We’ve all read and heard tragic stories of professional football players and others with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) caused by multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) who became angry, violent, unstable people as the result of all this trauma to their brains. It can only take one TBI, however, to cause personality changes that can seriously affect someone’s ability to return to their previous lives.
The reason that TBI symptoms are so varied is in part that different parts of the brain affect different functions. A person may suffer vision problems, difficulty using and understanding language or memory loss, for example.
Frontal lobe injuries and personality changes
What’s broadly referred to as “personality changes” involves how people feel, think and behave. An injury to the frontal lobe of the brain can limit a person’s ability to empathize with others. Frontal lobe injuries can also cause people to become egocentric or what a lot of people would call narcissistic. This also involves a lack of empathy or ability to see things from others’ perspectives.
Also potentially dangerous and debilitating are brain injuries that result in increased irritability, anger and/or depression that can cause someone to harm themselves or others. Some 30% of those who suffer a TBI have reported that they experience more anger and aggressive behavior than before their injury.
While aggression and mood swings are among the most noticeable behavioral changes, other TBI victims experience a “flat affect,” where they express little or no emotion to anything, good or bad. This can cause someone to seem uncaring or apathetic, which can certainly harm relationships.
Proper diagnosis and care are crucial
By getting good medical care after an injury by doctors experienced in treating TBIs, patients have a better chance of getting an accurate diagnosis of their brain injury so they and their families better know what to expect. This can help them get the right treatment and rehabilitation that can help with some of these symptoms.
In the meantime, you can see how a TBI that causes these changes can affect a person’s ability to work or even to function within their family and in their daily lives. All of this needs to be factored in when seeking compensation from the party(ies) at fault for the injury. That’s one reason having experienced legal guidance is crucial.