Fatigue – or excessive tiredness – is one of the most commonly experienced effects of brain injury. Indeed, it is the most commonly cited effect of brain injury reported by the 11,000 callers to the Headway UK helpline each year.
Our brains control everything we do, think and feel. They are the control centre that dictates our actions and reactions, and the pace at which they happen. They are our batteries, recharged with sleep and rest. But after brain injury, these batteries drain far more quickly and therefore need recharging on a much more regular basis – often every few hours. Added to this, sleep problems as a result of brain injury can make it more difficult to recharge and combat fatigue.
Fatigue can affect one’s recovery process and daily life. But as with many of the hidden effects of brain injury, ‘pathological fatigue’ can be widely misunderstood – not just by those around us, but even by the individuals themselves.
Through its Brain Drain campaign, Headway aims to give a voice to those affected, helping to raise awareness and break the stigma of brain injury-related fatigue.
At our Day Centre session on 20 May 2019 Headway North Cumbria participated in Action for Brain Injury Week by running a couple of workshops on “Managing Fatigue after Brain Injury”. The volunteer led workshops were run using training material provided by Headway UK and the 20 participants were encouraged to share their experiences of living with fatigue and their solutions for managing it.
The two sessions were dynamic and informative and, hopefully, all participants gained from taking part. Participants were provided with a reflective workbook which they were encouraged to complete and were also provided with a copy of the excellent Headway pamphlet “Managing Fatigue after Brain Injury”, copies of which can be viewed by clicking on the images below:
For more information on the Headway Brain Drain Campaign please visit the Headway UK website here. The results of a Headway study – Brain Drain: Experiences of Fatigue after brain injury can be found here:
We also took the opportunity to celebrate Headway’s 40th Anniversary birthday and recognise Hats for Headway Day.
Members wore a variety of hats, including one that was still very much a work in progress!