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How do traumatic brain injuries impact behavior?

Along with physical effects, traumatic brain injury (TBI) can also impact mood and behavior. These effects are often difficult to cope with, as the person afflicted may exhibit drastic changes in his or her personality that can’t easily be remedied. Brainline.org explains some of these effects, as well as what people can do to cope with them.

Emotions are often hard to regulate after TBI. This can result in mood swings, during which a person may go to many different emotional extremes. In some cases, a person may appear to be gleeful in one moment and sullen the next. These emotional upheavals are not usually connected to external factors and often cause strife within families or interpersonal relationships. There are other types of effects that can also take place.

For instance, some people with TBI may experience verbal or physical outbursts. In other instances, the person may display poor judgment or lack impulse control. This can lead to risk-taking behavior, which may have legal consequences. A person may also become extremely egocentric, suffer from depression, or be far more negative than he or she was previously.

While it can be difficult, there are steps people can take when experiencing these effects. First and foremost, friends and family should be informed why the behavior is happening in the first place. However, this doesn’t resolve the person with TBI of all responsibility. It’s important to take ownership of poor behavior and take the proper steps to rectify it. Getting support from a person with knowledge of these effects can also be helpful, whether it’s provided within the confines in a support group or a loved one. 

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