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How behaviors can change after a traumatic brain injury

Whether you suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident, a fall or some other catastrophe, you may have felt lucky that the damage wasn't worse. Even so, you may have noticed that your friends and family look at you differently. They may even mention that you don't seem like yourself.

That makes sense to you, and probably to them, in the immediate aftermath of your ordeal. After all, it was a traumatic experience, and readjusting to life may be a challenge because of it. However, what do you do if it's been months since the accident and you still don't feel, or seem, like yourself anymore? Could the accident have caused behavioral changes in you that your doctor failed to warn you about when you saw him or her last?

TBI and behavior changes

The fact is that a TBI can change your behavior. In fact, some people's personalities are largely unrecognizable after such an injury. Depending on where the injury occurred, you could experience a myriad of behavioral changes that were never part of your personality prior to the accident.

Damage to your temporal lobe

The temporal lobe is located on the side of your head above your ears. This part of your brain controls the following emotions:

  • Abrupt and unprovoked aggression
  • Short and long-term memory loss
  • Learning difficulties
  • Persistent talking

A previously mellow and easygoing person could become aggressive and forgetful. It may not be possible to relearn the appropriate behavioral responses to situations.

Damage to the frontal lobe

The frontal lobe lies just behind your forehead. Damage to this area of your brain could affect the following emotional responses:

  • Easily provoked aggression
  • Loss of emotional control
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Loss of motivation and initiation
  • Promiscuity
  • Lethargy
  • Intolerance for frustration

An injury in this location may also make it challenging to perform tasks that include multiple steps. For example, you may find it difficult to make a pot of coffee.

Damage to the cerebral cortex

This is the layer of cells surrounding your cerebral lobes. This portion of your brain may have suffered damage from your head violently thrashing around during a car accident. Damage to this part of your brain could make it difficult for you to process behaviors and emotions.

Damage to your life as a whole

Other parts of your brain predominantly affect your physical movements, along with how your body functions, but they may also contribute to the emotional and behavioral challenges you now face. Many people may not understand the profound affect that changes in your behavior could have on your life. For example, if you have violent outbursts that you can't control, it may be difficult to perform your job duties. You may not be able to communicate and interact with your friends, family and co-workers as you once did.

Your relationships, both personally and professionally, may be strained or never recover. It may be harder for you to keep a job, and thus, support you and your family. Moreover, you may need additional medical and psychological care going forward.

You may be able to pursue compensation from the person or people who caused your accident, which may at least help with the financial challenges you face now and in the future. Unfortunately, proving a TBI and the serious affects it now has on your life to a Texas civil court can prove difficult. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this process alone. You may need to seek out someone with the right blend of experience and compassion to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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