Protecting You During Trying Times

Does a traumatic brain injury alter your personality?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Brain Injury Claims, Catastrophic Injury, Personal Injury

Following a severe head injury, pain, dizziness or even memory loss is to be expected. What may come as a surprise to you and your loved ones, however, is your new personality. You might’ve once been patient and gentle, but after your accident, anger comes more easily.

Why does this happen?

When injury strikes the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and behavior could make you start exhibiting a personality change. With impulse control out of the way, you may not even know you are acting inappropriately or lashing out.

After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it is common for survivors to feel more irritable, anxious, angry, or sad. Even though these appear as personality changes, physicians say your overall personality does not truly change. As it turns out, the damage to your frontal lobe has loosened the controls on your impulsiveness, making it easier for these feelings to come to the surface.

However, a complete lack of emotion, known as the flat effect, is also possible. The damage to your brain could affect how you express yourself, causing you to appear indifferent even when you feel otherwise.

Dealing with the new ‘you’

Behavioral changes are among the many concerning consequences of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It may not hurt physically, but it can inflict emotional damage. Individuals discovering the changes in their personality tend to feel as though a part of them has disappeared. Meanwhile, family members of survivors may struggle to live with someone who no longer feels like the person they know.

Unfortunately, people do not always know the extent of their TBI due to technological shortcomings. Such a gap in understanding can lead to irrational behaviors that you’re unaware are beyond your control, potentially causing lasting harm to your personal relationships.

Adapting to a life with reduced impulse control will require patience from you and your loved ones. If you have been in a car accident recently or are showing signs of TBI, seek medical help right away.