Headway has published its second Headway News of the year. This edition focuses on the Brain Drain: Wake Up to Fatigue! campaign.
We all know what it’s like to feel tired or drained of energy, but the effects of chronic fatigue following brain injury are in another category entirely. Brain injury survivors have described it as if walking through concrete or feeling like they’re living in a constant fog. Pathological fatigue as a result of brain injury can be completely debilitating, frustrating, and for many truly bafﬂing to understand – even by survivors themselves.
Brain Drain: Wake up to fatigue! is Headway’s new campaign that it is hoped will raise awareness and increase understanding of this hidden effect of brain injury. Launched as part of this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week, the campaign has at its heart the real-life perspectives and experiences of those living with brain injury-related fatigue.
More than 3,000 people took part in a study to ﬁnd out the extent to which fatigue can impact every aspect of life after brain injury, and Headway’s thanks go out to each and every person who gave their time and energy to help us shape this campaign. The results are certainly eye-catching – but perhaps not surprising. They show that for many people the complex and hidden nature of their condition is widely misunderstood, which can result in them being treated unfairly.
When a trip to the shops, a meal out with friends, or a walk around the park with your children leaves you so drained of energy that you need to sleep for hours afterwards just to recharge your batteries, it is easy to understand just how much impact fatigue can have on everyday life. Relationships, your sense of identity, and self-esteem can all take a massive hit. All the plans you might have laid out have to be readjusted, scaled down or abandoned.
The experiences of Lottie, David and Julie on page 20 are just three examples of this. But they also show how coping strategies can help. Throughout Action for Brain Injury Week Headway shared many stories of brain injury survivors talking about all the issues surrounding fatigue. Make sure you have a read of them on social media (@HeadwayUK) or on the Headway website. We urge you to share these stories with your loved ones, with your friends and your employers. Let’s make as much noise as possible and hopefully we can help people Wake up to fatigue!
Pages 22 and 23 of the magazine describes the activities that various Headway groups and branches undertook during Action for Brain Injury week to help raise awareness of brain injury. It is good to see that Headway North Cumbria is mentioned in this article and also in a similar news article on the Headway website. A more detailed report on what the branch got up to during Action for Brain Injury week can be found in our own report here.
Pages 24 and 25 show a collection of photos taken for Hats for Headway day and includes this group photo of Headway North Cumbria members.