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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Friday, May 18, 2018

Understanding Personality Changes After a Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change your life. Falls and vehicle collisions are two of the most common causes of TBIs. That means that TBIs are particularly common after an accident. However, they are difficult to spot, and you may not realize you have one until long after the accident.

If you think that you or a loved one has a traumatic brain injury, you need to get medical help immediately. Whether you get immediate medical attention can mean the difference between life or death in some situations. Then, when you are able, you should call a Texas TBI lawyer to help with the legal issues regarding your claims.

Mental or Cognitive Symptoms of TBIs

The physical symptoms of a TBI, like a headache and loss of consciousness, are easier to spot than the psychological symptoms. You may not notice the mental or cognitive side effects until hours or even days after an accident. These changes may include:

  • Memory or concentration problems

  • Depression or anxiety

  • Mood swings

  • Personality changes

Personality changes are perhaps the most drastic result of a TBI, and they can be very frightening for friends and family members. Understanding these changes is one of the first steps to recovery and adjustment.

Why Do Personality Changes Occur?

Personality change doesn’t happen with every TBI, but it can frequently occur. Personality changes are the result of damage to specific areas of the brain, including the:

  • Frontal and temporal lobes

  • Hippocampus

  • Amygdala

Disruptions to the neurotransmitters in the brain have an effect on whether you can control your thoughts and emotions as well.

The real causes of the change are not straightforward. Sometimes damage to the brain, even the same parts, can affect people in different ways. That is because there are many hubs for basic emotions, such as happiness or pleasure. While there are a few main areas, mood and personality can be affected by damage to seemingly unrelated areas of the brain as well.

What Kinds of Personality Changes Can Occur?

The personality changes that take place will vary by the person and the particular area of the brain that was harmed. Potential changes may include:

  • Agitation

  • Volatile emotions

  • Memory impairment

  • Physical and verbal aggression

  • Impaired impulse control

  • Inability or impaired ability to make complex decisions

  • Problems with motivation or drive

It can also lead to some more dangerous habits, such as substance abuse. Some individuals will experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Dealing with Personality Changes After a Brain Injury

It is difficult for the person with the brain injury to recognize changes in themselves; friends and family will often see it first. Creating healthy coping mechanisms for both the victim and their family is essential. Part of the process is understanding that sometimes the victim cannot control their outbursts or anger. Medications can help, including those that work well for anxiety and depression, but they likely cannot address the problem completely.

Although asserting a lawsuit cannot fix the problem either, it can provide financial support while you seek help for yourself or a loved one dealing with this new change. Money damages can help with medical expenses, including therapy and medication. Call the team at The Tony Nguyen Law Firm to talk to an experienced professional about your potential legal options.


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