Brain Injury:

Behavioral Problems and Personality Changes

Among the many brain injury complications, behavioral problems and personality changes are often the most difficult to handle. Behavioral and personality changes following a brain injury can interfere with an individual's work, relationships, and social interaction. Therefore, behavioral changes must be identified and dealt with properly to ensure the complications of a traumatic brain injury do not completely disrupt a patient’s life.

Behavioral Problems in Brain Injury Patients

Both neurological changes and environmental factors lead to behavioral problems in brain injury patients. The initial behavioral problems are a result of the traumatic brain injury itself. Whether the behavior continues depends on how the patient’s family and friends react. For instance, an individual who becomes aggressive and frustrated after suffering a brain injury often finds one of two reactions. People will either reinforce the behavior by giving it attention or simply ignore it. Patients who receive attention for their actions are more likely to continue acting inappropriately, while those who are ignored are more likely to improve their behavior.

Common behavioral changes in brain injury patients include:

  • Aggression, either toward themselves or others
  • Tantrums
  • Crying
  • Non-compliance
  • Yelling and shouting
  • Explosive anger
  • Property destruction

Patients experiencing behavioral changes as a brain injury complication will need treatment depending upon the type of behavioral change and their willingness and cooperation. Placing the brain injury victim in a supportive atmosphere where they can share their feelings can help them identify and change their behavior. In some patients, medications will be prescribed along with counseling and therapy.

Personality Changes Following a Brain Injury

Common personality changes and emotional problems in brain injury patients include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Childish behavior
  • Aggression and violence
  • Impaired self-control and self-awareness
  • impulsiveness and/or lack of inhibition
  • Inappropriate sexual activity
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Some personality changes after a brain injury resolve as the patient heals, while other changes are permanent. Most brain injury patients who experience personality changes and emotional problems will undergo brain injury treatment such as psychotherapy and taking medications. While personality changes as a brain injury complication can be frustrating, treatment is available.

If you or a loved one is suffering from brain injury complications, including personality and behavioral changes, medical help is available. After selecting a course of brain injury treatment, patients should consider their legal options. A brain injury lawsuit can help patients and their families pay for these treatments, as well as obtain compensation for lost wages incurred by the injury. To find out if you qualify for a lawsuit, fill out our free case review to speak to a brain injury lawyer.

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