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Can a Brain Injury Cause Personality Changes?

The brain is a highly complex but sensitive organ, and when it is injured, it can greatly impact our emotions. In the days following a traumatic brain injury you may notice changes in your personality. These “personality changes” are symptoms of the injury – these changes in a traumatic brain injury victim’s emotional and behavioral state are the result of a combination of organic damage and psychological reactions to the injury.

Common Mood Changes After Brain Injury

From memory problems and brain fog to headaches, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and more, brain injury symptoms can be difficult to live with. Sadly, many people with brain injuries also experience mood changes that can last for days, weeks, months, years, or even permanently. Some of the common mood changes after a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Anger and irritability: Many people report feeling impatient, irritable, and downright angry after a brain injury. With your brain and body working overtime to deal with your other symptoms, even a seemingly minor inconvenience can lead to overstimulation and, thus, an overreaction.
  • Anxiety: If you already have problems with anxiety, you may feel they are worse than before. Those without anxiety issues may suddenly find themselves anxious like never before—they may feel on edge, ruminate on various worst-case scenarios, and have trouble falling or staying asleep.
  • Depression: Dealing with a brain injury and all its symptoms, including mood changes, leads to depression for many. Those who have suffered repeated head injuries are at an even higher risk of depression.
  • Emotional liability: After a brain injury, a person may find themself laughing or crying uncontrollably. While expressing your emotions is healthy, “emotional lability” is when you feel as though how you are expressing your emotions does not align with how you truly feel. For example, you may find yourself laughing when you mean to cry or crying over things that never phased you before.
  • Impulsivity: Head injuries can lead to poor impulse control. This may manifest in different ways for different people.
  • Trouble with being social: Social struggles are common after a brain injury, in part due to the aforementioned mood changes. Other brain injury symptoms—like light and sound sensitivity, brain fog, and memory problems—can turn social outings into an exhausting experience. Many people with head injuries report having trouble tracking conversations, as well as describe being easily overstimulated on a night out.

Where these emotional and personality changes are not acknowledged or appropriately managed, this can add to the anxiety of the injured person and to their family and can lead to long-term emotional difficulties. A person can outwardly appear to have recovered well after a head injury, but still emotionally feel that they are not the person they were before. It is important to consult with a trained medical professional as soon as practicable. And while it can be hard to talk about, it is recommended that you tell your doctor about any mood changes you are experiencing. The right doctor will be able to devise a treatment plan that will help you manage these symptoms.

Skilled Brain Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles

Have you suffered a brain injury because of another’s negligence? You may qualify for financial compensation. Learn your rights in a free consultation with an acclaimed Los Angeles trial attorney. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we work to maximize our clients’ compensation. Call (866) 634-4525 today!

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