Personality changes are very common after a traumatic brain injury, because brain injury affects how people understand and process information. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury is just not the same person they once were.
Below, our experienced brain attorneys will discuss the way that a brain injury may affect a victim’s personality. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. The brain injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to answer any questions you may have about traumatic brain injuries.
After a traumatic brain injury, personality changes typically originate from either:
- Specific and tangible changes to the way a victim’s brain expresses, understands, and experiences emotions. This makes it very hard for brain injury victims to ever live a normal emotional life.
- Emotional changes brought on as a response to unwanted changes caused by a victim’s brain injury.
A traumatic brain injury causes marked personality changes because it has damaged important connections going from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system. The cerebral cortex plays an important role in awareness, memory, attention, cognition, and perception. The limbic system is important because it supports motivation, behavior, and emotions.
The brain is very delicate. It goes without saying that a serious brain injury will have the unfortunate effect of disrupting connections inside the brain which help people with emotional awareness, as well as being able to react accordingly to certain emotional situations.
Once these connections are disrupted, a victim’s emotional responses will of course become much different than what they were prior to their injury. For obvious reasons, these sudden changes to a loved one’s personality will cause serious challenges for both the individual and their loved ones. A brain injury victim cannot control what is happening to them and may in fact become unrecognizable. It is especially heartbreaking for a brain injury victim’s loved ones to try to adapt to these dramatic changes in personality.
A brain injury is very emotionally traumatic for a victim. It is common for brain injury victims to feel depressed, angry, frustrated, scared, and anxious about how their lives are no longer the same. It is perfectly normal to feel this way, and in fact, it is healthy to express these emotions as you adapt to your new personality and way of life.
To further add to the stressful changes a victim typically undergoes after such an injury is the fact that a brain injury victim’s brain sometimes will get stuck in a permanent state of fight or flight. This makes it especially challenging for an individual to ever truly enter a state of relaxation because his or her brain is constantly attempting to “survive” the injury and process what has even happened.