How Does Traumatic Brain Injury Affect Your Behavior?

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Traumatic brain injuries affect everyone differently, but researchers have found that the location of the injury is the main determining factor in how these injuries affect behavior and emotions.

For example, the frontal lobe is responsible for impulse control and personality, according to Healthline. Someone with damage to this area may experience difficulty with their self-control.

They may become uncontrollably aggressive or happy in inappropriate situations or even say things that are offensive without realizing how others may receive their message. Other times, some people become muted and no longer display their emotions.


Common Side Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries On Behavior?

People who experience behavioral side effects from their brain injury will most commonly suffer from the following conditions:

  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Loss of Inhibition
  • Poor Judgment
  • Mood Swings
  • Verbal Outbursts
  • Negativity
  • Physical Outbursts
  • Risky Behavior
  • Apathy
  • Rigidity
  • Intolerance
  • Depression
  • Loss of Motivation
  • Egocentricity
  • Loss of Empathy
  • Lack of Initiative
  • Inflexibility
  • Anxiety

Many victims of traumatic brain injuries suffer from mood swings because their emotions become difficult to control. The brain controls how people feel and express their emotions, so when it is damaged, the way people would normally react, feel, and express themselves changes.

Victims suffering from these symptoms often describe their experience as being trapped on an emotional roller coaster.

They can be feeling devastated and switch to feeling extremely happy in an instant. They may suddenly start crying or laughing for no discernible reason, and the emotions they are feeling at the time will not always match their expressions.

The effects of TBI on behavior are frustrating for victims and their families. The unpredictability of the victim’s emotions and reactions makes interactions difficult and sometimes frightening.

Education on how brain damage causes these changes and that the victim cannot control them is helpful not only to the family but to the victim as well.

People with brain injuries do not always realize that their behavior has changed from before the injury. A great amount of understanding needs to be in place in order to successfully deal with these issues, and remember that this is a difficult situation for everyone.

How to Cope With Behavioral Changes From a Traumatic Brain Injury

People with traumatic brain injuries that have affected their behavior can learn to regain a sense of control over their behavior and emotions. Neuropsychologists and behavior therapists are the experts in this field and should be consulted for individualized guidance and treatment strategies.

Some people benefit from deep breathing or the redirection of thoughts to help overcome their feelings of anger or intolerance. With help, they are able to make more positive decisions and control, or at least soften their reactions.

People experiencing emotional highs and lows from a brain injury should speak with the people they interact with on a regular basis to inform them about how brain injuries affect behavior and that they are working towards improving their symptoms, but sometimes uncontrollable outbursts or mood swings may occur.

With this knowledge, people will be able to respond with patience and support the victim through inappropriate behavior. Other people can help the victims of brain injuries to become aware of what triggers the undesirable behaviors or emotional reactions so that they can be avoided or dealt with before they become a problem.

Victims need to remember that these changes are not their fault and that they can be improved upon with time and effort.

Other beneficial ways to cope and recover from behavioral changes include the following techniques:

  • Avoid situations, places, or people that trigger inappropriate reactions until you are better equipped to handle them.
  • Join a support group to share with people who are experiencing the same symptoms to avoid feeling isolated in your experience and to get tips from people with different perspectives.
  • Walk away from people when you have an emotional outburst or tell them to walk away. You can talk to them again after calming down so the situation does not escalate out of control.
  • Apologize for acting inappropriately. Although these behaviors are not your fault, they are still your responsibility, and apologizing can help maintain relationships.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings about how your brain injury has affected your life and ability to control yourself. Confiding in your loved ones will ease your burden and also give them a better understanding of what you are going through.
  • Meditation can help remove negative thoughts that would otherwise continue to build and make you more agitated.
  • Remember to take care of your body. Regular exercise and a healthy diet keep your mind calm and clear.

How Can Family, Friends, and Other Caregivers Help Victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries Handle Their Behavioral Problems

People who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries need help from the people around them. Family, friends, and other people who care for them have the largest impact on their well-being and recovery efforts, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Dealing with behavioral and emotional issues is exhausting and stressful, but there are some things that can be done to improve your situation.

  • Stay calm. It is important to refrain from reacting in a similar fashion as the victim to prevent the situation from escalating. Gently encourage recognition of their emotions, especially ones of anger and frustration. Help them calm down using deep breathing or other techniques that help in these situations.
  • Recognize what triggers inappropriate responses. These triggers should either be avoided or gently dealt with if they cannot be prevented.
  • Help them to develop a management plan for their anger and frustration. They might need a break or to be alone in order to calm down. They may need somewhere to go or an activity, such as a punching bag or other physical outlets, to regain their composure and to also signal to you and others around them that they need a moment.
  • Develop a routine to provide consistency and structure.
  • Simplify tasks to avoid frustration
  • Avoid surprises whenever possible. People with brain injuries do better when they are prepared for situations.
  • Learn and use effective anger management techniques and reinforce their efforts.
  • Be consistent with your reactions to their inappropriate behavior. Consistency will help them manage their difficult behavior and will also help keep them from getting frustrated.
  • Role-play or rehearse certain situations to prepare them for possible triggers and to increase their confidence in handling the situation.
  • Take a break before you start to burn out.
  • Recognize upcoming challenges and approach them calmly. Your calm demeanor will help them regulate their own responses.
  • Ask for help from the rehabilitation psychologist or neuropsychologist from their health care team to develop behavioral management strategies.
  • Communicate challenges and improvements with their healthcare team.
  • Do not tolerate violent physical attacks or verbal abuse. Violence is never acceptable, so tell their healthcare team immediately about any indications that this may be a possibility or if their anger is becoming more intense or frequent.
  • Remember that if you are not comfortable with their behavior, they probably are not comfortable either.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Brain damage is a very real condition, and caring for your loved one with behavioral problems is one of the most difficult things you may ever have to do. Ask questions, join a support group, and take for yourself to keep yourself strong for them and for yourself.
  • Medications are often effective for managing outbursts of anger, especially when combined with behavioral management techniques. Victims of brain injuries often have difficulty remembering to take their medications, or they do not want to take them, so they will need your help and encouragement to make sure they are getting the help they need.

Contact the Heavy Hitters to Handle Your Case for Compensation

Traumatic brain injuries cause some of the most devastating injuries imaginable. Many people lose their ability to control their emotions and behaviors.

Victims and their families often feel overwhelmed, isolated, stressed, frustrated, and confused about what to do next to be able to continue with their lives. Personal injury attorneys help by ensuring victims receive full compensation for their injuries, so they can receive the treatment, medication, and care that they need.

By hiring Tatum & Atkinson, you will have a lawyer who is fully invested in your case. They will ensure a full investigation into the accident that caused your injury, collecting evidence to prove negligence and building a strong case using medical evaluations, police reports, and witness statements.

The lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters are experienced and will help you determine an accurate assessment of the damages you have suffered.

Traumatic brain injuries affect every aspect of your life, including your finances. You should not have to worry about being able to afford your treatment, medications, special equipment, or other care that you need as a result of someone else’s negligent actions.

Our lawyers will make sure your compensation is enough to cover everything you need.

You should not have to fight for what you are legally entitled to receive, especially while you are in recovery. Tatum & Atkinson are aggressive and will not stop fighting on your behalf until you recover everything that is rightfully yours.

For a free consultation about your case, call (800) LAW-0804 today to get your process started.