Can a TBI Trigger Personality Disorders?
Some signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are obvious. Loss of consciousness, speech difficulties, and mobility problems are visible to any observer. But other TBI complications are not so apparent. Personality changes are one of them.
Coping with personality disorders brought on by a traumatic brain injury can be difficult and heartbreaking for survivors and their families. At the Law Offices of Pius Joseph, we understand what a stressful time this can be and how vulnerable you may feel as you navigate these challenges. If your TBI results from someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation in California. While money cannot change your situation, it can help you seek the treatment you need to manage your condition.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury in Pasadena, contact our law firm today. We can review your situation and discuss your rights to compensation in a free consultation. Call fill out our online form now to speak with an experienced TBI lawyer.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can occur after a sudden or violent jolt to the head. A brain injury can also result from a penetrating injury, like a gunshot wound. TBIs can range in severity and cause a wide range of physical and mental symptoms, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Changes in hearing or vision
- Loss of coordination or mobility
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Mood changes
- Memory problems
- Behavioral changes
- Slurred speech
Some symptoms can develop immediately, while others manifest slowly over several hours or days.
Examples of Behavioral Changes After a TBI
A personality is a unique combination of individual thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and past experiences. It makes us who we are. But a TBI can damage the parts of the brain responsible for impulse control, cognition, language, communication, and memory. This trauma can trigger significant personality changes.
Examples of behavioral changes after a TBI can include:
- Mood swings
- Aggressive behavior
- Childlike behavior
- Obsessive thoughts or habits
- Egocentric or self-centered behavior
- Difficulties with self-control
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Verbal or physical outbursts
- Social challenges
- Inappropriate sexual behavior
The psychological effects of a brain injury can be frightening. A TBI can trigger narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and aggressive behavior. If you notice examples of behavioral changes after a brain injury, immediately consult with your physician.
Handling Personality Changes After a TBI
The physical effects of brain trauma can be difficult enough to cope with, but personality changes can be devastating. You may feel unsure of yourself, confused, and frightened about what is happening. No doubt you will have questions and may want to confide in someone about your feelings.
- Consider seeking therapy – One of the most productive ways to handle personality changes is to talk with a mental health professional. Look for a therapist who has experience with traumatic brain injuries. A psychologist can help you navigate your emotions, understand your personality disorder, and offer advice in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
- Get support from family and friends – It can be helpful to have the support of friends and family while you recuperate. You may be tempted to push loved ones away. Keep friends and family close and let them help you in any way that makes you comfortable.
- Identify your triggers – Do certain things make you feel different? Overstimulated? Angry? Learn to identify your triggers. When you understand what triggers an emotional outburst or response, it may be easier for you to change course.
- Keep a journal – You may find it hard to express yourself verbally after a traumatic brain injury and personality change. Keeping a diary may be an easier way to express yourself and process your thoughts and feelings.
- Be patient – Be kind to yourself. You have been through a terrible ordeal and are dealing with life-changing medical complications. Healing takes time. Try to give yourself the time and space you need to recover. Seek immediate medical help if you experience signs of anxiety and depression.
If you’re a caregiver, you’re probably wondering how to manage your loved one’s new psychiatric disorder. Here are resources to help you understand TBI and how you can help your family member and manage your own emotions:
- Brain Injury Association of California
- Caregiver Information Center of the Brain Injury Association of America
- Shepherd Center Guide for Caregivers
What About Bipolar Disorder?
Studies indicate a link between traumatic brain injuries and the development of mood, personality, and anxiety disorders. One medical study suggests people diagnosed with a TBI are 28 times more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause extreme mood swings characterized by manic highs and depressive lows. There are several bipolar conditions, including:
- Bipolar I disorder
- Bipolar II disorder
- Cyclothymic disorder
Unfortunately, many people with bipolar disorder don’t recognize how their emotional instability impacts their life. Talk to a mental health professional if you experience mood swings, periods of high energy followed by depression, or have suicidal thoughts.
How to Seek Compensation for a TBI
Seeking compensation for a traumatic brain injury and associated personality changes can be complicated. The emotional effects of a TBI are real but not as visible as bodily disabilities. This makes placing a dollar value on the mental impact of a TBI difficult to quantify. It takes a wealth of medical documentation and witness statements to prove you suffered a personality change due to the injury. A knowledgeable TBI attorney can collect that information for you and push for maximum compensation from the insurance company.
Our California TBI Attorney is Always Ready to Help You
Are you coping with a personality disorder after a TBI? The legal team at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph can help you pursue compensation if another party is responsible for the accident that injured you. You’re not alone, and you deserve justice. Call or contact us today for your free case review.