Neurobehavioral Extremes

Neurobehavioral Extremes

Lethan experienced mood swings and neurobehavioral extremes.

Lethan Candlish Part Six

When Lethan came home from the hospital, he was experiencing mood swings and outbursts that were scary to his family. These neurobehavioral extremes are not fully understood unless you live with them. In his play, Lethan talks about this topic from the perspective of his sister. He has dramatized what he thinks she was experiencing in Who Am I, Again.

She was halfway through her eighth grade year. She was the one Lethan dropped off before his accident, leaving her with the quandary – but for her role – he might not have had the injury. Following the accident, she said that her parents were so focused on getting Lethan better that she barely saw them for two months. Finally, when Lethan arrived home from the hospital, she sensed the happiness. She believed that maybe things would return to normal, and may even be better than before.

His sister experienced firsthand his mood swings. She would get in fights with him and was afraid he would hit her a couple of times. She witnessed the “struggle between rage and reason on his face.”

He did hit her once, not hard but it hurt. She wanted to help with his recovery, but she didn’t know what she was supposed to do to help. She figured out what she could do when her father and Lethan got into a fight. When the yelling ceased, she went downstairs and saw her father on the couch crying.

That’s when she knew her job in his recovery was to be strong. She had to be independent and stay out of the way so that her parents could take care of Lethan. She did just that.

“And so my sister quietly displayed her strength, remaining true to her ideals and her belief despite this world of chaos around her, becoming an inspiration and a role model for her older brother,” Lethan said.

When Lethan’s drama switches back to Lethan’s perspective, we see him becoming frustrated with the rehabilitation. He was given easy tests, and when he did them right, everyone would celebrate like he was a little kid. But he wasn’t a little kid, so he felt offended. He knew when he finished one task, there would be ten more to do. He was tired. He wanted to rest.

Even though he didn’t want to be treated like a child, the neurobehavioral extremes were like a child having a temper tantrum. Without his normal inhibition, things would come out of his mouth with no filter. Control is not the only issue though.

Lethan’s words: Life after a brain injury is hard. In addition to neurobehavioral extremes, the patient experiences frustration and impatience. I would compare what Lethan was going through to traveling through life in a perpetual traffic jam, chronically suffering from impatience and rage. For our next post about community support, click here


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

More Posts - Website - 312-767-9383

TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus