Damage to your frontal lobe has a massive range of symptoms.
Some are more difficult to deal with than others, but all of them make life with a brain injury different than one without. To learn more about these symptoms, we have to first learn more about what it is that the frontal lobe does.
In this post, we’ll do that and then give you 10 important tips for living with frontal lobe damage. When degenerative disease or a stroke hits, your life is fundamentally changed forever, but you can still live a high-quality, happy life if you know how to deal with your symptoms the best way possible.
Table of Contents
What Is the Frontal Lobe?
The frontal lobe is one of 4 lobes in the cerebral cortex, the others being the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, and occipital lobe. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the cerebrum, which is responsible for emotional perceptions and responses, sleep patterns, memory, and organization.
When you look at the frontal lobe, in particular, it’s responsible for social and emotional skills, cognitive function, and motor function. The left and right frontal lobe sometimes differ in their responsibilities.
The left frontal lobe is responsible for language, rational thinking, and reasoning. The right is responsible for creativity, imagination, intuition, artistic ability, and curiosity.
Damage to any part of the frontal lobe will result in corresponding symptoms. Namely, these symptoms include weakness, loss of creativity, depression, impaired judgment, behavioral changes, motivation issues, and impulsive behavior, among others.
Tips for Living With Frontal Lobe Damage
Frontal lobe damage has a few common causes – stroke, dementia – and a few less common causes – infections, brain tumors, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease. Traumatic brain injury is another common cause, so if you’ve had one, you should talk to a brain injuries lawyer.
No matter how it happened, you have to learn how to deal with the symptoms of frontal lobe damage. It might take time, but it’s possible to regain your vigor for life. Here are some tips on living with frontal lobe damage:
1. Limiting Mobility
Living with mobility issues is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, you should try and be as active as you possibly can to combat the effects of your brain injury, but you shouldn’t force it because it’ll result in frustration and potentially, further injury.
If you really have trouble walking, get a walker or a wheelchair so that you can still engage in your daily routine.
2. Benefits of Therapy
Talking to a therapist about any stress or anxiety that you feel relating to your frontal lobe injury helps. It’s easy to close in on yourself when you experience things like anxiety, depression, or PTSD, but the more you do that, the harder it is to break out of it.
When you find yourself having intense mood swings or lashing out at friends and family members, it might be time to make a therapy appointment. Find one that has experience with people that suffer from brain damage and meet with them once or twice before entrusting them with your mental health.
3. Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can help to strengthen your body and mind in these difficult times, post-stroke or injury. Beginner’s yoga classes are both relaxing and help to engage muscles that you don’t normally use. Adapted yoga is proven to be very therapeutic during the recovery process.
Likewise, daily meditation can help you in many ways. It helps instill a sense of mindfulness, which helps in the battle against PTSD and depression, but it can also improve your concentration and focus. Just 15-30 minutes of meditation per day can do wonders for your mind-body connection.
4. Stimulate Creativity
One of the major symptoms of frontal lobe damage is the loss of a feeling of creativity. This is devastating for creative people, but you can do things to stimulate that creative itch that you used to have.
One of the best ways to reinvigorate creativity is to approach it from a different angle. Pick up a new instrument or try painting for the first time; or read books about famous artists and try and emulate what they do. Tackle it from every angle until something clicks.
5. Using Organization Apps
If you’re having trouble with memory and organization, it can be a big problem in your personal and professional life. Fortunately, there are numerous apps out there that can basically organize your life for you and notify you when something important is due.
6. Simplifying Household
Living alone with frontal lobe damage can be difficult because you’re in charge of all chores and tasks. Simplify your household work by making it more routine-based. Using your organization app, make it so that you’re doing certain chores on the same days every week.
7. Talk to Loved Ones
Your loved ones will want to help you deal with your symptoms, but they might not know the best ways to do so. Heck, you might not know how to deal with them until you’ve lived with them for a while.
Keep open lines of communication with those close to you so that they know how to help you if you’re feeling stressed, if you’re having mobility problems, or if you’re feeling unmotivated. The more they know, the better they can help.
8. Simple Meals
Preparing meals might be more difficult than it used to be. Find a few go-to recipes that you can quickly throw together when you’re feeling particularly sore or lethargic. Save the experimental cooking for when you’re having a great day and you feel like trying something different.
9. Manage Your Stressors
Heightened stress is completely normal in situations like yours. Learning how to manage it will be a process and everyone’s stressors and de-stressors are going to be different. Don’t be afraid to step away from stressful situations, but you should also get regular exercise, eat healthily, and get a good amount of sleep every night.
10. Take It Easy On Yourself
Lastly, and most importantly, you can’t beat yourself up when you’re feeling any particular symptom. Living with frontal lobe damage is hard, no matter what form it takes, so give yourself more time to complete tasks and never get too down on yourself when you can’t do something.
Getting Better With Time
Living with frontal lobe damage is life-changing. It might seem hard right now and you’ll always have good days and bad days, but it’ll get better with time. As you re-learn about yourself and what makes you tick, you’ll be able to deal with your symptoms more effectively and continue to enjoy a high quality of life.