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Long-Term Effects of a TBI Part 2: Ongoing Cognitive & Emotional Symptoms

In Part 2 of a three-part series about moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), we’re going to discuss the ongoing cognitive and emotional symptoms. Many of these complications develop over time and even last well after the injury was initially sustained. 

Behavioral & Emotional Symptoms After TBI 

A brain injury can change the way people think and express themselves. A person may experience substantial behavioral and emotional changes based on what part or parts of his/her brain are injured. 

For example, the frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for higher cognitive functions, such as emotions, memory, problem-solving, impulse control, motor function, and social interaction. When that part of the brain is damaged, a person may experience issues with short-term memory, controlling their emotions, processing and understanding information, communication or language, and reasoning. 

The following are the most common ongoing cognitive and emotional symptoms of a TBI: 

  • Mood swings and emotional ability (i.e., experiencing an “emotional roller coaster”) 

  • Verbal and physical outbursts 

  • Easily distracted and difficulty concentrating 

  • Taking longer to process and understand information 

  • Being slower to react and perform tasks 

  • Issues starting and carrying a conversation or understanding what others say 

  • Difficulties using facial expressions 

  • Issues learning and remembering recent events and information 

  • Difficulties managing time and organizing tasks 

  • Trouble finding solutions to problems 

  • Impulsive and inappropriate behavior 

  • Depression and anxiety 

  • Insomnia or other sleep-related issues 

Individuals with moderate or severe TBI experience these behavioral and emotional symptoms after the initial stages of recovery and may last for a few years. Keep in mind, lasting physical issues may affect these types of mood and cognitive changes. 

Fortunately, cognitive rehabilitation is available to improve cognitive skills through remediation and compensation. Remediation improves skills that were impaired or lost, while compensation helps TBI patients learn to use different ways to accomplish a goal. 

Behavioral therapists and neuropsychologists can provide strategies to overcome mood swings and redirect your actions and thoughts toward positive choices. With time, support from loved ones, and patience, people with TBI can eventually get their lives back on track. 

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, which will discuss how a TBI can impact a person’s overall quality of life. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident in Hartford, CT, contact Carlson & Dumeer, LLC at (877) 795-5594 for a free consultation. Get award-winning and experienced legal representation immediately! 

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