A traumatic brain injury can have much more than just physical effects. You may experience serious emotional and behavioral changes as well. Depending on what part of the brain is injured and the severity of the damage, the way you express or feel emotions may change.
There are a lot of potential emotional and behavioral impacts of brain injuries, from apathy to emotional outbursts. Here are some common ways your behaviors and feelings may change after sustaining a TBI:
1. Emotional volatility
In certain cases, a head injury may result in extreme emotions and mood swings, such as:
- Angry outbursts
- Sudden tears
- Unexplained laughter
Extreme reactions sometimes occur due to neurological damage.
2. Memory issues
As a brain injury survivor, you may have memory problems. This can be a short-term memory loss or amnesia in relation to certain periods of your life. Brain injuries may also present challenges with learning and retaining new information.
It is normal to feel sad and frustrated after sustaining a TBI. However, it is possible for these feelings to interfere with your daily life and become overwhelming. If this is the case, your TBI may be causing depression. Signs of depression include feeling worthless, changes in appetite, altered sleeping patterns, loss of pleasure in life, withdrawing from others and having thoughts of suicide.
4. Temper problems
A TBI may affect your temper and make you more irritable. You may find yourself yelling, using foul language, slamming doors, throwing objects or even threatening to hurt people. Approximately seventy-one percent of TBI survivors experience frequent irritability.
After a TBI, you may experience:
- Anxiety about making mistakes
- Fear of failure
- Panic attacks
- A dread of social situations
Post-traumatic stress disorder may even play a role in anxiousness.
If you suffer from any of these conditions, make sure you seek support from friends, family members and a mental health professional.