People who have experienced a traumatic brain injury often suffer from cognitive disabilities as a result of the injury. Simply defined, cognitive issues are any issue related to thinking. These problems can be relatively mild and can improve over time, or they can be more severe, long-term issues that make it difficult for the survivor to live independently.
Definition of Cognitive Thinking
Cognitive thinking includes being aware of one’s surroundings, being able to pay attention, memory skills, reasoning, problem solving, and executive skills such as goal setting, planning, initiating, self-awareness, and self-monitoring and evaluation.
Types of Cognitive Issues
Cognitive issues that affect brain injury survivors depend upon the area of the brain that has been injured, as well as the severity of the injury. Issues include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty processing new information, particularly longer messages
- Issues with short-term memory
- Problems learning new information
- Executive functioning problems, such as setting goals and starting tasks
Treatment for Cognitive Disabilities
Treatment generally comprises rehabilitation designed to help the survivor compensate for cognitive issues. Survivors with severe brain injury and serious cognitive disabilities may require life-long help.