A person’s view of him or herself can be negatively affected by TBI. Feelings of low self-esteem go hand-in-hand with depression.
What might you see?
- Negative self-statements ("I am worthless," "I’ll never be normal again," "How can you love me like this?")
- Less interest in personal appearance
- Social withdrawal
How can you help?
- Encourage the service member or veteran to express their feelings. Listen compassionately and be nonjudgmental. Try to redirect the person to more positive thoughts.
- Encourage the service member or veteran to spend time with others and encourage participation in independent activities (for example, reading, listening to music, etc.).
- Help the service member or veteran to set realistic, attainable goals for themselves. Help them choose activities that can be successfully completed.
- Encourage them to participate in physical activity (to the best of their ability) on a regular basis – daily or every other day if possible. Active exercise improves self-esteem and can lower their risk for depression.