Fatigue – A Common & Disabling Symptom
Fatigue is a common and very disabling symptom experienced by people with a brain injury.It may be a continual sense of mental fatigue or it can happen when a person is trying to do too much and the brain is overloaded, often resulting in mind-numbing fatigue that can last for several days.Acquired brain injury can be likened to a highway when one of three lanes is closed down. If traffic is light, there will be no difference but once the traffic reaches a critical point, the cars barely move and it can take ages for the traffic jam to clear.It is important to avoid fatigue as much as possible.Fatigue can occur for no apparent reason or after physical activity, but is quite likely to occur from too much mental activity. Examples include planning the week’s errands, organizing schoolwork or a work schedule or simply reading.Fatigue can be managed with good planning and rest periods, but carers and the family member must realize fatigue is a very real problem.
Be aware of the first signs of fatigue and immediately stop and rest – overloading a injured brain can easily result in several days of extreme tiredness. Make a note of how long it takes to do certain activities before fatigue starts e.g. if fatigue starts after 30 minutes of reading, only read for 20 minutes in future.