Understanding Brain Injury Emotional Fluctuations

brain injury

Once a person experiences a brain concussion, even if it appears to not be severe, can lead to traumatic brain injury. A person cannot be fully certain of having a TBI (traumatic brain injury) until correct examinations are made that provide a clear diagnosis. There have been many cases when people who experienced a minor or major head blow, go on with their lives, and forget all about the injury. Later they are plagued by debilitating side effects of that same injury. Their lives are completely changed, as the people around them cannot recognize the person anymore. This is because their emotions, temperament, and personality can change completely.

Dealing with a Stranger

Emotional fluctuations caused by the traumatic brain injury can manifest in many ways. Some of these may be out of control anger, anxiety and depression, flat affect, risky behavior, apathy, or many other emotional changes that were not typical before the brain injury. If the TBI sufferer, or the people closest to them are not aware of the brain injury, everything can become very strange and confusing as they try to understand the person’s altered behavior. It is not uncommon for reactions that leave the victim of the TBI without a chance to explain, or even understand what is going on. This can leave them feeling isolated andalone with the unpleasant circumstances of their injury. It is very important not to rush with judgments on someone’s unusual turn of character and try to recognize and understand that the person may not be controlling their own mind anymore. Furthermore, it is crucial to assist them in getting the professional help that they deserve. So, what exactly happens to the brain in these situations?

A Cocktail of Emotions

The twist of emotions and feelings can range and vary from excessive to depressive, depending on which part of the brain was injured. When the frontal lobe of the brain is affected, it’s very common for the patient to lose self-control very easily, while not being aware of their erratic behavior. This is because that part of the brain controls and modifies the persons’ impulsivity and personality. Such physical trauma can produce angry, mean and nasty behavior which they have no control over. They may explode in fits of anger with no significant reason. However, it is important to note that this behavior is not totally apparent to them. It is their damaged brain struggling to connect the lost puzzle pieces. The syndrome of ‘flat emotions’ is as bad as the previous one. In this case, the patient becomes cold and apathetic, making it impossible for them to feel anything that would cause them to react. They are unable to react to things that bother them, or things that make them happy. These types of mood swings can interact with each other and create an emotional merry-go-around from one moment to another.

Dealing with Modified Emotional Behavior

In most of the cases, the people experiencing these emotional fluctuations are not able to recognize the difference in them from what they were – to what they’ve become. The families and friends of the patient have to be tolerant and patiently wait for the rollercoaster to come down. It is important that victims of TBI receive professional medical treatment in the hope that someday their emotions will be better regulated.


Jacob Masters

Jacob Masters is a freelance writer and author who has worked in the health industry for over a decade. His goal in life is to increase the internet knowledge base one article at a time. He also likes to push the boundaries through his city wide evening excursions as a guerilla gardener.
Posted in Brain. Tagged with , , , , .