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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Good afternoon! I was involved in a high-speed car accident

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Good afternoon! I was involved in a high-speed car accident 18 months ago, and as a result I experienced (amongst other things,) a TBI. It seemed, post-rehab, that nothing was out of order; rather, I was experiencing higher functionality (sort-of a "think fast" mode...) My friends bolted after the accident, and because of a MASSIVE ankle injury, I've been more or less home-bound since I'm not ready to drive again yet. Problem: 11/2 year(s) later, I'm presented with an inability to assimilate socially. I more or less don't care about feelings or emotions (I have no emotional context in relation to the accident, other than that I regard it as a big inconvenience,) and I have difficulty relating to them. Additionally, I have the HARDEST time conversing without feeling awkward. This was never a problem, pre brain injury. I'm constantly reviewing past conversations in my head, and I get so wired around my surgeon and therapists that I even forget to ask pertinent questions in the course of a visit! There is, of course, a little more to it than that, but I think I've outlined the gist of it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

You know, I've seen that your question has been waiting in our forum for a while without being answered. And I think the reason none of us mental health experts wanted to try to answer you is because there IS no good answer to your situation. It is very distressing and I am so sorry you're going through this.


I work every so often in my private practice with people who have had Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). And with TBIs 1.5 years ago is not a very long time at all for the brain to heal and to see if your personality changes and other problems will abate or if you come up with ways to compensate.

So that gives us two points to address. The first is to be hopeful. TBI is not a fast moving problem in the mental health area. Be hopeful, okay? That is so important.

The second part is learning to compensate. This is a bit similar to PT or OT. You have to find what skillset you have operational at this time and try to learn how to use it to accomplish what you want to accomplish. You're going to have to translate that from the physical arena to the mental/emotional arena as well.


And this IS going to mean a competent psychologist who is experienced working with traumatic injuries and/or behavioral changes. Someone who is smart, sensitive, and works with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the person you're seeking. And you are intelligent and so this is a requirement. And as you wrote, you're afraid Medicare is not going to make that search easy.


I'm not really convinced that's true. If you had said Medicaid, I would agree with you. But Medicare is very widely accepted because there are many psychologists working with the elderly population. Which makes me realize that you might benefit from a psychologist who has experience working with stroke patients for example. That's a trauma that's similar in effect somewhat to TBI. So don't rule out working with someone who works with a geriatric population. Okay?


So finding the psychologist is the important task for you. Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (because they seem smart and not so easily manipulatable!) look at the listing and see if they list Medicare in the insurance accepted. This type of directory lets you really get a sense about the psychologist. And you can then follow up with an interview before deciding on therapy with the person. That can help even more make a good match.


http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html



Okay, I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you kindly. This may be my best option, to find a psychologist. I appreciate the answer; I will consult the link you posted for additional assistance. Warm regards. :)
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
You know, I have worked with enough people who've had TBIs to know how disheartening it can be. And that is your worst enemy in this. You are young and you have to keep struggling through the "thick fog" that sometimes seems so hard. So I want to give you a tool to use, another one, because the key is to keep exercising your mind and your emotions, keep working them, keep trying. That's how you build new synapses. Okay? Here goes:


Coach yourself. Be your own life coach! I want you to get really into motivational videos and books. Here's a simple YouTube search I put together on "motivational speakers":


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=motivational+speakers&aq=f

Some like Tony Robbins are the classic big guys. Some are newer. Watch them all. Get inspired. There are great women speakers now as well. Buy a book or two. Here are some possibilities, but they are only suggestions as there are so many good ones. They are Americans, but so what?

The first book is the father of all these type of books. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. There are classes in these books now! It was written in the 1930s and still has something to say to us today that is very worthwhile.

I think very highly of the second book on my list, which is a real classic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It is the book that has helped more people than probably any other.

The third book is by Anthony Robbins. He's one of those speakers who fills up huge auditoriums. For a reason. He's a terrific speaker and writer. The particular book (if you like it, try his others): Awaken the Giant Within.


All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Mark,

How To Win Friends and Influence People is one of my most treasured books; when I was much younger, and newer to the culture of networking, I bought this book and have since read it multiple times. The Covey books I'm familiar with but Carnegie definitely hit it on the mark.

I guess what I'm running in to such a roadblock with is the inability to relate "emotionally". I sort of dread personal conversation for that reason, because of the expectations involved in terms of reciprocation. I really don't know how to respond if someone is having a hard time or a bad day. Like you said, compensating; there's a bit of working around the issues. Its just a bit exhausting right now, because its so much work!

Thank you for your assistance and suggestions; I will check out a few sites, and especially that list for my benefits coverage. Sometimes it even just helps to get it out, since my family can't reeally understand what's going on in my head! =) It was a good iidea to stumble on this website; I think I'm a little more motivated to tackle the issues proactively and with continuity.

Best,
Nicole

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Mark,

How To Win Friends and Influence People is one of my most treasured books; when I was much younger, and newer to the culture of networking, I bought this book and have since read it multiple times. The Covey books I'm familiar with but Carnegie definitely hit it on the mark.

I guess what I'm running in to such a roadblock with is the inability to relate "emotionally". I sort of dread personal conversation for that reason, because of the expectations involved in terms of reciprocation. I really don't know how to respond if someone is having a hard time or a bad day. Like you said, compensating; there's a bit of working around the issues. Its just a bit exhausting right now, because its so much work!

Thank you for your assistance and suggestions; I will check out a few sites, and especially that list for my benefits coverage. Sometimes it even just helps to get it out, since my family can't reeally understand what's going on in my head! =) It was a good iidea to stumble on this website; I think I'm a little more motivated to tackle the issues proactively and with continuity.

Best,
Nicole
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Mark,

How To Win Friends and Influence People is one of my most treasured books; when I was much younger, and newer to the culture of networking, I bought this book and have since read it multiple times. The Covey books I'm familiar with but Carnegie definitely hit it on the mark.

I guess what I'm running in to such a roadblock with is the inability to relate "emotionally". I sort of dread personal conversation for that reason, because of the expectations involved in terms of reciprocation. I really don't know how to respond if someone is having a hard time or a bad day. Like you said, compensating; there's a bit of working around the issues. Its just a bit exhausting right now, because its so much work!

Thank you for your assistance and suggestions; I will check out a few sites, and especially that list for my benefits coverage. Sometimes it even just helps to get it out, since my family can't reeally understand what's going on in my head! =) It was a good iidea to stumble on this website; I think I'm a little more motivated to tackle the issues proactively and with continuity.

Best,
Nicole
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Yes, this relearning process in the emotional reciprocating, empathy area is what my first answer was aiming at with the therapy. So don't forget the first answer: you are on a quest for a great psychologist.


The motivational videos and books are both for hope and for exercise.


All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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