A significant brain injury can affect a person’s life in a multitude of ways. Depending on the area of the brain damaged, serious emotional effects may occur. These effects not only impact the person with the head injury but their family and friends as well. Here are a few of the possible effects and how they can be mitigated.
Anxiety & depression
Anxiety after a terrible car wreck is common. A person may experience the effects of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) any time they are reminded of what occurred. Anxiety may also occur as part of the recovery process. Serious brain injuries often require comprehensive therapy, which can be stressful for a person. Depression can stem from the event and its consequences, or it can result from damage to a specific part of the brain.
In either case, mental health counseling can be beneficial. Learning new coping mechanisms provides a brain injury victim with the right tools to deal with their injury and any challenges they face in life. Friends and family are also encouraged to lend their support, which can be reassuring to a person going through intensive recovery.
A person with mood swings may be happy one minute and sad the next, with no real cause of the sudden change of emotion. Mood swings may arise from frustration about the recovery process or result from injuries to certain regions of the brain. Counseling is also beneficial for mood swings, especially when family members are involved in counseling sessions. Brain injury victims may also be prescribed medication to regulate mood and emotions.
Tantrums & outbursts
When a person’s ability to communicate has been compromised by their injuries, outbursts will likely result. Outbursts are disturbing to friends and family, and can also damage a person’s professional and personal relationships. Reducing stress is key to decreasing irritability, which entails identifying stressors and removing them from your life. Family should also be supportive, but set ground rules for communication to prevent yelling and bad language.