Steven’s Problem: Steven, a 40 year-old mechanic suffered from a traumatic brain injury from a motor accident. Even after the accident, he was unable to walk, could hardly speak and as a result, was experiencing severe depression. Every day was a torment for him and his newly wed wife, Jane, who had never imagined ever needing to confront a TBI.
Life was especially hard in trying to cope with a husband that is frustrated, irritable, and angry with himself and, consequently, with her and everyone else in his life. Their bustling social life now non-existent, their home life tense and with no hope of him getting back to work, the financial and emotional burden was completely weighted on her shoulders. And the situation just made Steven feel hopelessly depressed from feelings of inadequacy ever since the accident. Once a social drinker, he recently increased his drinking to mask his depression—dependent on alcohol to relieve his problems.
When things changed: One of Steven and Jane’s close friends, concerned with Steven’s situation, recommended they seek rehabilitation—it was apparent that Steven needed help and his occasional therapy sessions at the local hospital and scheduled home visits were simply not enough to get Steven (and Jane) back to a point that was sustainable and enjoyable.
Steven was referred to Eisenhower Center by his physical therapist. Before, his injury did not have any psychiatric diagnosis and limited post-release therapy had been prescribed, but his physical therapist realized that Steven’s situation wasn’t improving—in fact getting worse over after 5 months of therapy.
A team of dedicated specialists immediately started planning Steven’s course of treatment. The behavioral analyst identified how to avert triggers that had been causing him emotional stress and anxiety. For instance, complex tasks were simplified to avoid frustration—the therapists actually broke even the most common tasks that seem effortless into step procedures—to make life achievable.
Positive reinforcement—identifiable rewards and recognition—were critical in embracing every step forward. Eisenhower Center got Jane involved in the recovery process to identify and acknowledge even the smallest of achievements.
Steven received consistent encouragement and had a positive environment and motivated community to help get him on track and motivated to succeed. He routinely received consistent feedback from everyone on the multidisciplinary team. Team members reached out to his employers to liaise with his employer to discuss potential work issues, alternate employment and retraining. Therapists worked with Steven over the next 6 months, with acute attention on improving his attention and concentration span, with the specific goals of building confidence, self-worth and ultimately bringing him to a sustainable lifestyle.
An On-Going Success: Steven now works part time assisting a mechanic at his old shop, still developing a skill set to do more on the job every day under direct guidance from his rehabilitation team. What Steven and Jane didn’t realize at first is how every little step while a resident at Eisenhower Center, brought him one more step closer to working on something he loved.
Eisenhower’s mission is to provide every patient with the right individualized care in an encouraging and supportive community setting makes all the difference.