Focused On Helping Brain Injury Victims And Their Families

The emotional effects of brain injuries

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2024 | Brain Injury

When someone has a brain injury, it is not just about bumps and bruises. Besides the serious physical problems that the individual may suffer, like a concussion or a brain issue that shows up on a brain scan, the emotional toll that brain injuries can take is like an invisible storm inside the brain.

Many times, individuals who suffer from brain injuries develop symptoms like:

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Changes in personality
  • Changes in emotional affect
  • Behavioral changes

Depression, which is sometimes associated with sadness, can feel like having a rain cloud over you that will not go away, even on sunny days. People who suffer brain injuries and, as a result, develop depression can feel this way and not know it is because of their brain injury.


Most times, a scan or a blood test cannot identify these complications, which is why it is difficult to identify the symptoms and treat them, as most tests cannot measure the emotional effects of brain injuries.

This is why it is so important for people who suffer from a brain injury to remain alert for how they feel, not only after the event that caused the brain injury but long after the event.

How the brain manages emotions

When a person sustains a brain injury, it can cause emotions to go haywire because the brain acts like a control center for emotions.

The individual may feel more down or anxious than usual, and it is not something you can see from the outside. It is very tough for the person experiencing it because others might not understand what they are going through.

A person with a brain injury figuratively fights against an invisible symptom unless medical professionals who understand brain injuries thoroughly identify it as stemming from the injury and treat it.

These emotional battles are not immediately clear. It can take time for these conditions to develop, which is why it is crucial for everyone around the individual to be supportive and compassionate about their emotional changes.

Other symptoms to look out for are:

  • Feeling frustrated or sad because they no longer enjoy activities they used to enjoy,
  • Wanting to be alone often (isolation),
  • Significant changes in how that person behaves with other people (a person who was never particularly angry begins having angry outbursts).

Awareness is the first step towards recovery. Understanding that this is real and could happen is important. Then, ensuring the individual seeks help and support and receives proper treatment for their symptoms is critical for recovery.

In the end, understanding and compassion go a long way. People might not see the emotional battles from the outside, but that does not mean the person is not experiencing them. Offering support and showing kindness is critical when dealing with people who might show signs of harm from the brain injury.