In year 2015, there is a story of an
Australian mountain cyclist named Darron who previously suffered from post
traumatic amnesia as a result of having a traumatic brain injury. He was once
said that “Post Traumatic Amnesia affected my memory to the point of having no
memory of that fateful day, with the memory of my mountain biking accident
forever erased from my brain”. He experienced several changes during his
recovery such as poor hand writing and speech difficulties which was a total
opposite of himself. However, Darron did not gave up. He started to wrote a
book entitled “The Day I Broke My Brain” which includes his experiences during
the days he lost his memories. Today, Darron is a proudly post traumatic
amnesia survivor. On the other hand, Bucci (2016) wrote an article about a 13
year old Scottish girl named Faith Butt who was diagnosed of having traumatic
brain injury last 2016. After a month of
being in coma, Faith woke up and reportedly of having a post traumatic amnesia.
Back then, Faith is a member of Mensa which means she has an excellent IQ.
However, since the day she woke up Faith was unable to recognized her own
family. She began to learn first how to talk, walk and breath normally. As of
now, Piovesan (2017) told that Faith is still in the hospital for almost six
months and showing a lot of courage for her faster recovery. In fact, Post
Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) is a phase which happens to a person who wakes up after
being in a stage of coma or loss of consciousness.
People seldom hear or talk about post
traumatic amnesia. Some believes that it is somehow the same as other kinds or
types of amnesia. In order to be aware of this, much better to take a look of
what are the causes of post traumatic
amnesia. According to Gumm and Mcroe
(2003) the lead cause of post traumatic amnesia is still unknown. However, some
experts says that having a traumatic brain injury/damage or even after
experiencing a brain coma might be the possible cause of post traumatic amnesia
to people. Specialists also believe that even people who only have a mild brain
injury or losing consciousness are probably to experience post traumatic
amnesia. In addition, one study found out that administering drugs in hospitals
following injury to observed patients who do not suffered from traumatic brain
injury might also be a possible cause of post traumatic amnesia.
Early detection of post traumatic amnesia
through its signs and symptoms will be a great help to avoid long duration of
it. Gumm and Mcroe (2003) also stated that the common symptoms to people who
are experiencing post traumatic amnesia may fall into four areas such as in
cognition and thinking, physical, emotions and behaviors. Symptoms of cognitive
changes to people with post traumatic amnesia usually occur when they are
observe to sudden forgetfulness, being fixated on a topic or activity,
difficulty in planning and problem solving, lacking of insight and the most
notable changes which is confusion and disorientation. Physical manifestations
such as feeling of headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, being unsteady on
their feet, intolerance to bright lights and loud noises are also present. In
emotional aspect, emotional changes and being depressed are the usual symptoms.
Lastly, behavioral changes may be seen if the person shows inappropriate
behaviors, impulsivity, poor or irregular sleep patterns, feeling of
restlessness, aggressiveness, agitation and irritable or withdrawn.
Unfortunately, there is no
available medications to treat post traumatic amnesia or even other types of amnesia.
Treatment for post traumatic amnesia patients are done through effective
therapies such as occupational therapy and music therapy. A study made by Chapparo
and Heard (2008) proves the effectiveness of occupational therapy with adults
demonstrating agitation and post-traumatic amnesia following brain injury.
Occupational therapy will help a patient to a step by step process of living
again with independence. On the other hand, music therapy is not only helpful
intervention in psychotherapy. Music therapy is also used for post traumatic
amnesia patients. Gilbertson and Aldridge (n.d.) cited from Baker (2001) the
importance of music therapy techniques to positive changes in the orientation of
post traumatic amnesia patients and showed that playing live or video recorded
music leads to an increase in orientation and memory.
In every obstacles and struggles, family
support is an effective way to surpass all the trials and hardships that life
might bring. On the contrary, unable to recognize family members is one of the
most notable symptoms of post traumatic amnesia. It might disrupt family
relationships but despite of that family should be more understanding and
patience. They should be more careful in every word they will going to utter.
In talking, sense of sensitivity must be observed if the patient feels
discomforts especially to loud noises. Having a normal conversation is enough.
Don’t pressure them to talk if they don’t want. Sometimes someone’s presence is
enough for them. Most of all, if the
patient is hospitalized making them feel that they are not alone through
visitation and taking care of them are the key for a faster recovery.
Post-traumatic amnesia is one type of amnesia wherein the person suffers
from temporary memory loss after waking up from a stage of coma or loss of consciousness. The possible cause of
it is traumatic brain injury or damaged. People with post traumatic amnesia often
to experience cognitive changes such as confusion and disorientation. Music
therapy and occupational therapy are the effective therapies for post traumatic
amnesia patients. It help patients to live with independency and improve
memory. During this phase, family support, understanding and patience are
significant factors for faster recovery.