Suffering from a brain injury after a car accident is quite common. People can suffer from a traumatic brain injury after hitting their head on different objects during an accident. The worst part of suffering from such injuries is that they have the tendency to completely change your personality and outlook on life. The way you express your emotions, handle them, and also talk to people about your life can turn out to be quite challenging.
A few people can feel their emotions very rapidly and powerfully with no profound effect. They could get easily irritated but get over it fast. Or they may appear to be “on an emotional journey” where they’re excited one minute, depressed the next, and then furious. It’s called emotional lability.
How Emotional Issues Are Caused After a Brain Injury?
If you damage the part of your brain that handles emotions and human behavior, there can be a significant change in your mood swings. It is normal for even the calmest of people to react incredibly frustrated and easily irritated.
In certain cases, when the brain injury is left untreated for a while, people can experience different fits of expressions like laughter or crying. You might not be feeling anything but even then experience mood swings. Such expressions are out of control and you must explain them to people who might find your behaviors very insulting.
Is There a Solution to Handle Emotional Problems?
Fortunately, yes. With proper traumatic brain injury treatment, you will be able to see a difference in your personality after a couple of months. When treated at the right time with proper therapy, you will be able to return to your normal emotional response. Many neurologists also prefer that people with brain injuries seek emotional treatment from a professional therapist. Talking to professional psychiatrists will help you with the treatment and allow you to handle your emotions better. They might prescribe you medications to balance your emotional response. Your therapist can also talk to your family and prescribe them ways to handle your emotions.
How Should a Family Handle Emotional Issues After a Brain Injury?
If your loved one is suffering from emotional outbursts, you need to keep in mind a few tips:
- Always remain calm and do not react if the person is reacting to something that does not matter that much.
- Try to talk to that person in a very calm tone and explain why their reaction could be a bit ‘too much. Just make sure that you are not embarrassing them in front of everyone.
- Ask them to express their feelings and why they reacted that way.
- Give them a talk on how their reaction could have been too much. Just divert the attention to calm the situation and give them a chance to realize that their reaction was too much.
What Are Some Common Emotional Issues After a Brain Injury?
The most commonly reported emotional issues that people go through after an accident are:
- Irritation and temper problems
Anxiety is feeling nervous in a situation even when it’s not required. People who suffer from brain injuries might go through anxiety without having an understanding of why they are feeling this way.
Anxiety will leave you with mixed feelings like failing a task. Many circumstances can be more difficult to cope with after brain damage and cause anxiety. Some of these situations can be being in a crowd, rushing, or adapting to unexpected changes in the schedule. Anxiety can be dealt with by analyzing the situation, understanding the possible outcomes, and then making sure you are over it.
When suffering from a brain injury, having mixed feelings of sadness and anxiety combined will result in depression. You might not feel that you are depressed right after the injury and as soon as you gain consciousness. Depression appears at the later stages when you are into recovery. Many people have complaints that they feel more overwhelmed by everything around them. Being depressed can actually impact the way you recover.
If you are looking for symptoms of depression, they are difficulty focusing on one thing, loss of appetite, insomnia, sadness, suicidal thoughts.
Even if the injury doesn’t leave you depressed, you are likely to develop symptoms during the recovery process.
Emotional Outbursts and Irritation
The person who suffers from an injury to the brain is more likely to suffer from sudden emotional outbursts. Family members of people with TBI are known to complain that the person is easily irritated and has emotional outbursts. According to a recent survey, almost 70% of people are easily irritated. Even people with calm personalities have often seemed to be really irritated and angry over small things. Throwing objects, slamming doors, yelling, and using bad language is quite common.
Medical Support After TBI
Obviously, you will be needing a proper traumatic brain injury treatment right after the accident. However, you need to stay in touch with the doctors and healthcare providers who are dealing with the case at hand.
If you are going through treatment, it is important that you be regular on all your follow-up appointments. Inform your doctors about the changes you are going through. If your loved one is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, consider visiting them and giving a detailed perspective on what they are feeling. Also, if you are feeling depressed, talk to people around you who would actually support you through these tough times.
Many people also start visiting support groups with the help of their psychiatrist, peer monitoring groups, and also mentoring groups.
Traumatic Brain Injury can actually lead to emotional changes in a persons’ body. Make sure that you are taking regular sessions with your doctor and also sharing your problems with people around you. If the TBI victim is your loved one, do not take their emotional outbursts personally. Rather, spend some time with them and ask them about why they are acting this way and what could be done to entirely avoid the problem.