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How Do Personalities Change After a Traumatic Brain Injury

R. Mark Maritote Oct. 12, 2018

After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), even a person who essentially recovers may still seem very different to loved ones. While the recovery may be “good” in the sense that they do not have physical or mental disabilities, that does not mean the injury had no impact on their life.

In some cases, the change is dramatic and stressful, both for the person and for those around them. For example, an energetic, happy person could become angry and irritable. An easy-going person could snap at others and suddenly want to keep to themselves when they used to love spending time in social settings.

Though this does not always happen, experts note that people may just have exaggerated personality traits based on what they were like before the injury. They have less control over the things they perhaps kept a close rein on before. If someone was typically a bit cynical and uneasy around others, he or she could become paranoid and unwilling to ever meet new people. If someone had trouble getting along with family members but was typically able to work at it, he or she could stop trying and begin starting fights and arguments at every turn.

Remember, the person does not always have control over these changes. Family members must not compare that person with the way they were before. They may never change back. Bringing it up often may make it worse, as they feel embarrassed and frustrated.

As you can see, a TBI can drastically change your life, even when you make a good overall recovery. Be sure you know what legal options you have to seek financial compensation.