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Emotional, Behavioral, and Personality Changes from Brain Injury

A wide range of emotional changes may surface after a severe brain injury.

Among those you might see:

  • Difficulty in controlling emotions
  • Exaggeration of positive and/or negative personality traits
  • Denial of impairments and impulsive behavior
  • Anger, fear, and frustration leading to loss of temper and combativeness (eagerness to fight)
  • Irritability and verbal inappropriateness 
  • Depression

Denial and Depression

Depression that appears early in the recovery period is often a direct result of changes within the brain. For some patients, though, depression comes much later in the recovery period.

Often the extent to which a person has changed as a result of a mild brain injury only becomes obvious much later in the recovery process – after returning home, going to work or school, or resuming former social activities. The transition can be difficult and lengthy.

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