Following a traumatic brain injury, you may experience a change in how you express and process emotion. While alarming, you can cope with the emotional changes as long as you understand them.
According to MSKTC, emotional changes include the development of anxiety and depression.
What to expect after an accident
After an accident, it is normal to feel shocked, afraid or angry with the ordeal. Anxiety manifests differently for each person, but most people experience a deep fear. You may catch yourself overwhelmed, stressed and unsure what caused it. Physical symptoms include rapid breathing, shaking and sweating. You may see yourself anxious in places and situations that did not bother you.
Depression can also occur, leaving you with feelings of sadness, irritation or worthlessness. You may suffer from fatigue and find it difficult to interact with friends and family or engage in activities you love. Sadness and grief commonly occur when after a motor vehicle accident, particularly one that results in a brain injury.
How TBIs change victims
One of the main reasons your emotions change after suffering from a traumatic brain injury is because the part of your brain that controls emotion can suffer damage. It can affect your ability to experience and express different feelings. In addition to physical reasons, you may also have difficulty coping with how the accident changed your life. It can alter your place in society, your career and how you spend your time. The overwhelmed feelings can manifest as anxiety and depression.
Medicine, counseling and other forms of therapy can help you treat emotional changes after an accident.