What are the Effects of a Brain Injury?

Brain injuries can have many different kinds of effects on people. These effects can range drastically, based on the type and severity of the injury. As you might expect, the more serious the brain injury, the more severe the effects are. On this page, I will discuss emotional, physical, cognitive, and sensory effects that a brain injury might have on a person who sustains one.

Emotional Effects

Some brain injuries can result in long term behavioral and emotional problems. A few common emotional issues that a person may have after a brain injury are:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Confusion

Those suffering emotional issues after a brain injury may lash out in a few different ways. For example, they may turn to substance abuse to cope with their difficulties and attempt to self medicate. Other problematic behavior could include sudden outbursts, violence, impulsiveness, and more.

If your loved one is suffering from emotional issues, you should contact a doctor. They may benefit from medication and/or counseling.

Physical Effects

One of the most common long term physical effects of brain injury is seizures. This is particularly common in those who have suffered from hematomas or contusions. Other physical issues that your loved one may face include:

  • Partial paralysis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sudden muscle contractions
  • Coordination issues

Physical therapy can be useful for those suffering the physical effects of a brain injury. This is a good option to help your loved one adapt to their limitations and heal as much as they can from their injury.

Cognitive Effects

Cognitive effects are also common after brain injuries, especially in the even that the injury was severe. Common cognitive issues include:

  • Post traumatic amnesia
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with concentration
  • Post traumatic dementia
  • Language problems

A neurologist can diagnose cognitive issues in your loved one by testing their memory, attention, speech, and more. Occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, and speech language pathologists can assist your loved one in overcoming cognitive issues.

Sensory Effects

Long term sensory problems are also possible in brain injuries. These issues might include loss of hearing, vision, touch, taste, or smell. Additional issues might include:

  • Understanding the difference between right and left.
  • Problems remembering visual information
  • Issues with doing math
  • Inability to be spatially aware
  • Problems following directions
  • Issues drawing or recognizing objects

Retraining can help a person suffering the sensory effects of a brain injury. Repetitive therapy can help people deal with some of these issues.

Getting Help

Your loved one may face some or most of the issues mentioned on this page after a brain injury. Alternatively, you may not notice any of these issues. It really depends on the particular situation that your loved one is in and the severity of their injury. However, if your loved one does face some of these negative side effects of a brain injury, taking them to a doctor is a good idea. A doctor can diagnose issues that crop up over time and help establish proper treatment for them. For more information on brain injuries and steps to take after they occur, contact my office.

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