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Lack of emotional control after a brain injury

While you grew up, one of the key things you learned was how to control your emotions. This is why young children often have tantrums and angry outbursts. They just have not learned this skill yet. It does not come naturally. You learned it over time, so you can keep your emotions in check as an adult.

Then you got into a car accident. You suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Slowly, the major symptoms seemed to fade. You started walking normally, began sleeping well and seemed to put the stress and anxiety behind you.

However, you found yourself very irritable all the time and unable to control your emotions. You would get frustrated about everything. You would lash out verbally at your loved ones. They even said that you did not seem like the same person you were before the accident. Is this change because of the TBI?

The reality

It absolutely could be linked to your brain injury. Specific parts of the brain control very different functions. One part helps keep your emotions in check. Yes, this control is a skill you learned, but it's also a way that your brain developed.

The damage you suffered in the accident may never fully heal. If that area of your brain does not return to normal or find new neural pathways to use, you could deal with irritability and angry outbursts for the rest of your life.

A changing personality

This is one of the hardest things for families of those who suffer TBIs to endure. It's one thing to stand by an injured person and help them in the hospital and after they come home. It's quite another to suffer after the person has healed because they can't control their emotions. Some spouses note that they might as well be "married to a stranger." It's no surprise that a TBI can then lead to divorce.

A personality change like this is something you can't always control. Yes, you can understand that you feel different now and attempt to find ways to work around it. Many people simply spend more time alone or try to identify triggers that they can avoid. That's all well and good, and learning to cope with the change is important. However, you also need to understand that any change forced on you by that injury is a direct ramification stemming from the accident. It's not different than a physical injury. It may change your life far more than any physical injury ever could.

What are your options?

That long-term impact is important to keep in mind when looking into your options to seek compensation. Make sure you know what steps to take and what factors need to enter into the equation.

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