Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes a wide range of physical effects. However, it can also have an impact on your mood and emotions. These effects are often among the most troublesome for TBI victims and their families.
As explained by Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, a severe brain injury can result in a number of emotional effects. Understanding these effects is the first step to addressing them with the proper treatment.
Anxiety and nervousness
Anxiety is aimless worry that is not predicated on real events. However, to you the feeling is extremely real and harrowing. In some cases, the feeling is ongoing. In others, it manifests in panic attacks. Anxiety can result from changes in cognitive function that make it more difficult to do certain tasks.
Severe anxiety usually requires therapy and counseling. Medication is another treatment option that can provide relief for intense panic attacks. Family members can also reassure you during panic attacks, while taking steps to create a peaceful, serene environment.
Anger issues and irritability
Angry outbursts can occur out of nowhere and with little or no provocation. This can alienate you from your loved ones, while also causing needless stress.
Physical pain can have an impact on anger and irritability. You may also experience frustration with daily chores and tasks if they are harder to accomplish due to your injuries. Occupational therapy is highly beneficial, in this case. An occupational therapist can show patients how to adjust to normal tasks, as well as how to use assistive devices.
TBI can also affect emotional regulation. This is especially true if the area of damage is the one that regulates mood. You may feel happy one minute and deeply sad the next. You may also distress your loved ones, who might feel to blame for your shifting emotions.
Like anxiety, counseling is often beneficial for mood swings. However, this effect is often temporary and usually subsides as you progress in your treatment.
The recovery process for TBI is long and arduous. Getting the right treatment soon after your injury is the best way to mitigate these and other effects.