People often talk about what the impact of a brain injury may be on the victim, but what they don’t discuss as often is how the family of that person may be affected. A traumatic brain injury can cause many serious symptoms and side effects that have the potential to change almost everything about a person.
One of the greatest issues with traumatic brain injuries is that there is a potential for personality changes. A family may find that the person they once knew and loved is now completely different and not at all who they expect when interacting with one another.
Why do personality changes happen after a TBI?
There are a few reasons why personality changes happen after a TBI. There could be different underlying causes to consider.
The first reason people’s personalities may change is because of damage to the part of the brain that controls behavior and emotions. They may have damage to the part of the brain that controls their impulses, too, which makes them more likely to suddenly snap or have a mood swing.
It’s not uncommon for people with this condition to have sudden outbursts of laughing or crying. The outbursts may not actually reflect how the person is feeling, either. It’s important for family members to know that the victim typically cannot control these responses.
Another time when a person’s behavior may change is if they are depressed, anxious or struggling with trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is unfortunately common among those who have been involved in serious collisions or accidents. This could contribute to changes in the way person behaves.
Is there anything that families can do to help?
Your family can continue to be supportive of your loved one. As they recover, you may start to see some improvement in their behaviors, though this may take several months and is not always the case.
Medications, counseling and other medical options may be available to treat the cause of the mood swings or behavior changes at the same time as helping families cope with the changes their loved one is going through.