Since my son’s injury he’s been progressively getting better physically, but the cognitive abilities aren’t there yet. He now walks around all day either in circles or around the house and barely sits down. He can only sit for about 3 minutes before he’s up walking and pacing again. The doctors are saying it’s something called “Akathisia” and suggesting a medication for that. I’m opposed to medication because I don’t want to keep him on drugs.
Does it go away eventually or it is long lasting because of the brain damage?
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Every brain injury is different, but some symptoms present similarly. In our son’s case, a neurologist explained that the brain remained in an agitated state post TBI. In an attempt to reestablish neural pathways and build new synapses, it also has a tendency to fire off random signals( it was actually more complicated than this, but that’s the essence). In the end, our son, Michael, constantly paced and appeared agitated for many years. To this day, 28 years later, he finds solace in pacing while listening to his music. It also explains why he avoids crowds and loud noises as this “over stimulation” is one of the symptoms that has not gone away. The brain appears to be hyper sensitive following TBI and the time frame seems to also be an individual thing. In response to your question about medication, only an anti seizure drug (Tegretol) was initially prescribed (11 years). We actually regulated Michael’s overt agitation with different forms of behaviour therapy. For example, we trained him to increase his stamina by using an egg timer. After spending almost a full year in hospitals, Michael had a hard time sitting down a a meal, especially trying for a five year old. We began with a one-minute timer, allowing him to get up and walk around until he was once again ready to sit. This increased to 2/3/4 and 5 minutes over a year, to the point where he could regulate himself. It is also important to know that different stages of his life will require diverse strategies and considerations when it comes to medication as issues such as depression and increased anxiety increase along with his discovery, recognition, and acceptance of the fact that his life has been compromised and that he is different. Finding the right psychiatrist who understood the world of TBI was essential. In any event, best of luck on your journey and continue to be patient as you support your son.
It is an injury to the movement part of the brain. Try omega 3 and gym. These will help grow the connections quicker and hopefully he will heal quicker. C if he likes carpentry or a hobby that requires movement.