Imagine experiencing an entire change in personality and emotions after suffering from an injury. You may become more impulsive, more irritable, and less patient in situations that hadn’t bothered you before now.
Your loved ones may not understand the changes that you are experiencing. They may say that you are not the same person that you once were and may be confused by your behavior. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, this should not be difficult for you to imagine. In fact, this is quite common for TBI victims.
How does a TBI affect a victim’s personality and emotional state?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is brain dysfunction that is initiated by an outside force. This outside force is typically a blow to the head or penetration of the skull. TBIs require a medical diagnosis. There are some TBIs that can appear mild or moderate like concussions. But even those types of TBIs can leave you disoriented for a few hours. In more severe cases, they can change how you think and behave.
TBI victims can experience behavior changes in several ways:
- Issues managing emotions. TBI victims may experience extreme emotional responses to a circumstance. They may raise their voice one minute and laugh the next.
- Feeling unmotivated. TBI victims may begin to experience symptoms of depression. They may have issues engaging in activities even though they understand the benefit of participating in them.
- Difficulty starting tasks. TBI victims may also have issues initiating conversations or tasks, even if they feel like initiating them.
- Social behavior issues. TBI victims may intentionally avoid others, interrupt others when speaking, or make hurtful statements. They may also make inappropriate comments.
- Restlessness. TBI victims may appear restless and constantly fidget or pace around.
Short-term memory issues and brain trauma
The part of your brain that was injured matters. It can affect the types of symptoms that you will experience from your injury. The anterior temporal lobe is the part of the brain that assists with short-term memory and retaining information. When this part of the brain is injured, it can limit your ability to store short-term memories in your brain.
You may be able to remember something for up to a few hours but have issues recalling that memory days later. This can show itself in various ways. You may have issues remembering where you placed your phone or wallet. You may forget critical information that a family member may have told you several times before. Fortunately, this symptom may improve over time. Columbus TBI victims can participate in therapeutic services and practice memory exercises.
TBIs can affect concentration
Another common symptom of TBIs is concentration issues. TBI victims have a greater difficulty focusing and concentrating for long periods of time. After suffering damage to the brain, TBI victims may have a harder and longer time processing information. As a result, TBI victims may find it challenging to understand certain situations.
Poor impulse control after a traumatic brain injury
TBI victims may also have an issue with impulse control. Instead of stopping and considering the consequences of their actions, TBI victims will just do what they want. Some medical experts have even connected a lack of impulse control to behaviors like compulsive shopping.
TBI victims may also lack a particular filter when it comes to their thoughts and actions. They may say whatever comes to mind the second that it does, regardless of the social setting. TBI victims may also be prone to angry outbursts. This anger can be extreme and happen suddenly. One of the most common behavioral changes in TBI victims is a temper. TBI victims can experience an intense rage out of nowhere.
How a brain injury can affect your relationships
Another issue that TBI victims experience are relationship issues with family, friends, and significant others. The mood changes and cognitive issues can cause TBI victims to lash out at their loved ones. The victim’s loved ones may react differently to their behavior. They may choose to cut contact off temporarily or permanently. They may silently endure the behavior and build resentment towards the victim.
Some family members or friends feel that they must walk on eggshells when the victim is around. No matter the response, the changes in behavior can negatively affect the victim’s relationships with their loved ones. Living with this type of anxiety can cause stress to the victim and their loved ones.
Other possible reasons for personality changes after a TBI
In addition to the location of the brain that was injured, there are other reasons why TBI victims can experience personality or mood changes. The changes in mood or behavior could be a side effect of the medication that the victim is taking. The victim’s medication or rehabilitation process in general can cause the victim to experience physiological changes.
Other reasons include having normal emotional reactions to the changes caused by a TBI. TBI victims are still capable of feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed after experiencing the cognitive issues with their injury. They may feel upset at the fact that their thinking has been altered or that they can no longer perform tasks that were once simple to them. It also doesn’t help that the ability to evaluate emotional reactions is limited.
If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI at the hands of someone else’s negligence, speak with a Columbus TBI lawyer at Soroka & Associates. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today.