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Personality changes after a brain injury

The human brain is an amazingly complex organ, the contents and makeup of which essentially make each of us who we are. In cases where an individual is involved in a car accident, falls and hits his or her head or suffers a blow to the head playing a sport; an injury to the head and brain can occur.

When a brain injury occurs, an individual may be affected in a numerous ways. While problems and deficiencies in physical and cognitive functioning are readily discussed, changes in personality can also be striking and significant.

Depending on the location and severity of a brain injury, an individual may experience a range of emotional and personality changes. In some cases, a brain injury sufferer's entire demeanor may be altered resulting in a previously happy, easygoing and charismatic individual suddenly being depressed, rigid and withdrawn.

For both the individual and his or her family members, coping with changes in personality can be extremely challenging. Even individuals who suffer brain injuries that appear to be nearly identical may exhibit very different symptoms. For example, one individual may show almost no signs of emotion or response while an individual who suffers a similar brain injury may be thrown into fits of rage for seemingly no reason.

Unfortunately, when the human brain suffers an injury the resulting personality and emotional changes tend to be negative and may include aggression, self-centeredness, memory problems, sadness and confusion. Some individuals may benefit from therapy and, over time, some personality changes may dissipate in intensity.

A brain injury changes everything and often in ways that people never even considered. For individuals and family members who have been affected by a brain injury and who are struggling to cope with the many accompanying challenges, it's important to seek the help and support of professionals.

Source: Caregiver.org, "Coping with Behavor Problems after Head Injury," May 14, 2015

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