Can a Brain Injury Affect Your Personality?

February 11, 2019 | Crandall & Pera Law
Can a Brain Injury Affect Your Personality?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects everyone differently, but all brain injuries do have something in common. TBIs are unique from other injuries in that they not only affect the victim physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Brain injuries literally affect every aspect of a person’s life, which is what makes them such complex injuries.

When an individual suffers a brain injury, in addition to symptoms like headache or vertigo, he or she can also experience effects to his or her emotions, thoughts, and personality. It’s not uncommon for people with TBIs to exhibit increased depression, agitation, or aggression – even with those who never showed those types of emotions before.

The frontal lobes of the brain control something scientists call “executive functioning,” which allows us to do things like prioritize tasks, plan ahead, and control impulsive behavior. In other words, people with injuries to this part of the brain are less likely to take the time to consider the consequences of their actions.

How might your personality change after a TBI?

Everyone reacts differently after a brain injury, and some symptoms may clear up over time while some may last for years. However, there are some personality and emotional changes you and your loved ones should look out for:

  • Mood swings. Emotional ups and downs are one of the most difficult issues to deal with after a traumatic brain injury – for both patients and their loved ones. People might go from happy to sad to angry in what feels like the blink of an eye for what feels like no reason at all. This is because there are specific lobes in the brain that control emotions, and if those lobes suffer damage, emotions can become more difficult to manage.

  • Lack of trust. After a TBI, victims may have trouble with trust, even with their families and friends. They might seem paranoid, accusing people of things completely unfounded, or acting suspiciously. Depending on the severity of the injury, some individuals may even suffer hallucinations or delusions.

  • Memory loss. Memory loss due to brain injury can affect someone’s personality much the way dementia does to older people. Individuals may not know who their friends and family are, or may not be able to process new memories. Because memories and experiences play a large role in developing our personalities, memory loss can significantly affect personality.

  • Impaired judgment. The frontal lobe of the brain manages judgment and inhibitions – it prevents us from making rash decisions and controls impulsive behavior. However, when the frontal lobe is damaged, people may lose their inhibitions and engage in reckless or dangerous behavior, like spending exorbitant amounts of money, cheating on their spouses, or even engaging in violence.

Brain injuries and personality changes following an accident can be confusing and heartbreaking. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, the brain injury attorneys of Crandall & Pera Law want to help. We understand the delicate nature of TBIs and can answer all of your questions. Please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Ohio or Kentucky.