Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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"Making Your Best Move"

The 2019
Brain Injury Association of Maryland Annual Conference

Just 3 weeks left to register.
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
The winter months bring shorter days and darker nights, but for some they also bring a darker mood. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of seasonal depression commonly known as “winter blues” affects one in five people. To be  diagnosed  with SAD, people must meet full criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons (appearing in the winter or summer months) for at least 2 years. Seasonal depressions must be much more frequent than any non-seasonal depressions.

People with SAD have  difficulty regulating the neurotransmitter serotonin , a neurotransmitter believed to be responsible for balancing mood. Scientists are trying to identify the causes of SAD. Two recent studies suggest that the culprit is a brain circuit that connects special light-sensing cells in the retina with brain areas that affect whether a person feels happy or sad. These researchers believe that these cells detect shorter days; they appear to use this pathway to send signals to the brain that can make a person feel glum or even depressed.
Dr. Jerome Sanes, a professor of neuroscience at Brown University, was part of a team that  found evidence  of the brain circuit in people. A few weeks earlier, a different team published a  study  suggesting a very similar circuit in mice.”It’s very likely that things like seasonal affective disorder involve this pathway,”  observed  Dr. Sanes.

CLICK HERE and grab you mood lighting .
My name is Kevin, and I have a phone problem.

And if you’re anything like me — and the statistics suggest you probably are, at least where smartphones are concerned — you have one, too.

I don’t love referring to what we have as an “addiction.” That seems too sterile and clinical to describe what’s happening to our brains in the smartphone era. Unlike alcohol or opioids, phones aren’t an addictive substance so much as a species-level environmental shock. We might someday evolve the correct biological hardware to live in harmony with portable supercomputers that satisfy our every need and connect us to infinite amounts of stimulation. But for most of us, it hasn’t happened yet.

I’ve been a heavy phone user for my entire adult life. But sometime last year, I crossed the invisible line into problem territory. My symptoms were all the typical ones: I found myself incapable of reading books, watching full-length movies or having long uninterrupted conversations. Social media made me angry and anxious, and even the digital spaces I once found soothing (group texts, podcasts, YouTube k-holes) weren’t helping. I tried various tricks to curb my usage, like deleting Twitter every weekend, turning my screen grayscale and installing app-blockers. But I always relapsed.

Eventually, in late December, I decided that enough was enough. I called Catherine Price, a science journalist and the author of “How to Break Up With Your Phone,” a 30-day guide to eliminating bad phone habits. And I begged her for help.

CLICK HERE for more on Kevin's challenge.


Come celebrate with this previous
BIAMD Annual Conference
Keynote Speaker!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 6:30pm
East City Book Shop
645 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
tel  202.290.1636

This event is free and open to the public.
RSVPs are encouraged at

* Space for this event is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that RSVP's do not necessarily guarantee a seat.*
Over the eight years since my own traumatic brain injury, I have been given all sorts of advice. From members of the medical and professional community to fellow brain injury survivors, it seems that everyone has their own opinion about what works best in helping those within the brain injury community to recover.

It is important to note that I present only a laypersons opinion about brain injury. I am not a doctor, nor a professional in any capacity. I am, however, able to offer the type of invaluable real-world experience that comes from living daily with a brain injury.

Though solutions come in unexpected places, I never expected my local Target store to hold to key to freedom from one of my biggest challenges since my brain injury – living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Since my 2010 cycling crash when a teenage driver t-boning me while I was cycling on Main Street of my town, I have lived a bit of an alphabet soup kind of existence. Sure, TBI became a familiar term, but so did PTSD, EEG, ABI, as well as a veritable dictionary of other acronyms.

Of all of the new challenges that I faced, however, it was perhaps my PTSD that caused me the most anguish. For me, TBI and PTSD are two links in the same chain, both caused by the same event, and both challenges that I live with every day.

CLICK HERE for more on David's quest for rest.

Each year The Heritage Players , a non-profit community theater group performing on the grounds of Spring Grove Hospital Center, stage a concert of a famous musical or movie. And each year, the Heritage Players donate a portion of the proceeds of the concert to a local non-profit organization serving the community.

This year the Heritage Players are singing Stephen Sondheim's
and have selected
the Brain Injury Association of Maryland
to be the recipient of this year's donation.

to buy tickets and
find out more about this unique concert event.

BIAMD would wholeheartedly like to thank The Heritage Players for selecting the Brain Injury Association of Maryland to be this year's recipient of such a wonderful community reinvestment.

2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy
Abby Maslin shares an inspiring story of resilience and commitment in a deeply affecting new memoir. After her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury, the couple worked together as he recovered—and they learned to love again. 

When Abby Maslin's husband, TC, didn't make it home on August 18, 2012, she knew something was terribly wrong. Her fears were confirmed when she learned that her husband had been beaten by three men and left for dead mere blocks from home, all for his cell phone and debit card.

The days and months that followed were a grueling test of faith. As TC recovered from a severe traumatic brain injury that left him unable to speak and walk, Abby faced the challenge of caring for—and loving—a husband who now resembled a stranger.

Love You Hard is the raw, unflinchingly honest story of a young love left broken, and the resilience required to mend a life and remake a marriage. Told from the caregiver's perspective, this book is a daring exploration of true love: what it means to love beyond language, beyond abilities, and into the place that reveals who we really are.

CLICK HERE for more.

 If you decide to buy this book, please don't forget to use  Amazon Smile  and select the Brain Injury Association of Maryland as your donation beneficiary.
5) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

Stay Safe. Stay Warm.

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Want to find a story from a past #5ThoughtsFriday blog posts, visit the archive by clicking HERE .

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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.