Fatigue and Traumatic Brain Injury
As many as 98% of people with TBs may have some kind of fatigue; 70% complain of Mental Fatigue. Just what is this fatigue like? It is a huge feeling of exhaustion. People can be weary or listless. It can affect their ability to do both physical and mental work. It can sap their energy so much that it prevents them from taking care of themselves. Some cannot go back to work. Others cant even do the things they used to enjoy doing.
Physical Fatigue can come from muscle weakness. It can come from having to work harder to do things that were easy before the TBI. That includes things like dressing, working around the house, even walking. Physical fatigue gets worse in the evening, after a busy day. But the next morning, after a good nights sleep, it should be less. Often this kind of fatigue gets better over time.
Psychological Fatigue is the fatigue that comes with depression and their psychological conditions. This kind of fatigue gets worse with stress. Often, sleep does not help at all. Psychological fatigue is often worse when you wake up in the morning. To cure psychological fatigue you must find its cause. Your doctor can help.
Mental Fatigue or Cognitive Fatigue is a special kind of fatigue that can happen after a TBI. Somebody with mental fatigue might say, After a while, I just cant concentrate any more. I just cant think. Its possible that this happens because the TBI forces you to concentrate harder to do tasks that were easier before the injury. Just like hard physical work tires you out, so does hard mental work. Unfortunately, mental or cognitive fatigue is the kind of fatigue that we know the least about, even though it causes problems for so many people with TBI.
Psychological Fatigue what comes from being depressed makes you tired early in the morning. Rest usually wont help psychological fatigue. Physical Fatigue gets worse as the day goes on. Rest often does help physicalfatigue and mental fatigue. Mental fatigue may get worse as the day goes on. Over time, exercising and being more active helps lessen physical and mental fatigue.
What Can You Do?