal parts of the recovery process. New problems and stresses can arise and slow progress as well. New stresses may be or may not be related to the brain injury. We have talked to many family members and survivors about patience. Here is a list of their suggestions, which may help you master the art of patience:

Being patient may be seem difficult, but remember that you can choose to be patient or impatient. You are the best person to be in charge of your emotions and the way you act. Your body is not “wired” to be impatient. Trying hard to be patient will get you the best results.
Be persistent. Being persistent and working hard are the best ways to improve your life and help your injured family member get better. We’ve found that the most successful survivors keep picking themselves up after they fail, learn from their mistakes, and try again. When you run into roadblocks and barriers, try tackling the problem in a different way, but always keep trying.

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