Can Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) Change Your Personality?

Traumatic brain injuries are often suffered when people suffer blows to the head. There are several types of accidents that can lead to such injuries. For instance, slip and fall accidents, car accidents, and motorcycle accidents are all prone to causing this type of harm.

Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries can experience changes in their personalities. There is a wide array of emotional and behavioral changes that victims may experience. Furthermore, there are multiple ways that traumatic brain injuries can produce mood changes.

If you suffered a brain injury because of another person’s negligence, get help from our Grapevine, TX personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm by dialing (817) 476-1797.

Examples of Personality Changes Caused by Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are several different behavioral effects that traumatic brain injuries can cause. For example, victims who sustain these injuries may experience any of the following personality changes:

Dramatic Mood Swings

First, traumatic brain injuries can cause people to exhibit dramatic mood swings. Sometimes referred to as “emotional lability,” this type of personality change can severely alter how victims react to certain situations. While everyone experiences emotional highs and lows, traumatic brain injuries can cause much more extreme and sudden emotional changes. For example, a victim may switch between laughing one moment to crying immediately afterwards.

During an emotional outburst, the injured party will likely lack sufficient control over their actions. It is important to remember that these outbursts often do not truly reflect how someone with a brain injury actually feels.

Flat Affect

Another potential symptom of traumatic brain injuries involves what is known as the “flat affect.” Those who suffer this type of personality change exhibit a lack of emotion through their facial expressions and voice. Victims usually display less reaction to emotional stimuli and appear less interested in activities that they once enjoyed. Sings that someone may be suffering from the flat affect include monotone speaking, avoidance of eye contact, and neutral body language.

However, you should know that traumatic brain injuries can lead to several other conditions that produce similar symptoms to the flat affect. For example, brain injuries can lead to facial paralysis and depression, which can both cause diminished emotional expression.

Overly Aggressive Behavior

Furthermore, traumatic brain injuries can also cause victims to exhibit overly aggressive behavior. Aggressive outbursts can be caused by several factors, such as damage to the brain’s ability to control impulse control or fatigue.

Furthermore, brains are much more likely to suffer overstimulation after a brain injury. Crowded rooms, bright lights, and louse noises are all potential contributors to overstimulation. While overstimulated, a victim is prone to exhibiting angry behavior.


People can also develop serious anxiety because of traumatic brain injuries. In some cases, anxiousness may develop early during a victim’s recovery. For others, anxiety may not become noticeable until later on, when they become more aware of their injury’s long-term effects.

After suffering a traumatic brain injury, the process of recovery can seem especially difficult if you suffer from anxiety. Fortunately, our experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers can help ease your stress and navigate the path to compensation.

Obsessive Behavior

Finally, traumatic brain injuries may also cause people to demonstrate obsessive behavior. Victims may be fixed on certain thoughts or actions and become agitated when their focus is averted. For example, someone with a brain injury may become angry if you disrupt a specific routine or change a topic of conversation.

Obsessive behavior stems from issues with reduced cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is what allows individuals to move from task to task smoothly, change their ways of thinking, and solve problems in other contexts.

Why Do You Experience Personality Changes After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are multiple reasons why you may experience personality changes after suffering a traumatic brain injury. These effects can stem from any of the following sources:

Physiological Changes

First, you may endure specific physiological changes in your brain that affect how you perceive and process information. For example, a concussion can impact the connections between blood vessels and neurons in your brain, a process known as neurovascular coupling. The effects of neurovascular coupling include headaches, slow thinking, and brain fog. These symptoms may subside quickly. However, in some cases, they will persist for lengthy periods of time.

The type of physiological changes caused by a traumatic brain injury can also depend on the location of the injury. For instance, if connections between the cerebral cortex and the limbic system are disrupted, the victim may lose their ability to evaluate emotional reactions and react appropriately to certain stimuli. Meanwhile, if the hippocampus is damaged, the victim will have trouble retaining short-term memories.

Emotional Reactions

Secondly, your personality may change because of emotional reactions you have to the changes your traumatic brain injury brought upon your life. It is normal to experience some form of emotional upheaval after experiencing such an injury. Also, physical symptoms of your brain injury like headaches, neck pain, nausea, and mental fog can amplify your feelings of sadness.

Side Effects of Medication

Finally, the side effects for medication used to treat traumatic brain injuries can also lead to personality changes. Various types of anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and pain medications are all known to cause such issues.

Can You Receive Treatment for Personality Changes Caused by a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The personality changes caused by traumatic brain injury can disrupt a victim’s life and place a serious burden on their friends and family. Thankfully, there are potential treatments that can address these issues.

Neuropsychologists can help patients understand their injuries and realize how their behavior is impacted. In some cases, these clinicians can teach cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that help manage a brain injury’s symptoms.

If You Sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury Because of Someone Else’s Negligence, Call Our Law Firm for Help

Seek support and guidance from our experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyers by calling The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797 for a free case assessment.