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Brain Injuries and Personality Changes

Often, recovery after a brain injury can focus only on the physical aspects of healing including recovery of mobility, movement and the ability to perform routine tasks and take care of one’s needs. Lost in the treatment plan may be the psychological damage and emotional distress that many brain injury victims continue to face months after the injury.

Brain injuries are severe injuries that seriously impact a person’s ability to lead a normal life.  These are catastrophic injuries that can impact a person’s ability to perform even daily routine tasks, like looking after himself, eating or bathing.  A brain injury can impact a person’s vision or hearing. These are some of the more commonly known effects of a brain injury. Lesser known or acknowledged is the long-term emotional damage inflicted by these injuries.

We know enough about some of this damage. For instance, we know that brain injury patients tend to have a higher risk of falling into depression in the months after the injury. Other mental health issues like anxiety may also be seen.  Did you know that brain injury patients may also suffer from severe anger and rage control issues?

Often, these effects only emerge several weeks after the injury and after the person has reached a state of maximum medical improvement beyond which he is not expected to improve further. At this point, the person might feel a sense of frustration at what has happened to him and the unfairness of it. He might deal with feelings of extreme sadness and anger. Temper outbursts or extreme irritability after a brain injury are fairly common and, very often, family members or caregivers may be unable to cope with these changes or understand the reasons for these. A person with a brain injury, who was otherwise docile or had a pleasant personality before the injury, may find himself losing his temper for minor reasons. Studies have found that close to three-quarters of people who have suffered a traffic brain injury suffer from frequent irritability, and during these episodes, may even turn violent or abusive against caregivers or family members.

Sadness can also set in as the person begins to adjust to his life after the injury and comes to terms with the reduced opportunities for recreation or other activities.  When sadness becomes extreme or when it takes the form of withdrawal from social interaction or stopping activities that used to give the person pleasure, it may be important for caregivers to set in and get the person assessed for depression. Shame is another common emotion that persons with brain injuries may struggle with. A brain injury patient may require trauma counselling in order to cope with all of these disruptive emotions that he can suffer from.

A brain injury claim can help pay for psychological counselling and trauma therapy to help accident victims deal with these feelings of anger and sadness.  If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury in an accident, talk to an Atlanta car accident attorney at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers, and determine whether you have legal options to a claim for damages. You might be eligible for a claim that helps you recover compensation for medical expenses, including hospitalization, treatment and therapy costs.

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