Brain injury and changed behaviour

We know that there is a wealth of information surrounding general brain injuries and traumatic brain injury so here we clarify a few frequently asked questions.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

This is an injury causing damage to the brain, usually caused by an external force, such as an impact, penetration or rapid acceleration/deceleration A traumatic brain injury can vary in severity, and can have varying impacts on the patient’s life, including affecting physical, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural symptoms. It may be that the injury has been caused by inattention on someone else’s part, and as such, you may be able to make a brain injury claim to assist with any ongoing care needs or loss of earnings.

How can brain injuries affect behaviour?

Every brain injury is unique and the effects will be different for everyone who experiences this type of injury. Some people may experience an exaggeration of their previous personality, while others may completely change their character.
Other effects on personality may be:

  • Disinhibition – some people with a brain injury may suffer a loss of inhibition resulting in tactless comments or inappropriate behaviour for example. Many people are able to manage this and reduce the effect as they come to terms with their injury. However, some unfortunately never regain their control over this behaviour.
  • Impulsiveness – sometimes the injury causes a person to act without thinking, not only in social situations, but also regarding practical situations, such as spending more than can be afforded.
  • Obsessive behaviour – a patient may develop routines that need to be followed or need things to be done in a certain way. They may also develop thought patterns that become obsessive, such as believing that someone is persistently stealing from them.
  • Irritability and aggression – one of the most commonly reported changes in behaviour is increased irritability. Things that were not a problem before the brain injury can suddenly cause the patient to be short tempered with things and people that disrupt their concentration, or when things do not work out as planned. When also experiencing a loss of control, this can also lead to outbursts of verbal or physical aggression.
  • Apathy and loss of initiative – some people may seem passive or unresponsive, especially in the early days of recovery. Others may want to get back to normal but cannot organise themselves to get started.
  • Egocentricity – sometimes a person seems to be unable to empathise with others and see things from any perspective but their own.

All of these changes in personality create difficulties for a patient’s family and friends, and in some cases, support from the caring sector is required. If the injury was caused by someone else’s actions, there may the option to employ the services of a brain injury solicitor to make a claim for brain injury compensation.

Get expert advice

Call today and speak to Jason Brady, specialist brain injury solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500