Personality and Behavior Changes After an Accident
Here’s what you can expect for life after an accident.
When you suffer a life-changing accident, you’ll begin to notice some changes. Not only will you need to recover from whatever physical injury you have suffered, but you’ll need to recover mentally and emotionally, as well. You may begin to notice some personality and behavior changes after you experience an accident.
What type of accident is likely to cause a change?
Most likely, if you or a loved one notices a personality change after being in an accident, it is probably because you’re suffering from a brain injury. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is most commonly caused by a car accident, a fall, or a gunshot wound. You might experience a loss of balance, headaches, confusion, memory difficulties, or a variety of other symptoms.
If you were in a car accident and it was not your fault, reach out to an Orange County car accident attorney, and ask how you can proceed with a case against the other driver. A TBI will change your life forever, so it’s important that you receive compensation, if possible.
Why has my personality changed?
Normally, your personality has changed due to one of two reasons: Your brain has been affected by the injury, and it now experiences or processes emotions differently, or the trauma of the accident has caused an emotional response. In the case of the first reason, your brain has been actually changed by the injury. The connections of the brain have been impacted by the injury, which means your emotional responses will also be impacted, and thus changed. You may not always understand why you’re reacting the way you are, because it may not be an appropriate reaction to the situation, but it’s important to remember that your brain has been changed and there is a reason for your behavior.
In the case of the second reason for change, you could also just be experiencing natural emotional responses to suffering a traumatic injury. A brain injury will cause the sufferer’s life to change, typically not for the better, so it’s not uncommon for an accident survivor to feel angry, depressed, or frustrated with the way life is now. You might find that life looks very different, and you’re unable to do things that were once easy for you, like reading a book in one sitting. Acknowledging these changes might cause depression or frustration.
What should I do if my personality and behaviors have changed?
There are many things you can do to help life return to a normal state for you or a loved one who has suffered a TBI. If you’re struggling to relearn basic skills, you and your family should create a structured environment where you always know what is expected of you, and when. This will help you relearn what to do on a daily basis. Someone with a TBI might fail to display emotions. Working with a counselor or therapist can help you learn how to better express your emotions, and if you’re often angry or frustrated with loved ones (which is common), they can learn how to help you calm down and feel safe.
You might also find that your ability to concentrate has been compromised. Others can help you refocus by giving you cues, and reminding you to focus on the task at hand. You can also help yourself to re-focus by learning to check yourself as you go, by asking yourself questions, such as “Am I understanding what I’m working on?” If the answer is no, remind yourself to slow down, and be sure to praise your work once you’re done.
Having a change in personality or behavior after a brain injury is common, and there are ways to help your life return to a more normal state. If you or a loved one has experienced a change in personality, think about the steps you can take to help make things easier.