When most people think about the negative side effects associated with a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, physical reactions like feeling nauseated, blacking out or experiencing headaches likely come to mind. While the physical side effects of TBIs are often painful and disruptive to normal functioning, other side effects, including changes in behaviors and emotions, are often less discussed.

The human brain acts as the centrifuge from which all bodily functions and processes evolve and are controlled. It makes sense, therefore, that there are likely to be other significant changes that stem from such damage. Among the most difficult with which to cope for the individual who is directly impacted and his or her family, are changes related to personality and behavior.

Unfortunately, personality and behavioral changes commonly experienced in the wake of a TBI are almost always negative. For example, increased anger and frustration are common as are the development of serious and potentially debilitating mental conditions like anxiety and depression. Depending on the severity of these changes, after a TBI, an individual may seem as though he or she has a completely different personality.

An individual who was previously described as being outgoing, inquisitive and polite may suddenly become withdrawn, aloof and easily agitated. These significant changes often negatively impact both personal and professional relationships and can lead to divorce and job loss. In cases where an individual suffers a brain injury as a child, parents may fail to realize that depression, anxiety and social difficulties experienced later in life in fact stem from a TBI injury.

While there is no way to undo the damage suffered after a TBI or reverse the adverse side effects that may result, an individual may be able to recover compensation. An attorney, who handles personal injury and specializes in brain injuries, can assist.

Source: Brain Injury Education, “Behavioral / Emotional Issues,” Dec. 4, 2015