The classic film, The Wizard of Oz, has been an inspiration to many. The classic story of discontent, struggle and the search for happiness are timeless. But there is a more specific theme in the movie that is especially meaningful for sufferers of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Let’s not forget that Dorothy’s journey begins with a blow to the head, leaving her unconscious. The journey that follows is rife with metaphor for those seeking to cope with the frustrations and challenges of TBI. Her journey through Oz is filled with strange sights and sounds, a symbol for the altered reality experienced by those suffering from a brain injury.
In her journey, Dorothy makes many wise decisions that help her on the way. She gathers friends about her and forms strong relationships based on caring and giving. She takes up the cause of those whom she loves as her own. As a group, this “family” supports one another through their journey towards a common goal.
Dorothy also benefits from the care of Glinda the Good Witch who can be seen as a social worker or emotional counselor who guides Dorothy on her way. Glinda sends Dorothy on her journey to find the Great and Powerful Oz. The wizard may be seen as the medical help Dorothy needs, the neuropsychologist.
Finding the Right Doctor
When Dorothy does finally find the right doctor to help her, he turns her away. She must be persistent in getting the care she needs. She learns to stand up for herself and demand to be seen.
Healing the Brain
By fulfilling the task assigned to her by the wizard, securing the broom of the Wicked Witch, Dorothy begins her therapy. She must be brave and go through many emotional troubles to reach her goal. But when she does accomplish her goal, Dorothy finds out just how strong she is. She defeats the evil witch without even trying.
Recognizing the Source of Healing
When Dorothy finally does find her doctor, he is not the miracle cure she expected. Medications can help stabilize her mood, and therapy can help her retrain her brain. But these are only tools to help Dorothy heal herself. She must click her heels three times with her Ruby Slippers, a symbol of the lessons and tools she has gained through her helpful counselor, Glinda. Only then can she find the way back home.
No Place like Home
It is the hope of all TBI victims to find “home,” a place where they find stability, normalcy, comfort and support. Sadly, not all brain-injured individuals are able to find that place. They become stuck on their journey, somewhere between Glinda the Good Witch and clicking their heels three times.
If someone you love suffers from a serious brain injury, you are urged to contact our office for a free consultation. We may be able to help you win compensation for your loss, helping to pay for the expensive medical treatment that accompanies TBI.