Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, an increased heart rate.
Smiling, laughing, and sometimes, tears.
Being in love or feeling attracted to someone stirs up plenty of emotions — positive, negative and everything in between — that can be hard to navigate at the best of times.
For a person with an acquired brain injury, there are a host of other challenges thrown into the mix when it comes to dating and relationships.
Consider a few examples.
A young man, thanks to his ABI, lacks sexual inhibition and often makes inappropriate comments to complete strangers, such as fellow riders on the subway. A few people file complaints and now he has to explain himself to the authorities.
A woman married 12 years finds herself acting as a caregiver for her spouse who she feels “Is not the person I fell in love with.”
An eight-year-old girl with a brain injury hits puberty well ahead of other girls her age in a process known as precocious puberty, leaving her confused and embarrassed about the changes happening to her.
Throughout this month, Toronto brain injury blog will address these and other issues relating to Love and intimacy.
In our Question and Answer, Caron Gan, a registered marriage and family therapist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, will offer insight into the issue of sexuality for youths aged 8 to 25.
Also this month, BIST member Ian Bowles shares his story of how he and his partner maintained their relationship after Ian’s ABI.
And BIST social worker Michelle Ratcliff provides advice for people with an ABI who are thinking about dating.
To read these articles and get other information from BIST, check out the sidebar of this page to subscribe to the blog via email or ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Matthew Chung, BIST member and Editor of Toronto brain injury blog