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Can brain injuries influence emotions?

Traumatic brain injuries can result in a number of physical effects that sometimes have lasting consequences. Serious head injuries can also impact your emotional health and well-being, and in some cases drastic personality changes may occur. These changes often upset friends and family not accustomed to such behavior.

Brainline.org lists some of the potential emotional consequences of brain injuries. For instance, you might find that staying in control of your emotional response is exceedingly difficult after your injury. Many brain injury victims experience this (often referred to as mood swings), which can involve erratic behavior and ever-changing highs and lows. Rapidly shifting emotions are often separate from the way you truly feel, which only adds to the frustration of your condition.

Brain injury victims can also suffer from a variety of other symptoms. Behaviors deemed risky or dangerous sometimes increase, which is often related to a decrease in judgement. Emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression may also be present, as can an inability to empathize with others. Some injury victims also become apathetic and find it difficult to take joy in previously beloved activities or interests.

The behavior changes experienced after a head injury are often dependent on which parts of the brain were damaged. Injuries to the frontal lobe are typically linked to aggressive behaviors and poor impulse control. This is because the frontal lobe is considered the seat of your personality, and as a result major changes can occur after a serious head injury. No matter what type of behavioral changes are present, it’s important to have a caring network of friends and family to help you navigate your condition and lend support when necessary.

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