How does a traumatic brain injury change someone’s personality?

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Blog, Brain Injuries |

Traumatic brain injuries, also called TBIs, are life-altering events. Beyond the physical toll someone feels, it also influences an individual’s personality.

The brain controls everything from thoughts to emotions, and when it suffers trauma, the consequences can be huge. A TBI can even fundamentally alter a person’s personality.

Extreme change in once-stable traits

One of the most striking outcomes of a TBI is the change in an individual’s personality traits. A once calm and collected person may become irritable, aggressive or very impulsive.

This shift can be confusing for both the individual experiencing the changes and those close to them. Loved ones may struggle to reconcile the person they knew with the transformed version that shows up after the injury.

Worse mood and emotion regulation

The emotional landscape of an individual comes from the functioning of their brain. Mood swings, emotional extremes and an inability to regulate emotions can become common after a TBI.

Previously easy-going individuals may find themselves grappling with anger or sadness. 8.3% of American adults have experienced a major depressive episode as of 2021. These kinds of emotional issues can lead to strained relationships and social isolation.

Cognitive impairments

Beyond the obvious changes in behavior and emotions, TBIs can also lead to cognitive impairments. Memory lapses, difficulty concentrating and poor problem-solving abilities become struggles in everyday life. The person who once handled complex tasks may now find simple activities intimidating.

Understanding the huge impact on personality is a step toward fostering empathy and support for those undergoing this journey. People can then pave the way for a more compassionate and informed approach to rehabilitation and recovery.